April 11, 2013
For Immediate Release


Catherine Doyle, PAWS Director of Science, Research & Advocacy




Boston Marathon Runner

Making Mad Dash For Elephants


San Andreas, Calif.(April 11, 2013) - When 2013 Boston Marathon participant David Sarich runs next week, he will be running for a unique cause: rescued elephants at the Performing Animal Welfare Society's (PAWS) ARK 2000 captive wildlife sanctuary in Northern California. Sarich has been raising awareness of the plight of elephants in captivity, and he is using his marathon bid to solicit funds for the care of Mara, Maggie, Lulu, Annie, Gypsy, Wanda, Nicholas and Prince, the eight elephants who roam the grassy hills at PAWS' natural-habitat refuge.


Established in 1984, PAWS has three sanctuaries and cares for over 100 animals - including tigers, lions, bears and elephants - who have been rescued from the exotic pet industry and performing animal trades. The elephant habitat at ARK 2000 provides both African and Asian elephants with hundreds of acres of natural terrain to roam, lakes to bathe in, and the freedom to just be elephants. PAWS animals are not bred, traded, sold, rented or forced to perform in any way.


"PAWS is grateful that David Sarich is using his skill as a runner and his compassion for elephants to bring attention to the plight of these animals in captivity," said PAWS president and co-founder Ed Stewart. "We believe that once the public is educated about the suffering of elephants in circuses and other types of entertainment, they will stop supporting those businesses and help end this inhumane use of elephants."


According to Stewart, who formerly worked with trained wild animals in film and television, elephants in circuses and those used for rides spend the majority of their time intensively confined, and they are subjected to physical and social deprivation, long periods of time in transport, and brutal methods of control that include physical violence.


Sarich, who heads a run-coaching company in Atlanta, Georgia, has launched a Facebook campaign called "Mad Dash for PAWS," and is urging everyone to make a contribution for the elephants. As stated on his Facebook page: "David will be putting his legs where his heart is and run for the animals who are being cruelly treated in the name of entertainment." His goal is to raise $5,000, with all donations going directly to the care of PAWS' elephants.  


You can visit "Mad Dash for PAWS" on Facebook ( For more information on PAWS, please visit Donations can be made directly to PAWS at




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PAWS is a proud member of the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries and is a 4-star charity with Charity Navigator. 



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