PAWS Looks Back At 2013

As we near the eve of the new year, and PAWS' 30th Anniversary,

we reflect back on some of the events and accomplishments of 2013. As many of you know, this year was one of profound loss and, at the same time, landmark achievements. . .





PAWS Co-Founder & An Inspiration To Us All


On February 15, 2013, PAWS' co-founder and animal protection pioneer, Pat Derby, passed away after a long battle with cancer. She was featured recently in MSN News' 2013 "The Year in Memorium" - where she was honored alongside a political hero, a rock legend, a TV superstar, a baseball Hall of Famer, an iconic movie critic and a comedic genius - a tribute to her important legacy. 


An evening of remembrance and celebration of Pat took place in March, and drew colleagues and supporters from around the world, including PAWS champion and television legend Bob Barker, long-time PAWS spokesperson and Academy Award-winning actress Kim Basinger, Hall of Fame baseball manager Tony LaRussa and his family, comedian and actor Kevin Nealon, Sacramento media personalities Rob Stewart and Kitty O'Neal, and many more distinguished speakers and friends.


Pat was a guiding light that shone bright for so many captive wild animals in need, and that light continues to guide us in our mission of rescue, care, education and advocacy. Pat may be gone, but she is always in our thoughts and in our hearts, and her fierce convictions will continue to be the driving force behind our protection efforts for animals. View photos from Pat's remarkable life here. Read Ed Stewart's moving tribute to Pat here.



PAWS Accomplishments In 2013

PAWS was featured in the critically-acclaimed HBO documentary, An Apology to Elephants, which examined the abuse of elephants in captivity and advocated for more humane treatment.
PAWS' friend Lily Tomlin won an Emmy for her narration of the documentary, written by award-winning writer, director and producer Jane Wagner. PAWS president and co-founder, Ed Stewart, attended the Emmy Awards in September and shared the monumental win with Lily, who stated: "Tonight, I received an Emmy for narrating the HBO documentary, An Apology to Elephants, and this is a great acknowledgement of the work of Ed Stewart and Pat Derby, founders of PAWS, who have worked on behalf of elephants for so many years. It was also the result of the hard work of Sheila Nevins, Amy Schatz, Lisa Heller, and, of course, Jane Wagner, who wrote the narration. We all speak in one voice to free the elephants. If you haven't seen it, watch the documentary on HBO, and I'm sure you will agree. Ed and I share this Emmy in honor of Pat Derby."
(An Apology to Elephants is now available on DVD from HBO.)
National Geographic's "NewsWatch" published the blog "No Ethical Way to Keep Elephants in Captivity", written by Ed Stewart, in which Ed definitively set the record straight about inhumane management practices and the many challenges elephants face in captivity. Read Ed's blog here.
Alexander running in his new habitat.
Alexander the black leopard, a victim of the exotic pet trade, moved from the PAWS Galt sanctuary into a spacious new home at ARK 2000, thanks to the generosity and commitment of Mrs. Audrey Steele Burnand and her family, Alyson and Cecil Rossi, and Kristin and Mike Stewart. Read more about Alexander, and his move to ARK 2000, here.

Pat Derby dreamed of the day PAWS would be able to move the 20 remaining animals in Galt to ARK 2000. One of her biggest wishes was to see Alexander in a larger habitat where he could run, climb trees and have a pool. From her bed, shortly before her death, Pat could see construction of his habitat nearing completion and she spoke often of her excitement at his upcoming big move. Sadly, Pat did not live long enough to see the completion, but we could not help but feel that she was watching on May 30, when Mrs. Burnand's granddaughter, Kristin Stewart, pulled open the gate and Alexander took his first step into his magnificent new home.




Ed Stewart Joins Center For Zoo Animal Welfare Advisory Committee

PAWS' president, Ed Stewart,  accepted an invitation to join the Detroit Zoological Society's Center for Zoo Animal Welfare (CZAW) Advisory Committee. CZAW was created to bring resources and attention to the advancement of captive exotic animal welfare. The Committee is composed of zoo and aquarium professionals, scientists, sociologists and animal advocacy leaders. Members help with the formulation and review of the Center's work. Membership on the CZAW Advisory Committee is by invitation only.



PAWS Protests Elephant Rides  

PAWS  stood up against elephant rides at the Nevada County Fair in Grass Valley, Calif., working closely with local animal protection organizations, presenting expert testimony, and leading an opening night demonstration that attracted more than 100 participants. Yet despite the volumes of evidence presented about animal welfare and public safety issues, the Fair Board went forward with the rides. Though we didn't win this one, the negative attention and controversy surrounding the rides will likely deter the Fair from offering elephant rides again next year.


NEVADA COUNTY FAIR 2013: Opening Night
Opening Night Protest



The majority of our funding goes directly to caring for all of the rescued and relocated animals currently under PAWS' care, so our budget for vital advocacy work is small and quickly depleted. Please make a special contribution so we can continue essential advocacy efforts, such as making elephant rides a thing of the past, not just in Nevada County, but everywhere! 


PAWS was a featured participant in a digitally-animated billboard unveiled in New York's Times Square aimed at educating the public about the decimation of African elephants for the illegal ivory trade. Click on the video below to view the billboard.

In conjunction with the unveiling of the billboard, a publicly-sponsored petition was launched and directed to the United Sates Congress, demanding legislation enforcing a total ban on the domestic trade in ivory and prohibiting the importation of raw, carved or trophy-hunted ivory into this country.

Elephant in Times Square Billboard
Elephant in Times Square Billboard

October Was A BIG Month For Elephants!


PAWS joined the San Francisco March for the Elephants in October.


March For The Elephants

On October 4, PAWS participated in March for the Elephants, an international event aimed at saving wild elephants from potential extinction due to the illegal ivory trade. PAWS staff and supporters marched in San Francisco, Calif., along with hundreds of other advocates, and PAWS provided an information table in Union Square before, during and after the March. PAWS' president Ed Stewart was a featured speaker at the post-march rally in Union Square, inspiring the crowd to take action for elephants.


Listen to Ed's speech here.  View a video from the March, here.



The first truck, carrying Toronto elephants Iringa and Toka,
arrives at ARK 2000 at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, October 20.


The Toronto Elephants

Read "A Message From Bob Barker" here.

After two years of challenges, anticipation and preparation, PAWS welcomed African elephants

Iringa, Thika and Toka from the Toronto Zoo to their new home at ARK 2000. Their transportation was funded by Bob Barker, who ardently advocated for the move, while PAWS has assumed the financial responsibility for the lifelong care of the elephants. PAWS now cares for a total of 11 elephants. We estimate it costs us $70,000 per year to care for ONE healthy elephant. You can help PAWS by making a donation to support the elephants' care, or by adopting one of the elephants - or any of our other wonderful animals.

PAWS Featured In Fifth Estate Documentary

Elephants On Board: A Journey To Remember is a documentary by the CBC's Fifth Estate that followed Iringa, Toka and Thika's journey from Canada to ARK 2000. View the documentary here(May not be available in all locations and may not work on some notepads and smart phones.) The documentary is a follow-up to the Fifth Estate's November 2012 report, "The Elephant in the Room," that also featured PAWS. This hard-hitting piece focused on the controversy surrounding the confinement of elephants in zoos, including the Toronto Zoo and the Edmonton Zoo in Canada.



Los Angeles Bans The Bullhook!
PAWS has long campaigned to "Ban the Bullhook" - a particular passion of the late Pat Derby - so we were pleased to have played a leadership role in passing a ground-breaking ban on bullhooks in Los Angeles. The L.A. City Council's unanimous vote to prohibit this menacing weapon, which is used to dominate and control elephants through pain and violence, has already sparked efforts to pass similar ordinances across the country.



Oakland Passes Permit Requirements For Circuses

The Oakland City Council unanimously passed an ordinance that establishes permit requirements for circuses. The permit requirements will allow the city to better monitor the animals in circuses and to invite independent experts of the city's choice to assess the animals' health and welfare. An amendment to the ordinance calls for the City to consider even stronger action in the near future, including a ban on bullhooks.


PAWS was proud to have played a role in passing this ordinance. We are following up with council members, urging them to follow the City of Los Angeles in adopting a bullhook ban. Thank you to all the Oakland residents who took action and contacted their city council members!

PAWS Receives 4-Star Rating
Charity Navigator has once again given PAWS its coveted 4-star rating for sound fiscal management and commitment to accountability and transparency. Because PAWS has received a 4-star rating for four consecutive years, we are now rated among the top 7% of Charity Navigator-rated charities in America. Read the letter we received from Charity Navigator President and CEO, Ken Berger, here. 

PAWS' Facebook "Likes"
We are excited to report that our Facebook "likes" have more than doubled during 2013. With everyone's help we hope to double, or even triple this year's numbers in 2014 - this means that even more people can learn about and support the important work that we do at PAWS. Thank you everyone - especially all of our new friends in Canada!

Important PAWS News
Kristin Bauer and Ed Stewart. That's Toka in the background.

"True Blood" Star Kristin Bauer Visits PAWS


In December, PAWS was pleased to welcome Kristin Bauer van Straten - star of the HBO hit series "True Blood" (she plays Pam) - to our ARK 2000 sanctuary. Kristin is a committed animal advocate, with a special interest in both captive and wild elephants. She has worked with PAWS to support important legislation to benefit elephants in circuses, including the bullhook ban in Los Angeles.


Kristin was smitten with all of the animals living at ARK 2000, including bears Ben and Jack. But the elephants may have most touched her heart. This is what Kristin had to say after experiencing the wonderful refuge that is ARK 2000:


"What a special place and incredible people. I'm so sorry I never got to meet Pat [Derby], and I truly loved Ed for his unending desire to create a natural life for these wild animals. Ed seems to have a backbone built on fairness, and he literally lives to give these majestic creatures space, dignity and free will - something none of them have ever had.


"Having been to Africa and spent time with elephants in the wild, I was overjoyed to see the incredible life the ex- zoo and circus elephants can now live for the rest of their lives. Words can't express the debt we as humans owe these animals. We can never repay them for our selfishness or undo their years of slavery for our amusement, but PAWS does a heroic job of it.


"The incredible people at PAWS deserve huge thanks and support from us. I left PAWS with a feeling of well-being because I'd seen the best of humanity. Thank you PAWS!!"


We look forward to again hosting Kristin at ARK 2000 in the future and to working with her on even more important campaigns for captive wildlife.


Ed Stewart talks with visitors at PAWS Holiday Open House on December 14. African elephants Mara and Lulu can be seen on the hill in the background.

Holiday Open House at PAWS


You couldn't have asked for a more beautiful California winter day for PAWS' final educational event of the year, our Holiday Open House. On a blissful warm day under sunny skies, more than 700 people visited ARK 2000 and learned about the elephants, lions, tigers, bears and black leopard who have found safe haven with PAWS.

Nicholas' birthday cake.


Many thanks to all who attended and to our wonderful volunteers who not only helped ensure the event was safe and enjoyable for guests of all ages, but baked lots of tasty holiday goodies and treats for guests. We would also like to thank Devra Lewis and her wonderful Blue Mountain Transit Shuttles. Their donation of shuttle services saves PAWS thousands of dollars each year.


For those of you who were unable to join us at the open house, you can read the stories about each of our animals on our website. Photos of the open house are available to view on our Facebook page. (See link at the bottom of this newsletter.)


Nicholas turned 20 the day after our Holiday Open House. We gave him his cake a day early so visitors could share in the celebration.


Gus (left) is pictured above with Grace.
In Memorian: Gus and Patty

The PAWS family is saddened to bring you the news that we lost two of our beloved tigers in December, both originally from the Colton group that was rescued in 2004.

Gus was a long-time companion to Grace, who passed away earlier this year from cancer and renal failure. He was always attentive to her, grooming her and always staying close by her side. Gus was small but had a huge personality. He was very expressive and talkative, and his uniquely loud voice could be heard most often as meal time approached. Estimated at 20 years old, he was one of our oldest and most frail tigers. As he gradually lost his sight, hearing, and mobility, our dedicated tiger staff made special enhancements in his enclosure to keep him comfortable and make it easier for him to find his way. We will miss this unique little old man tremendously - his voice, his dedication to Grace, and his spunkyness. 



Patty was described as the "epitomy of grace and beauty" by tiger supervisor Renae. Though tigers in nature are typically solitary, many from the Colton group were compatible and even gregarious. Patty lived with Alka, Ginger, and Mookie - three females of similar age. She had a regal demeanor, and all of the tigers in her area seemed to show her respect, chuffing and rubbing along the fence when she walked by. Patty succumbed to the effects of renal failure at the estimated age of 15. She will be missed by all of us. 


Nearly 10 years ago PAWS welcomed the first of 39 tigers to ARK 2000, confiscated from a situation of severe neglect and abuse in Colton, California. PAWS' veterinarian, Dr. Jackie Gai, organized the transport of small groups of tigers at a time, and accompanied each trip to make sure the tigers made the journey safely and comfortably. When we received these tigers, no one knew how old they were, and there were no medical records. When we have a tiger anesthetized for a medical examination, his or her age is estimated by looking at the degree of wear on the teeth. All of the tigers were full-grown adults in 2004, so we estimate that all of the remaining Colton tigers are at least 15 years old. It is a testament to our amazing and caring staff, and also to the resilience of these tigers, that they continue to thrive in the safety, comfort, excellent care, and peace of true sanctuary.   



A Sneak Peek At What's Coming In 2014


PAWS Celebrates 30 Years Of Animal Rescue & Care

PAWS is looking forward to a very special anniversary next year: 30 years of rescuing, relocating and  providing sanctuary for abused or abandoned captive wildlife, and educating and advocating for greater protection of all performing animals and captive wildlife.


Thanks to you, our supporters, PAWS is one of the most successful and stable sanctuaries in the country. With your help we will continue to advocate for animals in need and provide the refuge and rehabilitation they so desperately need in the years to come.


PAWS' International Captive Wildlife Conference

PAWS will be presenting an extraordinary International Captive Wildlife Conference in November 2014 in Los Angeles. The conference will cover various facets of the captive wildlife industry that affect a variety of animal species, and bring together some of the world's foremost experts and leading voices. And you won't want to miss PAWS' 30th Anniversary gala - part of this memorable weekend for the animals. Watch future PAWS' newsletters for more information. 


2014 Looks To Be An Exciting Year

Stay tuned as we celebrate more milestones, share stories about the lives of the many animals who call PAWS their home, outline future plans, and reveal the many ways you can take part in celebrating our 30-year anniversary!



Last Chance To Donate In 2013!
PAWS' Amanda Blake Memorial Wildlife Refuge, Herald, Calif.

Every Donation Matters!


As you've been reading in this newsletter, you can feel proud to be a part of the PAWS family. Thanks to your support, PAWS is making a huge difference for captive wild animals. There is still time to make a donation and claim an income tax credit for 2013. You can make your year-end, tax-deductible donation to PAWS by contributing online by midnight on December 31, 2013. Or you can send your gift via mail, as long as it is postmarked by the last day of December.


It is because of compassionate friends like you that PAWS is able to give sanctuary to animals like our 11 Asian and African elephants. We are committed to giving each of them the best lives they can have in captivity, including spacious, natural habitats, nutritious food and skilled care - not to mention plenty of love.  


Your tax-deductible gift will help to provide expert daily care, necessary veterinary care, and food for the elephants, tigers, lions, bears, primates, lynx, and other exotic animals who have found safe refuge at PAWS. Every gift matters! Donate here.



A BIG Thank You!

December Amazon Wish List Donors

Emily Marcroft: two safari hats for ARK 2000. Janet Lee: one 40 lb. box of oranges, 25 lbs. of peanuts, one circular saw, two 100-ft. water hoses. Louise Blum: one 40 lb. box of oranges. David Shilmand and Dianne Moggy: two shovels for the elephant barns. JD Fox: Cosequin DS (800 ct.). George Gary Russell: one Xacto knife. Carol Haft: banker boxes; one Milk Thistle; three boxes nitrile gloves. Dr. Julia N. Allen DVM: two Emcelle Tocopherols (liquid Vitamin E) for the elephants; two Cosequin DS (800 ct.). Karen Newman: one Schwinn tire pump for ARK 2000; one bottle Renal Essentials; one Milk Thistle. Cary L. Dier: one bottle Renavast. Sandi Wells: three bottles Renal Essentials. Linda James: one bottle Cosequin DS (132 count). Robert Rozel: one bottle Cosequin DS (132 count). Ruth E. Schmitter: one Hero Go Camera for Dr. Gai; two bottles Renal Essentials. Peggy Buckner: one Psyllium (5 lbs.); one Milk Thistle. Melissa G. Bailey: one pkg. pillow cases for Ferguson the macaque. Mary Nelson: two bottles Azodyl.


Anonymous Donors: one safari hat for PAWS keepers; 10 bags of peanuts.


Other Donations: 
Kaela Palfini (Montage Apartments fundraiser): office printer; miscellaneous food items for the animals in Galt and at ARK 2000; miscellaneous paper items for PAWS office.
View wish list items that are needed, but not listed on the Amazon list, here.

Looking Forward To 2014


PAWS looks forward to 2014 with much hope, and that's because we have such wonderful support from so many caring people.


It is with heartfelt appreciation that we thank: 

  • You, our loyal supporters. We truly could not do what we do without you!
  • Dr. Jackie Gai, PAWS' long-time veterinarian, for her dedication to each and every animal, and for responding anytime, day or night, when a PAWS animal is in need.
  • Our dedicated and talented staff who put their hearts and souls into the care of every animal at PAWS.
  • Our committed volunteers, who are always there for us and for the animals.
  • The wonderful companies and individuals who provide in-kind services that help us help more animals in need.
  • Everyone who made our dreams come true by making a donation via the Amazon Wish List and other giving channels.  

We wish you and yours the very best for the coming new year!


There are many ways you can help PAWS:
Adopt A PAWS Animal
If you would like to help our animals, one of the best ways is to become an "adoptive parent," or give a PAWS adoption as a gift to an animal lover in your life. PAWS adoptions are symbolic adoptions only. No animal will be sent!
PAWS Amazon Wish List
PAWS Partnerships

Help us change the life of a victim of captivity by becoming a PAWS Partner.

PAWS partnerships help support our sanctuary operations and the day-to-day care of the animals.

Estates/Planned Giving
You can help us make sure captive wildlife in need of shelter will always have a PAWS sanctuary to call home!
Donate To PAWS
Three ways to give and every donation matters.

Donate Your Vehicle

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PO Box 849
Galt, CA 95632
(209) 745-2606