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Privacy Policy for the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) PAWS assures unambiguously that: (1) PAWS will not trade, share or sell a donor’s personal information with anyone else, nor send donor mailings on behalf of other organizations. (2) In special circumstances, PAWS will only share personal information once the donor has given PAWS specific permission to do so. Read more here.

Since 1984, The Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) has been at the forefront of efforts to rescue and provide appropriate, humane sanctuary for animals who have been the victims of the exotic and performing animal trades. PAWS investigates reports of abused performing and exotic animals, documents cruelty and assists in investigations and prosecutions by regulatory agencies to alleviate the suffering of captive wildlife.


The five elephant habitats at ARK 2000 provide the elephants with hundreds of acres of varied natural terrain to roam, lakes and pools to bathe in, and elephant barns equipped with heated stalls and a indoor therapy pool.
Learn More »




Nicholas and Gypsy:

15 Years at PAWS!

PAWS is celebrating a big anniversary for two of our Asian elephants, Gypsy and Nicholas. They have been a part of the PAWS family for 15 years!

Nicholas (above) and Gypsy were the last two elephants out of a group of 16 Asian elephants being relinquished by their owner, the Hawthorn Corporation, as part of a legal agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The company had trained and leased elephants and tigers to circuses. At the time, PAWS was the only sanctuary to take bull elephants. We were the last hope for Nicholas and Gypsy, who had been housed together. We knew that these elephants deserved to have the best lives possible, after all they had been through.

Read more about Nicholas and Gypsy in our April 2022 newsletter here.

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The Secret Behind

Tigers' Orange Coloring

The tiger habitats at ARK 2000 are designed with the tigers in mind, so they feature an abundance of trees, shrubbery, grass, and other native vegetation. This provides a more natural and stimulating environment as well as privacy for these naturally elusive big cats. When passing by the habitats you may sometimes spot a tiger – like Rosemary and Morris – but at other times they’re harder to find. When you do see a tiger, the bright orange color of their fur clearly stands out.

Read more about tigers in our March 2022 newsletter here.

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African elephant Lulu

Elephants, Importation,

and the Road to PAWS

People often ask us how the elephants we care for came to PAWS. We explain that they were sent to us for a variety of reasons, including government decision, by choice, and by donation. But the real question should be: How did they come to be in captivity in the first place?

Read more about elephants in our February 2022 newsletter here.


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African Elephant Mara:

PAWS' Longest Term Resident

When PAWS rescues a wild animal in need, it is for life. That means we often will be caring for these animals for decades to come. African elephant Mara is the sanctuary’s longest-term, arriving at our Galt sanctuary in January 1990. We're also celebrating her 42nd birthday this year. It’s hard to think that we first met Mara when she was only 10 years old!

Mara remains one of our more colorful personalities, known for her high energy, self-confidence, and a bit of a mischievous streak. She loves to knock down and eat trees, including the bark and leafy branches, which is a what an elephant in the wild naturally does.

Read Mara's story in our January 2022 newsletter here.


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PAWS' co-founder, the late Pat Derby, and African

elephant 71, walking through the hills at ARK 2000. Pat

and Ed rescued 71 in 1986; she was PAWS' founding elephant. 71 died in 2008 - read about her here.

PAWS Co-Founder Pat Derby:

Remembering a Legendary Figure for Captive Wildlife

On February 15, 2013, we mourned the passing of Pat Derby, who co-founded PAWS with partner and PAWS President Ed Stewart. Pat truly was legendary, known for her ferocity in the battle against animal abusers and her relentless drive to end the exploitation of captive wild animals used for entertainment – whether in circuses, film and TV, the exotic “pet” trade, or zoos.

Pat’s early career as a well-known Hollywood animal trainer planted the seeds for her later rescue and advocacy work. No longer able to tolerate the behind-the-scenes abuse of captive wildlife used for film, TV and advertising, Pat wrote a tell-all book, The Lady and Her Tiger (1976). For the first time, the public got an inside look at a shocking world they never even knew existed. This launched her life’s work to educate the public about the suffering of wild animals for entertainment, and to rescue and provide sanctuary for those in need. In 1984, Pat and Ed founded PAWS to fully realize that vision.

PAWS continues this important work under Ed’s able leadership, always working harder and reaching higher in order to change the world for captive wildlife. While she may not have considered herself to be a legend, no one who met Pat could ever forget her and her great passion for animals. She left an indelible mark on the world and our hearts – and she will never be forgotten.

Important note: PAWS practices only “protected contact” management with our animals, which means caregivers do not share the same space with the animals and there is always a barrier between them. This is for the safety of the animals and our caregivers, and it benefits animal welfare.


At PAWS Sanctuaries rescued animals live in peaceful, natural habitats, free from fear, chains, and harsh confinement. They are at complete liberty to act out natural behaviors in the comfort of their individually designed enclosures. PAWS' animals are not bred, traded, sold, rented or forced to perform in any way. PAWS educates the entertainment industry, public officials and the general public in humane care and treatment of captive wildlife.

Through our public awareness campaigns, more and more actively concerned individuals are becoming aware of the problems inherent in the breeding of wildlife in captivity and the use of animals in entertainment. Learn More »



Thank You!


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How Do You Vaccinate a Tiger?
by Jackie Gai, DVM
PAWS Director of Veterinary Services

As a veterinarian who works with wild animals, some of the most common questions I'm asked by people have to do with vaccinating the big cats at PAWS. For example: Do we vaccinate them? What diseases do we vaccinate them against? And finally, how do we administer the vaccines?

At PAWS, we are proud of our comprehensive veterinary program that provides excellent, state-of-the-art medical care tailored to each individual animal's unique needs. One important component of this program focuses on preventative care, including vaccination to protect animals against diseases to which they may be vulnerable. Similar to domestic cats, core vaccines for big cats protect against rabies, distemper, feline calicivirus, and feline viral rhinotracheitis.

Click here to read more about vaccinating a PAWS tiger.


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Five-Year Anniversary of the

Pat Derby Animal Wellness Center

at ARK 2000

On January 25, 2017, we celebrated the opening of the Pat Derby Animal Wellness Center at ARK 2000. Named in honor of the late PAWS co-founder, the 1,800-square-foot facility allows us to provide on-site diagnosis and treatment of animals. The Center is outfitted with state-of-the-art medical equipment and features a conference room and library, surgery suite, pharmacy, office, and large treatment room.

Click here to take a video tour of the Wellness Center.


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Have You Taken the Pledge

to Help Elephants?

PAWS has launched a new campaign called Take the Pledge! to bring attention to the use of elephants for tourism and elephant “encounters” overseas and in the U.S. The only way to stop this form of exploitation is through education and by decreasing demand for these attractions.

Read more about PAWS' "Take the Pledge" campaign here. Click below to sign PAWS' petition on



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Thank you Amazon

"Wish List" Donors


APRIL DONORS - Lissa and Steve Lefler: two 8 oz. bottles of EicosaDerm; one bag of raw sunflower kernels. Carolyn and Charles Anderson: one 3.3 lb. tub of Equithrive Joint Pellets. Jane: two 3.3 lb. tubs of Equithrive Joint Pellets. Robin Vitulle: one bottle of Emcelle Tocopherol Vitamin E. Lynn Bruser: one 3.3 oz. tub of Equithrive Joint Pellets. Tricia Turner: five 8 oz. bottles of EicosaDerm. Diana Harford: one 8 lb. tub of Manna Pro flax seed. Kimberly: one bottle of CosequinDS, 132#. Beverly Archer: three 2 lb. bags of raw shelled almonds. Carole Bognar: one 8 lb. tub of Manna Pro flax seed. Anonymous Donors: two boxes of Procell Duracell AA Batteries; one 8 lb. tub of Manna Pro flax seed.

MARCH DONORS - Jorja Fox: one bag of dried papaya; one bag of dried pineapple; one bag of Pill Pockets, 60#. Hannah (age 6), Hunter (age 8) and Christopher D. Houston: two bags of dried pineapple. J.D.: one 3.3 lb. pail of Equithrive Joint Pellets. Jane: two 3.3 lb. pails of Equithrive Joint Pellets. Rob Lambert: one bottle of AminAvast, 60#; one 8 lb. pail of Manna Pro flax seed. Jocelyn and Michael Swinnie: one 3.3 lb. pail of Equithrive Joint Pellets. Maryann Farmer: one 8 lb. pail of Manna Pro flax seed. Marsha Pelka: one bag of dried papaya; one bag of dried pineapple; one bag of walnuts. Marisa Landsberg: one bottle of AminAvast, 60#; one 12.5 lb. box of popcorn kernels; one bottle of CosequinDS, 132#; one 8 oz. bottle of EicosaDerm. Lynn Bruser: one 3.3 lb. pail of Equithrive Joint Pellets. Valerie Marini: two 8 oz. bottles of Eicosaderm; one bag of dried papaya; three bags of Pill Pockets, 60#. Sherry Piatt: four bags of walnuts. Cary L. Dier: one bag of dried papaya; one 12.5 lb. box of popcorn kernels. Anonymous Donors: one bag of pumpkin seeds; three 8 lb. pails of Manna Pro flax seed; four bags of dried papaya; four bags of almonds; three Denamarin, 30#; three bottles of CosequinDS, 132#.

FEBRUARY DONORS - Lisa Klotz: two 8 oz. bottles of EicosaDerm; one 4 lb. bag of almonds. Amy Lagrone: one bag of dried Papaya. Nancy Perkey: one bottle of CosequinDS, 132#. Eva Herbert: four bottles of AminAvast, 60#. Lynn Bruser: one bottle of AminAvast, 60#. Sandy Gwinner: one box of Danamarin, 30#. Elaine Green: one bottle of AminAvast, 60#. Robert Croft: one box of Denamarin, 30#. Anonymous Donors: two boxes of Denamarin, 30#; two bottles of CosequinDS, 132#; one 8 lb. tub of Simply Flax; one bottle of AminAvast, 60#; two 32 oz. bottles of EicosaDerm.


View wish list items that are needed, but not included on our Amazon list here.



Performing Animal Welfare Society
PO Box 849, Galt, CA 95632

(209) 745-2606 Office/Sanctuary
(209) 745-1809 fax

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