Home    |    Contact Us    |    Site Map    |     Shopping Cart  
Return to Home Page Make a Donation to PAWS
Adopt an Animal
Become a Partner




Meet the Other Species





In Memoriam


OWEN (Bobcat, Lynx rufus)

PAWS is sad to announce the passing of bobcat Owen. This special cat was born in 2002 and purchased as a small kitten to be a "pet." Not much is known about his early life, but it is certain that he was not fed properly, as Owen’s skeleton did not develop normally. Metabolic bone disease is a common syndrome in young captive exotic animals who are fed a diet that lacks the proper vitamins and nutrients necessary for normal development. This nutritional deficiency often results in irreparable damage to developing animals, causing pain and disability throughout their lives.

In 2015, Owen was confiscated from private owners in California, where bobcat ownership is illegal. He was found in a small, filthy cage, in distress and unable to keep himself clean. When PAWS was contacted by authorities immediately after Owen's confiscation, we wholeheartedly agreed to offer him a permanent home at our sanctuary. Because of the nature of the confiscation, authorities asked us to keep his presence a secret until the legal case was resolved. He lived at our Galt sanctuary for five years in a "witness protection program" of sorts, until moving to our ARK 2000 sanctuary in the summer of 2020.

Owen enjoyed exploring his large habitat full of fallen logs, tall grasses, oak trees, and a climbing structure with a pool. He was excellent at hiding, blending into his surroundings perfectly.

Owen's history of metabolic bone disease caused him to develop arthritis early in life, aging his body long before his time. PAWS' veterinarian, Dr. Gai, diagnosed his condition from X-rays taken during his first anesthetized physical exam, soon after he arrived in Galt, and she prescribed medications and supplements to help ease any discomfort he was experiencing as a result of his condition. When he later began to develop chronic kidney disease, another ailment that is all too common in older cats, additional medications were added to help keep him comfortable. Caregivers creatively hid his medications in favorite foods, and they enjoyed building elevated ramps, platforms, and cozy nests that were easy for him to use and which allowed him to safely and comfortably view the activities of the sanctuary.

In early October 2021, caregivers noticed that Owen's appetite was declining, and he was not able to groom himself normally. An anesthetized examination revealed that his kidney disease had progressed, and his arthritis had also worsened, now affecting almost every joint in his body. Owen had become frail in body, but his spirit and mind were still strong. He rallied for a short time after his exam, but soon it became apparent that multiple medical conditions had taken an irreversible toll on him. The heart-wrenching but most compassionate decision was made to perform euthanasia, to prevent him from suffering. Owen passed from this life at the age of 19, surrounded by many who loved him. His toughness, his playfulness, his piercing gaze, and his wiggling tail made indelible impressions on our hearts and he will be greatly missed by all who knew this very special bobcat.




In Memoriam


Farewell to Longtime Friend,

Black Leopard Alexander


When the late PAWS co-founder, Pat Derby, received a call from the Houston SPCA saying they needed emergency placement for a black leopard, they weren't exaggerating. According to the shelter director, the big cat was "eating his way to the poodles" after spending seven months in a facility that was designed to hold domestic cats and dogs, not leopards!


Alexander was born in April 1998 and purchased as a cub by a Texas family who kept him as a "pet." After the family had two run-ins with authorities, including an incident where Alexander clawed a toddler, he was confiscated by animal control officers. PAWS agreed to provide a lifetime home, and Alexander arrived at our Galt sanctuary in March 1999. He was named after PAWS’ friends Nanci and Leslie Alexander, former owners of the Houston Rockets. 


Alexander lived at our original Galt sanctuary until Mrs. Audrey Steele Burnand and her family surprised us with an extraordinarily generous donation that enabled PAWS to construct a new habitat for him at ARK 2000. Moving Alexander to San Andreas was Pat Derby’s dream come true. PAWS President Ed Stewart recalls, “Alex was one of the first animals on Pat’s daily early morning greeting tour in Galt. He would drop out of the old plum tree each day and bound over to her when she approached. Everyone (animals and humans) knew everything was going to be okay when they heard Pat’s voice. While Alexander’s Galt enclosure was lush, Pat always wanted a huge space for him complete with a pool and lots of trees and hiding places. When she was in hospice care she could see the construction progressing on Alexander’s wonderful new home from our house. He arrived a few months after Pat passed away. Now I look across to Alex’s hilltop home and think of both of them."


Alexander moved into his new home in May 2013, a large hillside habitat with shady oak trees to nap under and open, grassy areas where he could sunbathe. Caregiver Larry, who took care of him in Galt, remembers how sunlight revealed the spots under the leopard’s dark coat. From just the right angle, they looked iridescent. Alexander was a most handsome leopard indeed.


Alexander loved lounging on his elevated platform, and from his perch he had a wonderful vista, including the elephants foraging in their habitat across the road. He thoroughly enjoyed rolling and "chasing" the pumpkins given to him every fall. He would roll onto his back and rabbit-kick his toys and often pounce on a hay pile with his tongue sticking out. Caregiver Renae recollects his love for fresh lavender sprigs, the scent of which made him drool in absolute bliss. Alexander would “purr” and chirp like a bird when he was happy, and his playful antics brought us great joy.


As Alexander aged, he developed arthritis in his left shoulder and elbow. In addition to medications and supplements to support joint health, PAWS Director of Veterinary Services Dr. Jackie Gai prescribed physical therapy in the form of walks around his large habitat, accompanied by a caregiver on the outside of the fence. Many of us will always fondly remember our walks with Alexander. 


Like many elderly cats, Alexander developed kidney disease. Supplements to support kidney function helped him greatly, and he continued to thrive for another three years after his diagnosis. In early April, Alexander's health took a sudden, dramatic, and irreversible turn for the worse, and the heart-wrenching but most compassionate decision was made to euthanize him. Alex passed from this life on April 1st, surrounded by many who loved him. He left a lasting impression on the hearts of all who knew him, including many PAWS supporters, and he will be missed always.


We once again thank Mrs. Burnand and her family for the wonderful life they provided for Alexander at ARK 2000. We are forever grateful for their friendship and support.  


View video of Alexander's move to ARK 2000, here.



$100 Annual Adoption*


GEORGETTE (Emu, Dromaius novaehollandiae)

In late December 2016, residents of the California foothill community of Valley Springs began reporting sightings of an emu running loose in their town. On a rainy morning in early January, after more than a week of roaming through local neighborhoods, yards and pastures, Calaveras County Animal Services (CCAS) received word that the big bird had wandered into an enclosed maintenance yard near New Hogan Lake. It took three hours to finally corral and gently herd the bird into a horse trailer.

PAWS agreed to provide a home at our Amanda Blake Memorial Wildlife Refuge in Herald, California. "Georgette", as she is now called, arrived at the refuge in late January, and now lives with a flock of 10 emus and two Simitar Horned Oryx in a very large enclosed pasture area filled with trees, grass, natural vegetation, covered shelters and a winding creek.


$100 Annual Adoption*

MOJO (Muntjac, Muntiacus spp.)

One of the shyest residents at our Galt sanctuary is Mojo, an Indian (or Common) muntjac. Mojo arrived in the summer of 2007, an illegal pet confiscated by a nearby county animal control agency. Mojo was estimated to be about 7 years old when he arrived.


Wild muntjac live in forests and dense vegetation in many parts of Asia where they are hunted for their flesh and skin, and killed as “nuisances” due to their appetite for eating tree bark. Muntjac are sold in the U.S. in the exotic pet trade for $1200 - $2000. In the early 18th century, exotic Reeve’s muntjac were released into England for hunting. This invasive population is expanding, and sadly, many are killed every year by hunters, hit by cars, and again as nuisances for their love of eating rosebuds and other flowers.


These dainty deer are only 18-20 inches tall and weigh 15-25 pounds. Muntjac have a delicate digestive system, eating grasses, leaves, and tender shoots in the wild. Our dedicated keepers feed Mojo a balanced mixture of hay, pellets, vegetables, and hand-selected tender, leafy branches. Also known as the “barking deer”, muntjac are constantly alert for predators and emit a loud, piercing bark when they feel threatened. Their constant state of vigilance and special dietary requirements make them difficult to care for properly, and they are illegal to own in most states without a permit.


Mojo spends his days grazing in his grassy enclosure, nibbling on tender willow branches, and lying in the sunny grass or under the shade of his trees. At night, he sleeps in his own cozy, straw-bedded shelter. Skittish and suspicious when he first came to PAWS, now he is friendly and inquisitive and looks forward to visits from the keepers to see what delicious leaves and branches they bring.








*PLEASE NOTE: Adoptions are symbolic only. The animal does not actually go home with you. Donations made via animal adoption are used for the care, feeding and maintenance of the animals.

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

209/745-2606 office/sanctuary
209/745-1809 fax

Privacy Policy    |    Terms of Use