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Education and Advocacy

PAWS educates the entertainment industry, public officials, enforcement agencies, the media, and the general public on critical issues related to captive wildlife, performing animals and protection of wild species and habitat.


New PAWS Program

Reaches Out to Academia

PAWS has launched an innovative new program for college-level professors and their students, to be conducted at the 2,300-acre ARK 2000 natural habitat sanctuary in California. As part of "Wild Animals in Captivity: Exploring the Interface Between Humans and Wildlife", students will learn about the captive wild animals we care for, and explore the empirical and ethical issues surrounding captive and wild animals, and how those issues resonate in the larger world today.

This single day program is designed for those interested in social justice, human-animal studies, animal welfare and behavior, conservation, and the contemporary interface of humans and nature. For more information, please contact PAWS Director of Science, Research and Advocacy Catherine Doyle at cdoyle@pawsweb.org.


Book a PAWS Speaker for Your Online Class

If you're looking for a unique way to broaden your students’ online learning experience, PAWS can provide a guest speaker for your college or high school classes. Topics can range from an overview of our sanctuary work to more in-depth discussions of captive wild animal issues, ethics, and care. Available speakers are Catherine Doyle, M.S., Director of Science, Research and Advocacy, and Dr. Jackie Gai, DVM, Director of Veterinary Services.

Contact Catherine at cdoyle@pawsweb.org for more information. Speakers are provided at no charge.


Our e-newsletters inform readers about PAWS and provide updates on PAWS' program activities, advocacy and important captive wildlife issues around the world. View here.

PAWS in the Media
PAWS has been featured on local, national and worldwide television programs and news reports, and in hundreds of newspapers and magazines worldwide, including: Sacramento Bee, San Francisco Chronicle, Contra Costa Times, LA Times, The Wall Street Journal, Entertainment Tonigh, 20/20, The Fine Living Network, The Today Show, Good Morning America, Washington Post, The New York Times, USA Today, HBO, National Geographic, Animal Planet, Extra, NBC Evening News, CBS Tonight, and People Magazine, to name a few.

PAWS has been presenting its International Captive Wildlife Conference every two years since 1992, attracting speakers and attendees from around the world. Our aim is to educate, stimulate critical discussion, and promote action to protect and improve the welfare of captive wildlife. 

Other Affiliations
As founding members of The Association Of Sanctuaries (TAOS) and The Captive Wild Animal Protection Coalition (CWAPC), PAWS is a trusted leader in the formulation and advocacy of humane guidelines for rescue, care, and housing of animals living in captivity. PAWS works cooperatively with a number of leading animal protection organizations and animal care facilities. PAWS is a proud member of the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries.

PAWS’ Advocacy
PAWS has a long history of working to strengthen laws that protect captive wildlife. In 1985 PAWS’ advocacy efforts were instrumental to writing and enacting the California law that bans ownership of wild animals and requires permits to restrict their breeding.

PAWS has also been one of the lead organizations to ensure the ban (in California) of such elephant discipline and training techniques as electric shock, food/water/rest deprivation, and punishment that results in the scarring or breaking of an elephant’s skin. The Department of Fish and Game appointed PAWS Director, Pat Derby, to serve on the Animal Care Advisory Committee, comprised of a panel of experts, created to ensure the humane care and treatment of captive wild animals.

PAWS also monitors the interstate movement of lions, tigers, cougars, leopards, cheetahs, and bears for private use as “pets” and reports illegal activities to regulatory agencies.

Wildlife Classroom to the World
PAWS’ ARK 2000 sanctuary not only offers spacious, natural habitats and humane care for elephants, tigers, and soon, other species, but also serves as an educational and research center.

PAWS works in partnership with the University of California, Davis to collaborate on various humane studies relating to biological sciences, animal science, animal behavior, zoology, animal welfare, and veterinary science. This cooperative program also provides opportunities for PAWS to participate in veterinary students’ training in the humane care of captive wild animals.

PAWS educates the public about energy conservation, conservation of wildlife habitat, and recognition of animals as individuals with a right to peace and dignity.

PAWS also addresses the problems inherent in private ownership of captive wildlife, both by individuals who want an exotic “pet” and by breeders/sellers and traders in captive wildlife parts. We utilize ARK 2000’s research and prominence to examine, understand, and eliminate the roots of this pressing problem, and to communicate our activities, insights, and knowledge to diverse communities, including legislators, others involved in captive wildlife care, the media, and the general public.

The elephant, big cat and bear habitats at ARK 2000 help more than just the animals in our care – they bring immediate and compelling attention to the larger captive wildlife issues.




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

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

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