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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.

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 provides 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 »

Goats are part of PAWS' comprehensive fire prevention plan.


Goats at ARK 2000?

Yes, there are goats at ARK 2000, and lots of them. We "kid" you not! On the day these photos were taken more than a hundred goats were inside the Bob Barker Bear Habitat and on the hillsides near the tiger and lion habitats. (But don't worry, the bears, tigers and lions are safely separated from the goats.)

While we agree that the goats are pretty adorable, their purpose is quite serious: they are part of our comprehensive fire prevention plan.

Each year we bring in several herds of goats as a natural and environmentally friendly way to remove weeds and keep both animals and sanctuary staff safe. The goats munch away the dry vegetation, removing fuel for a potential fire, and they can reach areas where mowers and tractors cannot go. They spend months on the PAWS property, guarded by dogs like the Great Pyrenees and others. Professional goat herders set up portable perimeter fencing to contain the goats, and they monitor the animals throughout the day to assure their safety and well-being.

We also use tractors and mowers to cut firebreaks throughout the property, we've many drilled wells around the sanctuary, and we store extra water in huge towers. Several years ago, PAWS purchased its own fire truck.

Fire prevention is paramount for PAWS and is also extremely expensive. Each year we spend thousands of dollars on the equipment, fuel and man hours involved in the cutting of firebreaks, not to mention the expense we incur for the goats - nearly $40,000 per year!

Please consider making a special donation to PAWS today to help offset these important and necessary fire prevention efforts. Thank you.



Goats are an environmentally friendly way to remove dry vegetation, eliminating the fuel for a potential fire. They can reach areas were mowers and tractors cannot go. They also cost PAWS more than $40,000 each year!


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Veterinary Care For Elephants In A

Protected Contact Management System

By Jackie Gai, DVM

Performing Animal Welfare Society Veterinarian

The topic of elephant handling and training has become part of the national dialog on elephant care in light of a wave of legislative action banning the use of the elephant bullhook in progressive cities across the country, and, now, in California with SB 716, the bill that will ban the bullhook statewide.

One of the claims made by proponents of the circus-style training system known as "free contact," which relies on use of the bullhook to control elephants, is that elephants in free contact receive better veterinary care than those in "protected contact" management, which is what we practice at PAWS. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

I have worked with elephants in both free and protected contact, and have a broad base of experience in caring for them. So I welcome this opportunity to share with you information about PAWS' comprehensive program of veterinary care for the elephants living at the ARK 2000 sanctuary.

Read Dr. Jackie Gai's complete report here.


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Click on the photo above to watch Asian elephant Gypsy dust and roll in a fresh pile of dirt.

"Elephants Love Dirt"

PAWS spends a lot of money each month on dirt. That probably seems like an odd statement coming from an organization with a 2,300 acre sanctuary, but every month we bring in truckloads of fresh soft earth for the elephants. PAWS co-founder, the late Pat Derby, used to call dirt a magic elixir for elephants. After you watch this short video of Asian elephant Gypsy we think you'll understand why!

Gypsy had just been given a bath outside of the barn, and instead of walking out into her habitat she chose to come inside, where earlier a fresh pile of dirt had been dumped in one of the stalls. She dusts and rolls and then finishes off with a "loofah" (aka street sweeper brush) treatment before heading back outside.

Please consider donating to our "elephants love dirt" fund.


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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 Remembers Pat Derby

It's hard to believe it's been two years since the passing of PAWS co-founder Pat Derby, who died on February 15, 2013, after battling cancer. Pat’s indomitable spirit and passionate drive continues to guide us in everything we do today, from animal care to advocacy. Pat co-founded PAWS with Ed Stewart, who continues to lead and build the organization, so that wild animals used in entertainment have a true advocate and a place of safety and sanctuary.

Once a famous exotic animal trainer in Hollywood, Pat saw that animals were suffering and dying for people’s entertainment. This is what led her to write her tell-all book, The Lady and Her Tiger, which exposed the dark side of animal training in the entertainment industry. She knew that trainers never abused the animals in front of everyone on a film set – it always happened in private. Animals were sometimes savagely beaten so a trainer could assure a quick and consistent performance once the cameras were rolling. Though many people in the entertainment industry knew what was happening, Pat was the first to take action and inform the public of the real price that animals pay for their entertainment.

“The work that Pat started over 30 years ago is more vital than ever,” said Ed Stewart, recalling how he and Pat carefully documented the horrific lives of animals used in live entertainment, especially circuses, and started the worldwide effort to end their suffering. “Pat started the war on circuses that use wild animals. She was THE voice for lions and tigers in tiny traveling cages and elephants chained by their legs in trucks and railroad cars,” said Stewart. “Pat Derby was proud to be ‘enemy number one’ to the circus industry.”

Unfortunately, turning a blind eye to the suffering that animals endure for entertainment continues today in film and beyond – from orcas to elephants, from TV advertisements to roadside zoos to circuses and elephant rides. Under Ed Stewart’s strong direction PAWS is tackling these issues and advocating for captive exotic and wild animals – just as Pat wished. She believed in not only giving animals sanctuary, but vigorously opposing the powerful industries that exploit them, something PAWS continues to do. We educate the public, work to pass key legislation, and use the media to spread the word about the cruel training and use of elephants, big cats, bears, nonhuman primates and other wild animals who suffer a lifetime for a few moments of “entertainment.”

Pat was a remarkable woman, a fearless warrior for the animals who made a real difference for captive wildlife. Everything she did was for the animals – and we continue to honor her legacy each and every day.

The following videos were created in honor of Pat Derby and shown during the PAWS 30th Anniversary Gala and the International Captive Wildlife Conference in November 2014.

The early years. (click on the picture to play video.)

It had to begin with elephants. (click on the picture to play video.)


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 »

PAWS Advocacy Updates and

Ways You Can Take Action for Animals

When PAWS President Ed Stewart and the late Pat Derby founded PAWS in 1984, it was the only animal organization with a comprehensive captive wildlife program. Ed shot some of the first-ever undercover video exposing the abuse of elephants in circuses, showing elephants buckling under the blow of the bullhook.

Many people know PAWS primarily for our work in providing sanctuary for captive wildlife in need, but advocacy is a critical part of our mission. Without it, we would never see an end to the suffering of wild animals used in entertainment, roadside zoos, and those kept as exotic "pets."

Read about PAWS' advocacy work below.


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San Francisco Bans

Wild Animal Performances

San Francisco is officially the largest U.S. city to ban all performances by wild or exotic animals. The ordinance, which was unanimously passed by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, has been formally adopted. Supervisor Katy Tang introduced the measure.

PAWS is proud to have contributed to this very important effort, which was spearheaded by the League of Humane Voters - California. Ed Stewart spoke at the Public Safety Committee meeting early in April, encouraging members to support this important action.

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For PAWS, banning the bullhook is personal. We've seen its terrible mark left on the elephants who arrive at our sanctuary.



Legislation Update:

SB 716 Awaits Governor's Signature!

California Closes In On Being First

State To Ban The Bullhook

We are almost at the finish line! California is on the verge of becoming the first state to ban the cruel bullhook. On Thursday, August 27, the Assembly passed SB 716 with a vote of 69 to 8. The bill, spearheaded by Senator Ricardo Lara and Assemblymember Rob Bonta, passed the Senate with a 28-8 concurrence vote on Aug. 31, and has now been sent to Governor Brown for his signature.

PAWS is proud to be a key sponsor of SB 716, together with The Humane Society of the United States and the Oakland Zoo. We also thank Jennifer Fearing for her leadership and direction, as PAWS testified at hearings and walked the halls of the Capitol urging legislators to support this key elephant protection bill.

The bullhook is a weapon resembling a fireplace poker, with a sharpened steel tip and hook at the end. Handlers forcefully prod, hook and strike elephants on sensitive parts of their bodies to dominate and control them through pain and fear. It is an archaic and inhumane device that has no place in the modern world.

Today, a modern and humane elephant management method known as protected contact allows keepers to provide excellent husbandry care and veterinarians to safely render necessary medical treatment - all without the use of intimidation and painful punishment.

The times are changing, thanks to a dramatic evolution in public opinion on the use and treatment of wild animals in entertainment. Nearly 50 local jurisdictions across the U.S. are regulating the use of performing wild animals, and more are joining those ranks.

PAWS thanks our many celebrity friends who signed on to letters in support of SB 716, and to all the Californians who have taken action by contacting their elected officials. We are close to making history with an unprecedented protection of elephants in California!


Above: Senator Ricardo Lara addresses the crowd

at a rally for the elephants held in Sacramento.


Elephant Protection Bill AB 96

Assembly Bill 96, introduced by Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins and co-authored by Senator Ricardo Lara, would ban the sale of ivory and rhino horns in California.

Current Status: Passed in the Assembly. Now in the state Senate. Cleared Appropriations Committee on Aug.27. It now awaiting the full Senate vote. Californian's — please contact your senator and urge a YES vote. Find your representative here.

There is no time to waste if we are to protect wild elephants and rhinos - and that includes taking decisive action here at home. These iconic animals are being poached at alarming rates: An average of 96 elephants are killed each day in Africa, and more than 1,000 rhinos out of a remaining 29,000 in the wild were poached in South Africa in 2014 alone - all for the sake of expensive trinkets and symbols of social status. Unless action is taken now, these animals are headed toward extinction.

California is the second largest market for the sale of illegal ivory in the United States, and these sales are estimated to have doubled over the past eight years. AB 96 would put a stop to that. As a key supporter of this bill, PAWS has mobilized concerned citizens to contact their elected officials, and attended committee hearings and stated organizational support for the bill, among other efforts. PAWS will be alerting you to actions you can take to help pass this critical bill.

Please support this important part of PAWS' programs for the animals by making a donation today!


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Top Hollywood Celebrities

Urge Support for California Bill AB 96

to Protect Wild Elephants and Rhinos from Slaughter

Some of Hollywood's most famous celebrities partnered with PAWS to lend their star power and support to AB 96, the bill that would prohibit the sale of ivory and rhino

horns in California. More than a dozen entertainment movers and shakers signed a letter of support that was sent to California Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins and Senator Ricardo Lara, who co-authored AB 96. The

letter's signatories include:

TV's Parks and Recreation star Aziz Ansari; Academy Award-winning actress Kim Basinger; Emmy Award-winning television legend Bob Barker; Actress Kristen Bauer van Straten of HBO's True Blood; Actress Jorja Fox of TV's CSI: Crime Scene Investigation; Writers and producers Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes; Celebrity chef and author Courtney McBroom; Actor Ross McCall of Band of Brothers; Celebrity jewelry designer Kimberly McDonald; Actor and comedian Kevin Nealon; Manager/Partner Radius Entertainment Oren Segal; Award-winning actress, comedian and producer Lily Tomlin; Award-winning director and actress Betty Thomas, Hill Street Blues

An estimated 96 elephants are killed for their tusks each day in Africa, and more than 1,000 rhinos out of a remaining 29,000 in the wild were poached in South Africa in 2014 alone. AB 96 would close a loophole that prevents the effective enforcement of existing California law prohibiting the sale of ivory and would also prohibit the sale of rhino horns. California is the second largest market for the sale of illegal ivory in the United States, and these sales are estimated to have doubled over the past eight years.

Read the letter here.

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Thank You! - August 2015

Amazon "Wish List" Donors

Patricia Connelly: Lincoln Bulldog 5500 Portable Welder; four 30 lb. bags of Blue Buffalo dry dog food; one Husqvarna lawn mower; four bottles 90# Renal Essentials; one case of copy paper; one 15 lb. bag of Natural Balance dry cat food. Cynthia Kendall: one case (30 rolls) of paper towels; one square head shovel; one metal wire rack shelving unit; five containers of Gatorade; one box of #10 window envelopes. Joe Greenhalgh: two 800# bottles of CosequinDS. Suzanne Hall-Whitney: one 5 lb. bag of Missing Link Ultimate Equine Skin & Coat. Alison Harapat: one 40-lb. case of oranges donated in honor of Karin Loucks birthday; 50 lbs. of unpopped popcorn. Carol Wexler: one 5 lb. bag of Missing Link Ultimate Equine Skin & Coat; one 8 lb. tub of Manna Pro Ground Flax Seed; one 10 lb. box of unsalted peanuts. Joseph Hahnz: one 5 lb. tub of Psyllium; one 5 lb. bag of Missing Link Ultimate Skin & Coat; one 8 lb. tub of Manna Pro Ground Flax Seed. Maggie M. Rufo: one container of Gatorade; one box of Nitrile gloves. Sharon K. Niel: one 10 lb. bag of Missing Link Ultimate Equine Skin and Coat; two 5 lb. bags of Missing Link Ultimate Equine skin and coat; one container of Gatorade; one 10 lb. box of unsalted peanuts; one bottle 90# Azodyl. Betty Thomas: one 30 lb. bag of Blue Buffalo dry dog food; one 10 lb. bag of Missing Link; Equine Skin and Coat; one 8 lb. tub of Manna Pro Ground Flax Seed; one 5 lb. bag of Missing Link Ultimate Skin and Coat; one bottle 132# CosequinDS; one bottle 250# Cosequin DS; one bottle 800# CosequinDS; one bottle 90# Azodyl. Eileen Bosch:one 10 lb. box of unsalted peanuts; one gallon Chlorhexidine solution; one 32 oz. Wheat Germ; one 10 lb. bag of Missing Link Ultimate Equine Skin and Coat; one bottle 90# Azodyl; one bottle 90# Renal Essentials; one 30 lb. bag of Blue Buffalo dry dog food; one 5 lb. bag of Missing Link Ultimate Skin & Coat; one 5 lb. tub of Psyllium; one bottle 132# CosequinDS. Janelle M. Ceped: one 10 lb. box of unsalted peanuts. Cheryl Drayer: one 10 lb. bag of Missing Link Ultimate Equine Skin and Coat; one 5 lb. bag of Missing Link Ultimate Skin and Coat. Elizabeth A. Weaver: one 90# bottle of Renal Essentials; one 10 lb. bag of Missing Link Ultimate Equine Skin and Coat; one 5 lb. bag of Missing Link Ultimate Skin and Coat. Cindy Jarrold: one 30 lb. bag of Blue Buffalo dry dog food. Anita M. Bunter: one bottle of Renal Essentials. Carol Bognar: one bottle of Renal Essentials. Kemper Roach Conwell: one 10 lb. bag of Missing Link Ultimate Equine Skin and Coat. Amaya and JuJu Smith (7 yrs. old): one 40 lb. box of oranges. Karen P. Wayment: one 30 lb. bag of Blue Buffalo dry dog food; one tub of Manna Pro Ground Flax Seed; one bottle 90# Renal Essentials. Scott Gil: one package of Kirkland photo paper. Anonymous Donors: one 5 lb. tub of Buggzo; two cases of bleach; one 5 lb. bag of Missing Link Ultimate Skin and Coat; one 10 lb. bag of Missing Link Ultimate Equine Skin and Coat.



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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