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In Memoriam

Pat Derby, Founder
Pat Derby’s advocacy for animals developed more than 35 years ago when she began working with captive wildlife in movies and television commercials.  While working on television series such as Gunsmoke, Lassie, Daktari, and Flipper, she witnessed the neglect and abuse prevalent in animal training.  Determined to initiate better standards of care and handling for performing animals, Pat chronicled her adventures in a Book-of-the-Month Club autobiography, The Lady and Her Tiger.  The first exposé of the treatment of performing animals, The Lady and Her Tiger won an American Library Association Award in 1976.

Pat met Ed Stewart in 1976 and the two spent the next few years promoting Pat’s book with television appearances on the Today Show, theTonight Show, The Merv Griffin Show and other national media outlets.  After extensive lecture tours for national humane societies, the two were persuaded to form their own organization to protect performing animals and captive wildlife.  They formed the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) in 1984.

In 1985, Pat and Ed moved to Galt, a small northern California town south of Sacramento.  They immediately began lobbying for state standards for the care of captive wildlife.  That year their first bill, AB 1620, was signed into law.  Because of the critical need for experienced care providers for abused and abandoned captive wildlife, PAWS opened the Galt sanctuary that year.

As a recognized expert on the care of captive wildlife, Pat has testified before Congress twice and has served on several state committees setting standards for the care and handling of elephants and other exotic species.  Her second book, In the Presence of Elephants, was published in 1995.

See other PAWS officers and directors

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

(209) 745-2606 office/shelter
(209) 745-1809 fax

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