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Meet the Tigers

It costs approximately $18,000 per year to feed and care for one healthy tiger.




How Can You Help A PAWS Tiger?

Donate to our "Support a Rescued Tiger" campaign on Mighty Cause (formerly Razoo).

Click here for more information.

Adopt a PAWS Tiger.* Read about PAWS adoption program here. Adopting a PAWS animal helps us provide nutritious food, veterinarian care and an enriching habitat for your animal — and you’ll have the satisfaction that comes from knowing you’re making a difference in the life of a PAWS animal. 

Annual tiger adoptions $150

Become a PAWS Partner

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Siberian Siblings:


Roy and his sisters Kim and Claire were four months old when they arrived at PAWS. They were born on June 2, 2003, at a now defunct roadside zoo in New Hampshire that constantly bred cubs for photos shoots, other roadside zoos and the exotic pet trade. PAWS was contacted by an animal welfare group asking if we would take the three cubs, and our co-founder, the late Pat Derby, wholeheartedly agreed to provide permanent sanctuary. When the three young tigers arrived at our Galt sanctuary on October 2, 2003, they received a thorough medical exam and were immediately started on a wholesome, nutritious diet. To prevent future breeding, Roy was neutered a few months after arrival. Kim and Claire would later undergo spay surgery. The three cubs moved into a large, grassy enclosure in Galt complete with a custom-built pool. This habitat was their home until March of 2016 when we moved them to a much larger habitat at ARK 2000.

ROY is the largest tiger PAWS has ever rescued. He is tall and lanky, and standing on all fours he is almost as tall as some of our keeper staff! We estimate his weight to be well over 500 pounds. Roy is always watchful and observant, never missing anything going on nearby. He enjoys playing as much as sleeping, and can often be seen stretched out in the grass sound asleep with his "little" sisters. Although he was cautious about passing through doorways for the first few days after the big move, he now feels comfortable and confident. His distinctive crossed eyes and mild curvature of the spine are visible evidence that he is the product of inbreeding, and as a consequence he will always have impaired vision and a tendency toward early arthritis.

KIM is the smallest but most brave of the three tigers. She is always keen to explore new things, and is usually the first to have a look (and sniff) at anything new. Not surprising, Kim walked confidently into the transport cage in Galt - ready for the adventure ahead! During the trip, she rested calmly on a bed of soft hay. Upon arrival at ARK 2000, she strolled out of the cage and into her new den box and made herself right at home. She seems to be thoroughly enjoying the new sights and smells of her new home, and explores the hillside trees, logs, and grass with great relish.

CLAIRE is the most cautious of the trio, and was the last one to walk into the transport cage for her big move. Once in, she seemed accepting of the plan and was calm. When we stopped halfway through the road trip to check on her, Claire peeked back at us from a comfortable position on her bed of hay. Claire is never far from her big brother Roy, and can often be seen lying in the tall grass with him. She loves the grass so much that it is sometimes a challenge to encourage her to come in from the habitat to eat. At meal time PAWS' keeper staff call the tigers in so that they can each be fed in their own den box. This allows each tiger to eat at his or her own pace, without competition, and also allows staff time to clean the habitat. When Claire is called, she walks several steps toward us and then plops down in the grass, luxuriously rolling on her back for a few minutes. Then she gets up, walks a little bit, and plops down to roll again!


From 2011: Watch this video of Roy, Kim and Claire. Click here >>>

In 2016, Siberian tiger siblings Roy, Kim and Claire were moved to a much larger habitat at our 2,300-acre ARK 2000 sanctuary in San Andreas.

Watch a video of their move here >>>



In Memoriam


In Memoriam


The Ohio Trio:


Thirty-two wild and exotic animals were removed from a failing facility in Ohio — forced to close its doors due to lower-than-expected donations and tougher regulations. As Ohio was getting ready to implement a new law that prohibited the private ownership of exotic animals, one animal facility near Columbus, found the harsh realities of exotic animal care too much. Faced with having its license revoked by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) due to unsafe enclosures, the facility chose to find new homes for its animals. In this situation, the owner did the right thing by reaching out for assistance when the financial stress became too much.

In April of 2012, the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS) was asked to lead a team of wild-animal professionals seeking to find homes and safe and healthy transportation for the 32 orphaned animals. The first order of business was to find willing and appropriate facilities that maintained the necessary standards. This effort relied on a number of organizations coming together to provide resources and funds. There was a great deal of coordination among facilities. All animals were required to undergo a veterinary check-up to ensure that they were fit enough for the journey and to protect other animals they would come into contact with. Vets were called in to perform physical exams, including blood work, parasite exams, dental inspections, and other procedures that required tranquilization. While under sedation, the animals were loaded onto trailers that were equipped to keep the animals comfortable and safe during transport.

Three of the tigers, Zeus, Jake and Apollo, came to PAWS. The tigers arrived at our ARK 2000 sanctuary in June, 2012. Brothers Zeus and Apollo lived in our tiger habitat at ARK 2000 until Zeus' death on October 29, 2018. Jake passed away in February 2018.

Jake was born on 6/23/2001

Apollo and Zeus were born in May 2002.


JAKE: IN MEMORIAM (6/23/2001 - 2/19/2018)

Active and playful, Jake thoroughly enjoyed the grass, trees, logs, and large habitat at ARK 2000. When he had a sudden bout of illness in early 2016, PAWS' veterinarians diagnosed kidney disease and arthritis. Once he began receiving special supplements and medications for these conditions, he quickly bounced back to health and continued to be active and happy. In late January Jake's appetite began to decrease, and after performing a comprehensive physical exam under anesthesia our veterinarians discovered that his kidneys were failing. Throughout his illness, Jake remained friendly and cooperative, taking his medicines well and enjoying the extra TLC provided by caregivers. When Jake’s condition continued to decline, and it was clear that his kidney disease was not responding to treatment, the most difficult but compassionate decision was made to gently euthanize him to prevent future suffering. He passed from this life on February 19th, surrounded by the love of many who cared for him. Jake was almost 17 years old at the time of his passing and will be tremendously missed.




The Colton Tigers:


In April 2003, government officials executed a search warrant on a "pseudo-sanctuary" operated under the name Tiger Rescue in Colton, California. During the search of the owner's residence, officials discovered 90 dead tiger carcasses, including 58 baby tigers dead in a freezer. Thirteen other cats were found barely alive. The State of California seized control of "Colton Tiger Rescue" where 54 big cats remained. Criminal charges were brought against the owner.

The healthiest of the cats were transferred to sanctuaries around the country. PAWS agreed to take the remaining 39 tigers. After rehabilitation, enormous volunteer support, and a massive fundraising effort to construct 10 acres of habitat at PAWS' ARK 2000 sanctuary, the tigers were transferred to ARK 2000 in what was the biggest tiger rescue the U.S. had ever seen. A group of volunteers with large horse trailers were enlisted; each trailer would carry two or three caged tigers on the trip. The tigers were moved in groups of six to eight per trip, for a total of six trips that took place over an eight month period. The first tigers arrived late June of 2004 with the last group arriving in February of 2005.


Remembering the following Colton tigers who are no longer with us: Amelia, Artemis, Boebie, Charlotte, Cherokee, Claude, Couch, Erica, Emily, Fluffy, Ginger, Grace, Gus, Hammer, Jay Logan, Jesus, Lily, Majesty, Matahari, Masala, Miss Kitty, McGuire, Mookie, Pat Jr., Patty, Peja, Pele, PK, Quiggle, Ray Charles, Ravi, Rex, Rodney, Spanky, Sunita, Willie, Winston.



The Colton Tiger Rescue 10th Anniversary

June 2014 marked a monumental event for PAWS - the 10th anniversary of the arrival of the first of 39 tigers to ARK 2000, from the defunct, pseudo-sanctuary called Tiger Rescue in Colton, California. PAWS has been challenged, changed and strengthened as a result of accepting these very needy tigers, and providing them a permanent, safe, and healthy home.


Read our report here >>>



39 Tigers: A video documentary by William Nimmo, founder of "Tigers in America". Click on the photo below to watch.









Rosemary Arnot



The Colorado Eight:



More than 100 animals needed immediate placement in new homes after a roadside zoo in Colorado closed. Several reputable sanctuaries throughout the U.S. stepped up to provide lifetime care for the animals from this rescue, with PAWS accepting eight tigers.

The zoo made money by offering the public the opportunity to hold tiger and bear cubs for a fee. To ensure a steady supply of cubs for photo and "play" sessions, tigers and bears on the property were constantly bred, producing litter after litter. Cubs were forcibly removed from their mothers soon after birth, so they could be bottle-fed and handled by people. Cubs who are removed from their mothers at birth miss out on important antibodies that they should be receiving from mother' s milk, and as a result their weakened immune systems leave them completely vulnerable to deadly infections. Cubs that managed to survive this horrifying start to their lives quickly grew too big to be handled, and were immediately put into the breeding population to create even more cubs. This hellish, self-perpetuating cycle is found wherever tiger and bear cubs are subjected to public handling.

As we welcomed these new tigers into sanctuary, we celebrated their symbolic rebirth into a life where they will be treated with respect and where their dignity and individual needs will be honored. Former, and sometimes derogatory, names were changed to reflect their new life. The Colorado Eight are:

  • Marin, 19-year-old female
  • Pharaoh, 15-year-old male
  • Sawyer, 10-year-old female
  • Bigelow, Nimmo and Wilhelm, 7-year-old brothers
  • Morris, 6-year-old male
  • Rosemary Arnot, 6-year-old female





*PLEASE NOTE: Adoptions are in name 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

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