PAWS Celebrates 5-Year Anniversary
of Ben the Bear's Arrival
This year marks five years since Ben, a hybrid black bear, arrived at PAWS' ARK 2000 sanctuary. He is the only one of our bears who can claim to have been transported to PAWS via "Bear Force One," courtesy of FedEx!
Ben came from Jambbas Ranch Tours in North Carolina, where he was confined in a small and barren cement-floored cage for six long years, just so tourists could gawk at him. Bears are intelligent, curious and active animals, yet Ben was unable to do anything that wild bears naturally do, such as climb, forage or explore. His only source of enrichment was an old bowling ball and a few decrepit stumps of wood. Ben spent his time repetitively pacing in his cage - a sign of chronic stress and boredom.

Click on the arrow above to watch the Animal Legal Defense Fund's video of Ben's rescue.


Ben enjoys a frozen fruit and berry treat made especially for him by his caretakers at PAWS.

Thanks to efforts by the Animal Legal Defense Fund, PETA and concerned citizens, Ben was finally freed from his miserable cage and readied for transfer to ARK 2000. Upon hearing Ben's story, FedEx agreed to fly him to California, dubbing the plane "Bear Force One." When Ben was released into his new sanctuary home, it was likely the first time he had ever felt grass beneath his feet.

Today, Ben explores a spacious enclosure in the Bob Barker Bear Habitat where space is measured in acres, not feet. He enjoys searching for favorite foods that his caretakers hide for him, including watermelon, apples and berries. His enclosure is filled with shady trees, natural vegetation, grass, and a pool that Ben loves to swim in year round. Sadly, Ben had been declawed, so it is harder for him to engage in certain bear behaviors, such as tearing apart logs to root out insects. Nevertheless, he is an easy-going and responsive bear who has grown confident in his surroundings.
Ben enjoys a sunflower andpeanut butter treat.
PAWS is pleased to report that Jambbas Ranch Tours is no longer open to the public. The anniversary of Ben's arrival reminds us that there are other bears who still suffer in horrific conditions in roadside attractions, cruelly forced to perform ridiculous tricks in traveling shows, and bred for cub petting operations where the cubs are discarded after they become larger and more dangerous to handle. Thanks to your support, PAWS is there to provide safe refuge for bears like Ben and other wild animals in need.
Please consider making a special donation to PAWS in honor of Ben's anniversary by clicking here.

Ben in his habitat at ARK 2000.

More About Bears:  An Update on Mack
Last August, PAWS welcomed a new sanctuary resident: Mack (right), a young black bear who lost part of his right rear leg, possibly in a trapper's snare. Normally, wild bear cubs remain with their mothers until about two years of age. But at only a few months old, Mack was pathetically begging for food from people, and was eventually captured by authorities. Mack now lives in a specially adapted, large grassy enclosure at our Galt sanctuary, where this energetic young bear can safely climb, dig, forage or curl up in his cozy den.
It didn't take long for Mack to get comfortable in his new surroundings. He especially loves the fountain-like stream of water that his keepers set up for him in his pool. In fact, Mack's antics made him an Internet sensation this year, with a video (below) of his enthusiastic splashing shared on countless media outlets around the world.

Mack's life today is a far cry from his early days, which almost certainly were filled with pain, loneliness, fear and desperation. Today he is loved and cared for each and every day. . . and he continues to splash away in his pool!
Our dream is to one day create a new area at the ARK 2000 sanctuary, with specialized habitats for our older bears and special needs bears like Mack. These habitats would be more easily navigable, provide additional comforts, and allow each bear to more fully enjoy life. The existing habitats could then be filled with even more bears in need. 

In Memoriam:  PAWS Bids Farewell to
Paka Serval and Cinnamon Bear
We are saddened to share the news that two of our older, long-term sanctuary residents have passed away. Although both were considered elderly, and lived a good long life with us, it is always hard to say goodbye to animals that have been such a big part of our daily lives.
Paka came to live at PAWS' Galt sanctuary in 2000 as a young cat. She had been relinquished anonymously to an animal shelter in Santa Clara, California, by someone who claimed to have found her running along a busy freeway. In reality, she was most likely someone's illegal pet. She arrived at PAWS malnourished, loaded with parasites, and most tragically, had been declawed on all four feet.
Paka flourished at PAWS with a nutritious diet, expert care, and a habitat with grass, trees, and structures to climb on. Small but feisty wild cats, servals are naturally found throughout wetlands and savannah areas in Africa where they hunt prey by hiding in tall grass and leaping into the air to snatch birds in flight. Paka could often be found stalking bugs or anything that moved, and she was also fond of curling up inside a large straw-filled tub (above) for a nap. One of her favorite people was our co-founder, the late Pat Derby, who would speak gently and affectionately to Paka, causing her to drool (a sure sign of pleasure!) and rub her head along the fence in response.
Paka succumbed to kidney failure on August 11th, after a brief illness. She was a beloved member of the PAWS family and we will miss her beautiful face and spitfire personality. She was estimated to be 17 years old.
Cinnamon, a female black bear, came to PAWS in 2003 along with three other bears, Sampson, Oma, and Scarface (now deceased). The four bears had been confiscated by authorities and were housed temporarily at the Houston SPCA before coming to PAWS. Prior to their removal, all four bears were part of a small, drive-through roadside exhibit where they lived in horrendous conditions. The owner of the dilapidated facility was cited for numerous violations and the animals were impounded. Cinnamon had been declawed by her previous owner, a travesty considering that bears use their claws in a variety of natural, essential activities such as climbing, digging, and ripping bark off of logs to find bugs and worms. 
Cinnamon had a special affinity for Sampson. After the bears' move in 2011 from the Galt sanctuary to ARK 2000, the two bears shared a large, oak forested enclosure in the Bob Barker Bear Habitat. Bears enjoy water, and Cinnamon and Sampson had their very own, custom-built swimming pool, which she especially enjoyed on hot summer days. Another of Cinnamon's favorite activities was to forage for acorns that naturally drop from the trees during the fall.

Cinnamon was appropriately named, with a gorgeous copper-red coat. Black bears can naturally have variety of different coat colors, from jet black to reddish brown and to almost blonde. Cinnamon made up for her smaller physical stature with her spunky, confident energy. She especially enjoyed curling up for a nap in a thick bed of pine needles under a tree.
Cinnamon began showing early signs of arthritis in 2013, with some stiffness in her legs. PAWS' dedicated keeper staff made sure that she received special medications and nutritional supplements to support her joints and to provide comfort as her arthritis gradually became more severe. She remained active, exploring her habitat with Sampson, until early summer of this year when she suddenly had great difficulty standing and walking. An examination by PAWS' veterinarians, and X-rays reviewed by a veterinary radiologist, confirmed that her entire spine was affected by severe arthritis that had caused damage to her spinal cord.
After heroic efforts to ease discomfort and restore Cinnamon's mobility, it became clear that she would never be able to walk again. Keeping in mind Cinnamon's well-being and quality of life, the incredibly difficult, but most humane decision was made to gently euthanize her to prevent future suffering. Cinnamon passed from this life on July 27, 2017, at the age of 21 years, surrounded by many who loved her. She will be greatly missed by all who knew and cared for her.

Illinois Becomes First State to Ban Use of Elephants in Traveling Shows - New York State May Be Next!
This month Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed into law the first-ever bill to prohibit the use of elephants in traveling shows, including circuses. State Senator Linda Holmes sponsored the measure. PAWS is proud to have supported this important elephant protection bill, and commends The Humane Society of the U.S. for its leadership role in getting the bill passed. The law goes into effect on January 1, 2018.
A similar bill, also strongly supported by PAWS, has been passed by the state legislature in New York and is awaiting transmittal to Governor Andrew Cuomo. Hopefully, he will follow the lead of Illinois and sign this important bill. Please watch the PAWS Facebook page: Once the bill is transmitted, we will be providing information on how New York State residents can contact the governor and urge him to sign this critical bill. 

PAWS' Advocacy Work Gets Results: 120 Days Until the California Bullhook Ban Goes Into Effect!
It was a year ago this month that California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a ban on the use of cruel elephant bullhooks. PAWS was a proud co-sponsor of the bill, introduced by State Senator Ricardo Lara, which will go into effect on January 1, 2018.
The bullhook is a menacing weapon resembling a fireplace poker, with a sharpened metal tip and hook at the end. It is used to dominate and control elephants used in circuses, for rides, and other "entertainment." Trainers forcefully hook, jab or hit elephants who miss a cue, move too slowly, or display unwanted behaviors - whether during performances, training, or routine handling. This mistreatment continues throughout the elephant's life, with the worst abuses taking place behind closed doors and out of view of law enforcement.
What does this mean for elephants in California? Any time handlers are in direct contact with an elephant, they have a bullhook in hand. They claim they cannot safely work with elephants without this weapon. So, after January 1, elephants will no longer be seen in circuses or used for rides, film productions and other "entertainment."
PAWS is very proud of its role in banning the bullhook in Los Angeles and Oakland, California, and had long supported efforts that resulted in Rhode Island prohibiting the use of bullhooks. Following the Los Angeles and Oakland bans, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus ended its elephant acts. Then, earlier this year, the circus closed down entirely, with media outlets reporting that the show could not go on without the elephants.
PAWS continues to work toward ending the use of all captive wildlife for entertainment. Most recently, our work in Los Angeles culminated in passage of a motion to ban the use of wild animals for entertainment, including circuses, other wild animal exhibitions, and rentals for house parties. The city attorney's office is in the process of drafting the ordinance language.

PAWS' Notable Dates In August

21 years at PAWS:
Capuchins Zeppo, Groucho and Chico arrived at our Galt Sanctuary 21 years ago this month. They were three of 50 monkeys authorities seized from a home in Johnson County, Iowa, where the animals had little or no food or water, and were living in their own feces. The monkeys immediately took to their spacious new enclosure at PAWS, complete with trees to climb, branches to perch on, and ropes to swing from. In just a few hours they were acting like monkeys again, and were so joyful and full of fun that PAWS co-founder, the late Pat Derby, named them after the Marx Brothers comedy family. Zeppo, Chico and Groucho continue to be active and enjoy life at PAWS.

PAWS' green anniversary:
One year ago this month PAWS flipped the switch on a 132kW solar system that now supplies 97% of the electricity for ARK 2000, our 2,300-acre sanctuary in San Andreas, California. The system provides power to offices, elephant barns and buildings that serve the sanctuary's eight Asian and African elephants, as well as bears and big cats, and will save PAWS an estimated $1.5 million in electricity costs over 25 years. An array of 420 solar panels sit atop the rooftops of the 20,000 square-foot Asian elephant barn (above right) and an 8,000 square-foot bull elephant barn, producing enough pollution-free electricity to power more than 25 average homes for a year. PAWS is committed to providing a better life for captive exotic animals, as well as conserving our planet and its wildlife.

PAWS Contributes to Animal Protection, Welfare and Science

I n addition to rescuing and providing safe refuge for captive wild animals, PAWS contributes to furthering the cause of animal protection, welfare, and science through our biennial International Captive Wildlife Conference (coming in November 2018) and participation in professional conferences.    
PAWS President and Co-founder Ed Stewart will be participating in a panel at The Animal Law Conference, presented by the Animal Legal Defense Fund and Lewis and Clark Law School, in Portland, Oregon, October 13-15. The panel, entitled "Animal Sanctuaries - More Than Just a Place to Live," takes place on Saturday, October 14, 2017. For more information about the conference and to register  click here .

Good News for Animals
Tinder says it's time for tiger selfies to go! The popular dating site, which is peppered with photos of (mostly) men posing with captive tigers, is telling its users to remove the photos. A Tinder press release states, "More often than not, these photos take advantage of beautiful creatures that have been torn from their natural environment." In honor of International Tiger Day, the company pledged to donate $10,000 to tiger conservation.
New York City crushes it - nearly two tons of ivory, that is . Elephant tusks, carved trinkets, and statuettes - representing the tusks of nearly 100 elephants - were crushed in Central Park to demonstrate the state's commitment to destroying the ivory trade. The dust from the pulverized ivory will go into four hourglasses that will empty in 15-minute intervals, representing each elephant who is killed every 15 minutes in Africa.
World Elephant Day, on August 12, seemed to get more attention than ever this year, with activities taking place around the world. PAWS urged supporters to participate in efforts to protect elephants in the wild and in captivity. If you missed our special alert on World Elephant Day, you can view it here.

A special gift for the animals: Thank you to Diane Virdee (above), a long-time PAWS supporter, for donating 350 lbs. of Gravenstein apples from her property in Sebastopol, California.

Thank you  Amazon Wish List Donors
Patricia L. Connelly: one bottle of CosequinDS, 132#. Maggie Rufo: one bottle Renal Essentials, 60#. Caroline Kane: one 5 lb. bag Missing Link Ultimate Skin & Coat; one bottle Azodyl, 90#; one bottle Duralactin, 180#; one bottle CosequinDS, 132#; two bottles Renal Essentials, 60#. Christina Vasseur: two 40 lb. boxes of oranges. Catherine C. Zugar: one 5 lb. bag Missing Link Ultimate Skin & Coat. Carole Bognar: three Probiocin gel. Dina Storozhenko: one 30 lb. bag of Blue Buffalo. Carole A. McNamara: one bottle CosequinDS, 132#. William F. Mentus: one bottle AminAvast, 60#;
one 5 lb. bag Missing Link Ultimate Equine Skin & Coat.  Joyce E. Hodel: one 5 lb. bag of Missing Link Ultimate Equine, Skin & Coat; one bottle Renal Essentials, 60#; one bottle CosequinDS, 132#.  Anonymous Donors: two 10 lb. bags of Missing Link Ultimate Equine Skin & Coat; one 5 lb. bag of Missing Link Ultimate Equine Skin & Coat; two bottles CosequinDS, 132#; one bottle Renal Essentials, 60#.
View wish list items that are needed,
but not listed on the Amazon list, here.

There are many ways you can help PAWS animals:
Adopt A PAWS Animal
If you would like to help our animals, one of the best ways is to become an "adoptive parent," or give a PAWS adoption as a gift to an animal lover in your life. PAWS adoptions are symbolic adoptions only. No animal will be sent!
PAWS Amazon Wish List

EBAY Giving Works
List items on EBAY and choose PAWS as your charity. Donate a percentage of each sale to the animals. Visit our EBAY charity listing page here. Start selling!

Corporate Donations
and Matching Fund Programs
Learn more about what is needed.

Donate Your Vehicle

PAWS Partnerships
Help us change the life of a victim of captivity by becoming a PAWS Partner.  PAWS partnerships help support our sanctuary operations and the day-to-day care of the animals.

Shop through IGIVE and raise money for PAWS!
Up to 26% of your purchase - at more than 1,600 retailers - can be donated to PAWS.
PAWS is rated
a 4-Star Charity 
Purchase PAWS apparel and merchandise.

Clothing for adults, kids, toddlers and infants, as well as other fun merchandise like coffee mugs - available from our online gift shop .

Estates/Planned Giving
You can help us make sure captive wildlife in need of shelter will always have a PAWS sanctuary to call home!
Donate To PAWS
PAWS receives no government funding and must rely on your donations to continue our work. Three ways to give and every donation matters.  Learn more

PAWS merchandise is fun, educational,
and makes great gifts for any occasion !
PAWS' Note Cards
Bears, Tigers, Elephants
Dozens of different designs are now available in our gift shop.
$24.99 for a set of 10 + tax + worldwide shipping

More items, more designs, more fun - all to benefit the animals at PAWS!
Logo clothing available in adult, children, toddler and infant sizes.

"Seeing the Elephant" Weekend Getaways | PAWS Animal Adoptions
Both available for gift purchases.
Stay Connected
PO Box 849
Galt, CA 95632
(209) 745-2606