20-Year Anniversary of PAWS'
Amanda Blake Memorial Wildlife Refuge
The Amanda Blake Memorial Wildlife Refuge opened in 1997, and is one of three northern California sanctuaries operated by the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS). Consisting of 75 acres of beautiful, rolling grassland studded with shade trees, the refuge is located in the Rancho Seco Recreational Area not far from PAWS' Galt Sanctuary. It is currently home to Scimitar-horned Oryx (pictured above, and below right) and a flock of emu, but during its 20-year history has provided a peaceful and protected home to many other animals such as fallow deer and African eland.  
Eighteen Scimitar-horned oryx and one African eland from a private ranch in Nevada were the sanctuary's first residents, arriving on June 19, 1997. The ranch belonged to an infamous Las Vegas casino manager who had run afoul of the law. He had already auctioned off many of his exotic animals to game hunting ranches and planned to send the remainder to auction. These animals would have likely ended up being shot and killed as "trophies," as did the others. A friend of PAWS co-founders Pat Derby and Ed Stewart called to inform them of the perilous situation facing the oryx and eland, and they gladly offered the animals a safe and permanent home. That friend then approached the ranch owner and convinced him to donate the remaining animals to PAWS.
Scimitar-horned oryx are African antelope that can weigh as much as 400 pounds, with long, curved horns that can measure up to three feet in length. Herds were once found in many areas around the Western Sahara desert, and scientists estimate there were once more than 1,000,000 oryx at the peak of their population. Tragically, these majestic animals were hunted to extinction for their meat, skin, and horns. Currently, there are a handful of reintroduction programs attempting to restore oryx to their historic ranges in Africa although human pressures on their habitat continue to threaten their success. 
Although Scimitar-horned oryx are no longer found in the wild, ironically, the state of Texas is home to more than 10,000. Unfortunately, they are bought and bred and kept on game ranches where trophy hunters can pay $2,500 - $20,000 to kill a single animal in a canned hunt. A "canned" hunt is any hunt in which an animal is kept in a man-made enclosure such as a fenced pasture or cage, and is unable to escape. The hunter is guaranteed a kill. Even more chilling is the fact that "surplus" animals from private breeders, and some zoos and circuses, end up in canned hunts. And in many cases, the animals have been hand-raised and bottle-fed so they aren't afraid of people.
PAWS was the first organization to investigate canned hunts in California and as a result initiated SB 1332, one of the first state laws to prohibit the raising and selling of wildlife species in captivity for the purpose of hunting. This important animal protection legislation was enacted in 1992. Other states have since used our bill as a template for their own legislation, and today these hunts are banned or restricted in several states across the U.S.
At the Amanda Blake refuge, the oryx live free of fear and receive excellent care from PAWS' seasoned animal care and veterinary staff. There are a small number of oryx remaining from the 1997 rescue, and they share their spacious pasture with a friendly flock of emu (right) who have also been rescued from situations of neglect or abandonment, or retired from zoos. The animals have a large area to explore, with a seasonal creek, trees and shade structures to rest under, and abundant native grasses for grazing. Additional food and nutritional supplements are provided by caregivers.

L-R: PAWS co-founder the late Pat Derby with friend Amanda Blake.
The Amanda Blake Memorial Wildlife Refuge was created and named in honor of Amanda Blake, the actress who is fondly remembered as "Miss Kitty" from the popular television series "Gunsmoke." A museum filled with mementos from her life is located on the property and is open by appointment only.* Amanda dedicated her life to animals, as well as to the conservation of wild places. She made yearly treks to Africa until her health would no longer allow it. In 1971, while living in Arizona, she joined with others to form the Arizona Animal Welfare League, today the oldest and largest "no kill" animal shelter in the state. For a time she was a member of the board of directors for The Humane Society of the United States. She was a close, personal friend of Pat Derby and Ed Stewart, and during the final years of her life chose to live with them on the grounds of the Galt sanctuary. They were at her side when she passed away in August 1989.
*The Amanda Blake Museum is open by special appointment only. Please email PAWS representative Kim Gardner at kgardner@pawsweb.org, or call (916) 539-5305 for more information. Click here for additional information about the Amanda Blake Memorial Wildlife Refuge.

New York City Passes Historic Ban
on Wild Animals in Circuses!
On June 21, 2017, the New York City Council passed a ban on the use of wild animals in circuses by a 43-6 vote. Councilmember Rosie Mendez first introduced the bill 11 years ago, in the belief that prohibiting the use of exotic animals in circuses was the only way to safeguard animal welfare and public safety. With the help of Councilmember Corey Johnson, Cm. Mendez finally prevailed. The bill now goes to Mayor DeBlasio who is expected to sign it into law, soon adding The Big Apple to the list of 125 localities in 34 states across the country that have enacted partial or full bans on circus animals.
PAWS is proud to have been part of the coalition of animal protection organizations and animal advocates that contributed to this great victory, whose leaders include activist John Philips, Empire State Humane Voters and the Humane Society of the United States. (HSUS). PAWS provided its expertise on the welfare of wild animals in circuses, both in testimony before the Health Committee and in meetings with council members.
The New York City legislation follows passage of a motion in Los Angeles to ban the use of wild animals in entertainment - an effort led by PAWS and HSUS. The language for that ordinance is being drafted right now.
With the two largest cities in the U.S. prohibiting the use of wild animals in circuses, we are certain to see even more legislation, adding to an unprecedented wave of progress toward ending the use of wild animals for entertainment.
PAWS thanks everyone who responded to our alerts and contacted their New York City council members. You really made a difference!

Help Stop the Export of Young
Wild  Elephants to Dubai Zoo!
The Namibian government has given the go-ahead to a private game farm owned by a Swedish national to capture and export five wild-caught juvenile elephants to a zoo in Dubai. The elephants reportedly will be used to give rides, meaning they will be subjected to brutal breaking and inhumane training.
PAWS co-signed an open letter with 35 other organizations, addressed to the Swedish company that owns the game farm, Eden Wildlife. The letter urges officials to "immediately and permanently halt plans to capture and export five young live elephants. . . to Dubai Safari Park in the United Arab Emirates."
The juveniles are reportedly between four and eight years old. Elephants have strong family bonds that can last a lifetime. Separation of young elephants from their mothers and families is extremely cruel and traumatizes both the calves and their remaining families. Female elephants naturally remain with their mothers for life; males do not leave the family until about age 14.
Trading wild elephants for commercial purposes is illegal under Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) criteria. Wild elephant captures for display in zoos do nothing to enhance the survival of the species.
The planned export has outraged conservationists and elephant advocates worldwide. You can take action by signing the following petitions. When enough signatures have been collected, the petitions will be sent to the UAE and Namibian authorities.
Humane Society International petition - click here.
Care2 petition - click here .
Read the sign-on letter here . Read the press release by Humane Society International about the letter here .


Asian elephant Gypsy, pictured in her habitat at ARK 2000, spent more
than 20 years  in the circus before coming to live at PAWS.

New York State and Illinois Residents:
Keep the Momentum Going!
A bill to ban the use of elephants in traveling shows is now on Governor Rauner's desk. If you live in Illinois, please send a message to the governor here , urging him to sign the bill. Under "Subject," choose "SB1342: Ban Elephants in Circuses" from the menu so your message is properly delivered.
New York State
The Elephant Protection Act, a bill that would ban the use of elephants in entertainment acts, is being sent to Governor Cuomo for his signature. PAWS will be alerting New York State residents when it is time to contact the Governor and urge him to sign the bill. Watch for this important email!

PAWS' Notable Dates In June

20 years at PAWS:
The first residents at PAWS' Amanda Blake Memorial Wildlife Refuge included 18 rescued Scimitar-horned oryx (left) who arrived on June 19, 1997. Their story is this month's feature article, above.   

14th Birthday:
Siberian tiger siblings Roy, Kim and Claire (right), who turned 14 on June 3rd, were just four months old when they came to PAWS in October 2003. They lived at our Galt sanctuary until last year, when we moved the three to a much larger habitat at the ARK 2000 sanctuary.
(Watch the video of their move here.)

June marks the  13th anniversary of the arrival of the first of 39 tigers to ARK 2000 from a defunct, pseudo-sanctuary in Colton, California. PAWS has been challenged, changed and strengthened as a result of accepting these needy tigers, and providing them a permanent, safe, and healthy home. Watch the video documentary 39 Tigers below. Click here to meet the tigers now living at PAWS and here to donate for their care.

5 years at PAWS:
Canadian Lynx Misha (left), who turned 12 last month, lived at Storybook Gardens in Canada until her arrival at PAWS in June 2012. She now lives at PAWS' Galt Sanctuary.  Click here to learn more about Misha.  

5 years at PAWS:
Tigers Zeus (right), Jake and Apollo arrived at PAWS five years ago this month. They live in our tiger habitat at ARK 2000. The three tigers came from a failing facility in Ohio from which 32 wild animals had to be removed and rehomed. Click here for information on "adopting"  one or more of these special tigers.

Honoring. . .
Pat Derby,  PAWS Co-Founder
June 7, 1942 - February 15, 2013
Pat Derby's bravery and vision for a better life for captive wildlife helped lay the groundwork for the profound changes we are seeing today, including the public's increasing rejection of the use of wild animals in entertainment and the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus coming to an end. Her crusade against the use of cruel elephant bullhooks has led to statewide bans in California and Rhode Island, with PAWS playing an integral role in their passage. Pat remains an inspiration to everyone at PAWS and to the greater animal protection community. Her determination and fighting spirit continue to drive PAWS' efforts to create a more just and humane world for captive wild animals, each and every day.

PAWS Thanks the William H. Lincoln Elementary School Community
Seventh grade students at the William H. Lincoln Elementary School in Brookline, Massachusetts, recently made a generous donation of $333 to PAWS. The funds were raised at a parent-organized dance and donated to charities chosen by the students. The students had educated themselves on how to select a charitable organization based on interest, ratings and impact. The 7th graders chose PAWS!

This bighearted gift will be used to care for the elephants, tigers, bears and other wild animals at our three sanctuaries. PAWS thanks all the parents and students who participated in this wonderful effort that encourages students to be both caring and wise in charitable giving. And thank you to 7th and 8th grade Social Studies teacher Donald Lathrop Petry for guiding his students in this important lesson. 

Good News for Animals
The Romanian parliament has passed a bill to ban wild animals from circuses. The circuses will have 18 months to comply with the law and transfer the animals to reserves or zoos. Public outrage spurred the action, after a fire in January claimed the lives of 11 animals at a facility housing Romania's Globus Circus in Bucharest.
Latvia has ended the use of tigers, lions, bears and other wild animals in circuses, as part of the country's new Animal Protection Act. Local circuses in Latvia do not keep their own animals, and traveling circus troupes will no longer be able to bring wild animals into the country for performances.

June Amazon Wish List Donors
Robin Kister: five bottles of Renal Essentials, 60#; 10 Probiocin. Carole Bognar: three Probiocin. Sheila A. Scognamiglio: one bottle CosequinDS, 132#. Lisa McNeil: one bottle CosequinDS, 132#. 1st Impressions Dentistry Angels Camp: one bottle of Renal Essentials, 60#. Sandi Peck: four cases of copy paper; four 6 ft. folding tables; three packs of batteries, 24# AA; two packs of batteries, 100#, AA; five boxes of 42 gallon trash bags; four boxes of 33 gallon trash bags. Tami Berget: 12 bottles of Renal Essentials, 60#; three Probiocin. Melanie Wilson: one 10 lb. tub of Psyllium. Shawn O'Grady (Supreme Hardware): three scoop shovels for the elephant barns. Justin Matsui: one bottle CosequinDS, 132#; one 10 lb. tub of Psyllium. Anonymous Donors: one bottle of CosequinDS, 132#; two gallons of Red Cell; three Pop-Up Tents; three scoop shovels.   
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.
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PO Box 849
Galt, CA 95632
(209) 745-2606