Rescue. Advocacy. Sanctuary. For Life.
Since 1984

December 2021 | Newsletter
African elephants Thika (left) and Mara
Holiday Message from
PAWS President Ed Stewart
It’s hard to believe, but the New Year is just around the corner – as is the start of our 38th year of rescuing and providing sanctuary for captive wild animals in need.
I am truly looking forward to 2022. Each year seems to bring more progress for the animals, and we get just a little bit closer to our goal of ending the exploitation of captive wildlife for entertainment and profit. There are sure to be new challenges and maybe even some setbacks, but at PAWS we are up to the task. 
I am counting on you to be with us. After all, you’re part of the PAWS team! Whether it’s sharing information about PAWS with friends, calling and emailing your elected officials about important legislation, “adopting” a PAWS animal or making a donation – you make a huge difference.
I cannot thank you enough for being there for the animals, even during the most trying of times. On behalf of PAWS’ staff, board, volunteers, and all of the animals, I wish you and yours a peaceful holiday season.
Ed Stewart
President/CEO and Co-founder
Upcoming in 2022:
Save the Date for PAWS Conference
PAWS will again host its popular International Captive Wildlife Conference, featuring experts from around the world. The in-person event will take place in Los Angeles in November 2022. Watch for more details to come. It’s an event you don’t want to miss!
PAWS’ Highlights from 2021
Helping Black Bear Cubs on Their Way Back to the Wild

This year, at the request of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), PAWS temporarily housed three orphaned black bear cubs who had lost their mother and were too young to survive on their own. Our Bob Barker Bear Habitat at ARK 2000 provided a secluded, natural setting for the six-month-old cubs. As the cubs will be returned to the wild where they belong, PAWS’ staff took great care to keep the cubs from becoming habituated to humans. They also provided acorns and other nuts and berries still attached to branches to encourage the cubs to forage on their own. Eventually, the cubs moved on to the Ramona Wildlife Center, where they will be cared for until ready for release. PAWS was happy to help care for these little bears and honored to partner with the CDFW and the Ramona Wildlife Center. 
Take the Pledge! Elephant Campaign

PAWS launched the Take the Pledge! campaign to bring attention to the cruel practice of using elephants for tourism. Our aim is to deter people from engaging in elephant “encounters” – such as bathing and taking up-close photos with elephants – both in the U.S. and abroad. Through this program, we have educated more than 20,000 people so far. An online petition is nearing 35,000 people who have taken the pledge!
If you haven’t yet done so, we want your pledge to:

  • NEVER ride an elephant in another country or at home – or at a fair or circus.
  • NEVER pet, bathe, or participate in an up-close photo op with an elephant.
  • NEVER patronize places where elephants perform tricks.
Visit PAWS’ Take the Pledge! site here to learn more. Click here to sign PAWS' petition and then share the petition widely!
PAWS thanks David Reuben for his inspiration and for making this campaign possible.
“Witness Protection” Animals

In June, we shared a story about how PAWS often rescues wildlife in need – in secret. These animals are part of a “witness protection program” of sorts, having been confiscated by local or federal authorities. Often, we are asked to keep the matter confidential until a legal case is resolved. This year, PAWS took in and is caring for big cats who were the subject of a high-profile operation, with multiple sanctuaries lending assistance. For now, the specifics of their situation will remain confidential until the legal process is completed. We hope to be able to introduce you to these special cats soon!
Zoo Exposé Results in Success

Last year, PAWS uncovered a plan by the Fort Worth Zoo in Texas to buy two Asian elephants, Nellie and Emily, from Canada’s African Lion Safari for an outrageous $2 million. We also filed comments with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in opposition to a permit for their import. We were very pleased to learn this year that the zoo withdrew its permit request. This deal could have created even more of a financial incentive for other countries to engage in live elephant trafficking, led to more wild captures and exports to zoos, and harmed conservation efforts.
PAWS Contributes to Scientific Understanding of Captivity’s Effects on Elephants and Cetaceans

An important new paper about the neurobiological harms to elephants and cetaceans in captivity was co-authored by PAWS Director of Science, Research and Advocacy Catherine Doyle, M.S. While the impact of the captive environment on physical and behavioral health in these animals has been well-documented, relatively little attention has been paid to the brain itself. This study raises questions about the effects of impoverished environments on the brains of elephants and cetaceans found in zoos, marine parks, and other settings. Click here to read “Putative neural consequences of captivity for elephants and cetaceans.” 
Big Anniversaries for PAWS’ Animals in 2021

When PAWS provides sanctuary for an animal, it is for life – and for some animals, that can be decades. This is why your ongoing support is so important to us. Please celebrate with us these very special anniversaries.
25 Years of Sanctuary for Zeppo and Chico
Capuchin monkeys Zeppo (right) and Chico were rescued by PAWS 25 years ago. They were among 50 privately owned monkeys found living in a filthy basement before their seizure by authorities. The animals were malnourished, having little or no food or water. Zeppo and Chico (together with the late Groucho) were given a chance to be their wild selves at PAWS. The two monkeys continue to playfully enjoy life.
Prince’s 10-Year Anniversary
Asian elephant Prince has been in our care at the ARK 2000 sanctuary for 10 years. He was born at the Oregon Zoo and, before age two, separated from his mother and sent to the circus. Calves at this age are fully dependent on their mothers and never far from them, making this action all the more cruel. Today, you can find Prince contentedly napping on the hillside of his large habitat, surrounded by the peace and beauty of nature.
Black bear Mack, 5 years at PAWS
Mack joined the PAWS family five years ago, making this his first milestone anniversary! He was born in the wild but found as an orphan begging for food from people. What makes Mack unique is that he is missing part of his right rear leg – but that doesn’t slow him down one bit. Mack is extremely agile and loves to climb and play in his pool in the Bob Barker Bear Habitat at ARK 2000. 
It is with heartfelt appreciation that we thank:
Our supporters. You provide wild animals in need with a lifetime home, spacious natural surroundings, and loving care. You truly make a difference!
PAWS’ dedicated caregivers and staff. You are the heart of all that we do for the animals.
Our volunteers. Your dedication to the animals is endless. We couldn’t do it without you!
In-kind companies and individual donors. You supply key support for our mission.
The animals we care for at PAWS, and those yet to be rescued. You are our motivation and inspiration.
Best wishes for the holidays and New Year!
Rescued tiger Nimmo

Last Chance to Make Your
2021 Tax-deductible Gift to PAWS!
There is still time to make a year-end, tax-deductible gift for the elephants, big cats, bears and other wild animals who have found safe refuge at PAWS. (To everyone who has already donated - thank you!) Your year-end gift provides high quality daily and veterinary care, round the clock monitoring, and spacious natural habitats for the animals. 
To make your contribution online simply click on the “Donate” button below. Or you can call the PAWS office at 209-745-2606 (Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. PST) to charge a donation to your credit card. If you wish to gift a stock donation, please contact Kim Gardner at 916-539-5305 or email for more information. Thank you!
#GivingTuesday 2021
A Tremendous Success!
PAWS thanks everyone who donated and made #GivingTuesday a terrific success for the seven elephants at our sanctuary. Through your compassion and generosity, PAWS exceeded its fundraising goal of $80,000 in 24 hours – raising more than $120,000 for the care of Mara, Lulu, Gypsy, Thika, Toka, Nicholas and Prince. Because of your kindness, the elephants are living as natural a life as possible in captivity, and getting the love and respect they deserve.
PAWS is very grateful to the donors who provided $48,000 in matching grants. Our sincere thanks to Peg Cheng and Andrew Baldinger; Sandy and Ray Monticelli; Kristina Wiley, DDS; and Next Chapter Charters Key West for their generous gifts.

#GivingTuesday is an annual day of charitable giving that takes place on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving and benefits nonprofits everywhere. If you were unable to contribute on #GivingTuesday and would like to help the elephants at PAWS, you can make a donation by clicking here.
Rescued bear Ben
PAWS provides lifetime care to the tigers, bears, elephants, and other animals who call our sanctuaries home. Your kind support provides expert daily care, necessary veterinary treatments, and specialized nutritional support, all tailored to the individual needs of each animal.
Your generous donations make this excellent care possible.
Did you know that PAWS has an Amazon Wish List? We have chosen specific items that are needed at the sanctuary, which you can purchase directly from Amazon. We have an ongoing need for many of the products listed. Click here to review the items and donate. You can also review “wish list” items that are needed but not listed on Amazon. Click here for that list.
December Amazon Wish List Donors:
Cathleen deOrnelas: two bottles of CosequinDS, 132#; two bottles of AminAvast, 60#. Nancy Gordon: two bottles of Renal Essentials, 60#. Maria Landsberg: one bottle of CosequinDS, 132#. Marianne and Gene, Anne and John: three 10 lb. bags of MissingLink Skin & Coat. Maris: one Poly Scoop Shovel. Caroline Curran: one bottle of CosequinDS, 132#. Francine Taylor: one bottle of CosequinDS, 132#. Laura and Dave Hill: one bottle of CosequinDS, 132#; one 32 oz. bottle of EicosaDerm; one 5 lb. bag of MissingLink Skin & Coat.
PAWS is proud of its 4-star rating with Charity Navigator - the highest rating possible. We are part of an elite group of charities with an "exceptional" designation (at least four consecutive years of 4-star ratings), meaning that your gift will have the greatest impact possible. CharityWatch gives PAWS an "A" rating.
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P. O. Box 849, Galt, CA 95632
(209) 745-2606
There are many ways you can help PAWS animals:
Donate To PAWS. Although we work closely with regulatory agencies on animal rescues, 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

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! Learn more

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. Learn more

Estates/Planned Giving. You can help us make sure captive wildlife in need of shelter will always have a PAWS sanctuary to call home! Learn more

Give to one of PAWS' ongoing MightyCause campaigns: Our "Dollars for Dirt" or "Give BIG for PAWS' Elephants" fundraisers for the elephants, or our "Support a Rescued Tiger" fundraiser to benefit the rescued tigers living at our ARK 2000 sanctuary.
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.

Shop online through IGive and raise money for PAWS! Up to 26% of your purchase - at more than 1,600 retailers - can be donated to PAWS. Learn more

PAWS Amazon Wish List. View here, and shop using AmazonSmile.

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 To PAWS.

Attend A Fundraiser. PAWS sanctuaries ARE NOT OPEN TO THE PUBLIC but we do schedule a limited number of special events throughout the year. Click here to view PAWS' Calendar of Events. Due to COVID-19 concerns, all PAWS' events have been cancelled until further notice. Thank you for your understanding.