Rescue. Advocacy. Sanctuary. For Life.
Since 1984

December 2019 | Newsletter
African elephant Mara at PAWS' ARK 2000 sanctuary.

A Holiday Message
From PAWS' President
Have you ever stopped to think about how important you, our supporters, are to the animals? Well, imagine that PAWS never existed – like the main character in the holiday film classic "It's a Wonderful Life." The outcomes for the animals would have been tragic: African elephant Mara could have spent her life chained and beaten in a circus in Mexico. Black leopard Alexander might have been euthanized, simply because a wild animal never should be a pet. Tiger siblings Roy, Kim and Claire may have spent their lives locked away in a dismal cage in someone’s backyard.

None of this happened because PAWS was here to help – thanks to you . That’s how much of a difference you make for the animals.

As we near the end of our 35 th year of rescuing, rehabilitating, and providing lifelong sanctuary for captive wild animals in need, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. Without you, we could not do the work we do. You ensure that we are here for the animals each and every day. You also enable great strides for captive wildlife, including bans on cruel bullhooks and ending the use of wild animals in circuses and traveling shows.

I look forward to 2020 and the challenges it will bring. I promise that in our 36 th year PAWS will further its mission of rescue, education and advocacy, and we will reach higher and work harder for the animals. I know that together we can change the world for captive wild animals!
Best wishes for the New Year from the staff, board, volunteers – and all the animals – at PAWS!
Ed Stewart
President and Co-Founder

Looking Back at 2019:
PAWS’ Year in Review
Newly rescued tigers at ARK 2000
PAWS welcomed three tigers to the sanctuary in October – Mungar (left), Czar and Tessa – who came from a beleaguered Southern California facility that ceased operations. The three older cats have settled in well and are enjoying their natural habitat enclosures filled with grass, dense bushes, and shady oak trees. We’ve made special accommodations for Mungar, who was born with serious defects that often result from inbreeding tigers for use in roadside zoos, cub petting operations, or the exotic “pet” trade. Despite his considerable physical challenges, Mungar is sociable, patient and loves a good soak in his pool. PAWS is proud to take in and care for older animals and those with special needs. They are a source of inspiration to us each and every day.
Two special milestones for our animals
In 2019 we marked big life events for two of the animals at the ARK 2000 sanctuary:

  • Black bear Boo Boo (right) celebrated a double 25: The 25th anniversary of his arrival at PAWS, and he turned 25 years old.
  • Black leopard Alexander has been with us for 20 years.

Here’s a sneak peek at the next big milestone : In January 2020 it will be 30 years since African elephant Mara came to PAWS!
Making a difference through advocacy
PAWS is proud that California is now officially free of circuses with wild animals! We strongly supported the Circus Cruelty Prevention Act , sponsored by Senator Ben Hueso, including organizing a coalition of 20 organizations that contributed to the bill’s success. California joins New Jersey and Hawaii in prohibiting wild animal acts.

We led the charge in opposing a performance in Folsom, California, by magician Jay Owenhouse who uses tigers as part of his act. We raised the venue’s awareness about the use of dangerous wild animals for entertainment and helped ensure the facility would not book a similar show in the future.
PAWS made an impact by protesting the exhibition of captive wild animals, including a tiger, at county fairs in California. Through media interviews, PAWS spread the word that wild animals are not entertainment and have no place at county fairs. At least one fair will not invite back the exhibitor, A Walk on the Wild Side, who has a troubling animal welfare history. PAWS will be working to close even more doors to anyone exploiting wild animals in this way.
International: For several years now, PAWS has been working with elephant experts around the world to fight the heartbreaking capture and export of wild-caught African elephant calves – who are traumatically torn from their mothers and families — to zoos around the world, including those in the U.S. In 2019 we continued to work with an ever-expanding community of experts and organizations to end live elephant exports and one day put an end to the captivity of elephants.
Education and outreach
For 35 years PAWS has been educating the public, legislators, and the media about issues related to captive wildlife, performing wild animals and the need to protect wild species and their habitats. We do this through our educational programs and outreach, social media, biennial conferences, the PAWS newsletter, and presentations at academic and professional conferences.
In November, PAWS President and Co-founder Ed Stewart presented at the National Animal Cruelty Prosecution Conference in Phoenix, Arizona, hosted by the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys and the Animal Legal Defense Fund. The conference aimed to enhance prosecutors' ability to successfully identify and prosecute animal cruelty cases by providing them and other law enforcement and allied professionals with the skills they need for success. Ed's presentation, titled "The Dangerous and Unstable World of Exotic Animals", focused on several case studies involving captive exotic animals.

In March, PAWS Director of Science, Research and Advocacy Catherine Doyle presented a paper titled “Captive Wildlife Sanctuaries: Public Perception and the Problem of Normalizing Captivity” at the Living With Animals Conference at Eastern Kentucky University. This biennial event seeks to broaden the discourse on human-animal studies.
PAWS continued to educate college students in 2019, with the innovative outreach program,  Wild Animals in Captivity: Exploring the Interface Between Humans and Wildlife. These classes teach young young women and men about the natural biology and behavior of tigers, black bears and elephants, and issues surrounding their captivity. PAWS thanks David Reuben for his continued support of this exceptional program. For more information, contact

We also hosted undergraduate and veterinary students from the University of California, Davis, including Dr. Lynette Hart’s “Human-Animal Interactions – Benefits and Issues” class. Another class of third-year veterinary students learned about the unique aspects of sanct uary medicin e and toured the Pat Derby Animal Wellness Center at ARK 2000 (named after the late PAWS co-founder), conducted by PAWS Director of Veterinary Services Dr. Jackie Gai. PAWS also welcomed its first official senior veterinary student extern, Melissa Rothstein, from UC Davis.
Supporting Our Local Community
PAWS is proud to be a productive and active member of our community. We provide jobs, buy local, and bring revenue to the area as a result of our educational open house events, Seeing the Elephants weekends, and conferences. We’re also proud to support non-profit organizations. PAWS donated wood trimmed as part of our fire safety program at ARK 2000 to the Central Calaveras Fire Safety Elves, an organization that distributes free firewood to seniors, veterans, and disabled or low-income people in the county.
Coming in 2020:
PAWS International Captive Wildlife Conference
Save the date! PAWS will present the International Captive Wildlife Conference, November 14-16, in San Andreas, California. The conference will span two days, with a visit to the ARK 2000 sanctuary on the third day. This highly anticipated event addresses issues key to wild animal captivity and features international experts on animal welfare, care, science, law and policy. Stay tuned for more information!
The Best of PAWS’ Newsletters
In case you missed them the first time, here are some of our favorite newsletter articles from 2019:
  • PAWS Celebrates 35 Years of Rescue, Sanctuary and Advocacy – January
  • True Sanctuary Means a Lifetime Home for the Animals in PAWS' Care – March
  • PAWS: 35 Years of Elephant Advocacy and Care - April
  • The Importance of Nature at ARK 2000 – June
  • How the Animals at PAWS Beat the Summertime Heat – July
  • PAWS Welcomes New Tigers to ARK 2000 - October
It is with heartfelt appreciation that we thank:
Each and every one of you, our supporters , who give captive wild animals the opportunity to live a more natural and fulfilling life at PAWS’ three sanctuaries. You make it all possible!
PAWS’ devoted staff who work hard every day to ensure that our animals receive the very best care.
Our dedicated volunteers who selflessly give of their time and talents, all to help the animals.
The generous companies and individuals who provide in-kind services in support of our mission.
The animals we care for at PAWS , past and present, who are a source of inspiration to us. They also teach us the importance of preserving wild places and protecting wild animals where they live. 
We wish you all the very best in 2020!
Rescued African lion Camba.
Last Chance to Make Your
2019 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; closed Dec. 25th) to charge a donation to your credit card. If you wish to gift a stock donation, please contact Kim Gardner at or call 916-539-5305 for more information. Thank you!
Thank You for Making #GivingTuesday
a BIG Success for PAWS' Elephants!
PAWS thanks everyone who donated and made #GivingTuesday a terrific success for the eight elephants at our sanctuary. Through your compassion and generosity,  PAWS far exceeded its fundraising goal of $50,000 in 24 hours  to care for Maggie, Mara, Lulu, Gypsy, Thika, Toka, Nicholas and Prince. Your contributions provide daily care and veterinary treatments, nutritious diets, and special medications for our older elephants.

PAWS is very grateful to the donors who provided $43,600 in matching grants, including the Caufield Family Foundation and Linda Jordan; Anthony and Barbara Nozzi; and three very special friends who wish to remain anonymous.

#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 donate on #GivingTuesday and would like to help the elephants and other wild animals at PAWS, you can make a donation by clicking here .
Rescued tiger Rosemary.

Thank You December
Amazon Wish List Donors!
Erin Korsakoff: one can of raisins; one Probiocin. Chelsea: one 25 lb. bag of peanuts. Jennifer Barry: two Laxatone. Danielle Anderson: three cans of raisins; two bottles of Renal Essentials, 60#. Olin's, Muccias, Rogers, Spencers and Meckfessels: one can of raisins; one bag of Pill Pockets, 60#. Nancy Gordon: one bottle of CranAnidin, 75#; one 20 lb. tub of Psyllium. Jennifer Barry: one Pill Pockets, 60#; one 12.5 lb. bag of popcorn; one can of raisins. Anita Price: two Laxatone. Denise Schwahn: two Laxatone. Jacqui and Keith Abbey: one 5 lb. bag of Missing Link Skin and Coat. Lisa McNeil: one 12.5 lb. bag of popcorn. Michele Smith: one can of raisins; one Presto popcorn popper; one 12.5 lb. bag of popcorn. Lynn and Ryan Coplen: eight cans of raisins. Meredith D. Gitlings: one bottle of CosequinDS, 132#. Anonymous Donors: two 24-packs of AA batteries; one 3-pack of bleach; one 12.5 lb. bag of popcorn; 10 bottles of Emcelle Tocopherol; four cans of raisins; one bottle of Azodyl, 90#.

Click on the Amazon Wish List link below to donate
specific items that are needed at our sanctuaries:
View "wish list" items that are needed,
but not listed on the Amazon list,  here .
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 fundraisers: the "Dollars for Dirt" or "Give BIG" campaigns for PAWS' elephants, or our "Support a Rescued Tiger" campaign to benefit the 14 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.
PAWS provides lifetime care to the big cats, 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.

Since its founding in 1984, PAWS has rescued more than 250 animals, including 19 elephants, 88 big cats and 19 bears.
Connect with us:
P. O. Box 849, Galt, CA 95632 | (209) 745-2606