In early December 2016 PAWS received word that more than 100 animals were in need of immediate placement in new homes after a roadside zoo in Colorado ceased doing business. Several reputable sanctuaries throughout the U.S. stepped up to provide lifetime care for the animals from this rescue, with PAWS accepting eight tigers. Preparations to accommodate the tigers at PAWS' ARK 2000 sanctuary began immediately and included the construction of new enclosures. The first four tigers arrived at PAWS on New Year's Eve 2016, with the remaining tigers arriving on February 10, 2017.
The "Colorado Eight" had been part of an intensive breeding program similar to a puppy mill, with little regard for the animals' health or welfare. The facility made money by offering the public the opportunity to handle tiger and bear cubs for a fee. To ensure a steady supply of cubs for photo and "play" sessions, these "pay-to-play" operations constantly breed the animals, producing litter after litter. Cubs are forcibly removed from their mothers soon after birth to make them more manageable. Young and vulnerable cubs are passed from person to person, often roughly handled during play sessions, and may be physically harmed.
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 manage to survive this horrifying start to their lives quickly grow too big to be handled, and are immediately put into the breeding population to create even more cubs or sold to private owners or other roadside zoos. This hellish, self-perpetuating cycle is found wherever tiger and bear cubs are subjected to public handling.
Despite grandiose and deceptive claims, these irresponsible captive breeding programs have no conservation value, and none of the bears or tigers produced will ever be released into the wild.
As PAWS welcomed these new tigers into sanctuary a year ago, we celebrated their symbolic rebirth into a new life where they are treated with respect, and where their dignity and individual needs are honored. Former, and sometimes derogatory, names were changed to reflect their new lives. During their daily interactions with these tigers, PAWS' expert caregivers have gotten to know each one's personality and preferences. Our veterinarians check on them regularly and tailor treatment plans to each cat's needs. All eight tigers have settled in well, and enjoy exploring large, grassy habitats as well as napping in the sun while listening to the peaceful sounds of nature at ARK 2000.
Meet the "Colorado Eight" tigers
, a 19-year-old female, is described by tiger supervisor Renae as "spunky" and "talkative." She enjoys lounging in the tall, green grass of her very own habitat, as well as bouts of play with her large red ball (right) that was provided by a generous Amazon Wish List donor. Marin has a beautiful face and a richly-colored coat, and greets caregivers with unique, friendly vocalizations. It is heartwarming to see her relaxed and content, far from the chaos and stresses of her previous home. At 19, she is considered elderly, so special considerations have been made to support her health.
is a 14-year-old neutered male. When he arrived at PAWS he was noticeably thin, with a personality best described as volatile and nervous. As Tiger Supervisor Renae got to know him, she worked hard to create situations that made him feel safe. Despite eating large meals, he remained thin and always seemed hungry. PAWS' veterinarians performed a comprehensive physical examination under anesthesia, and discovered that he was not absorbing nutrients normally in his GI tract, which was probably the major reason for his ravenous appetite and near constant agitation. Since that exam, Pharaoh has been receiving special vitamins and other nutritional support and he is now a completely different tiger. He has put on weight and is much calmer and more confident, and he has found a new friend in Renae.
is a 10-year-old female. At her former home, she was forced to have multiple litters of cubs which were taken away from her soon after birth. Unspayed female tigers can develop cancer and infections in their reproductive tracts, and hormones produced when they are in estrus can cause fighting and other undesirable behaviors in other tigers nearby. Sawyer underwent an ovariohysterectomy (spay surgery) in November 2017 in the recently opened Pat Derby Animal Wellness Center at ARK 2000. Dr. Margo Mehl, a board-certified veterinary surgeon and PAWS supporter, generously donated her services. While Sawyer was under anesthesia, PAWS' veterinarians collected samples from some unusual areas of skin, and diagnosed a condition which will require treatment. Today, Sawyer is calmer and quite friendly, approaching keepers and vets alike with a cheerful "chuff" and fence rub.
are 7-year-old brothers. Bigelow, the largest of the three tigers, had been housed separately at the Colorado facility with a fence dividing him from his two brothers. The three are housed similarly at PAWS (as neighbors) but live in much more spacious and natural surroundings. All three tigers arrived at ARK 2000 intact (not neutered), and male hormones may have caused some of the previous scuffling and fighting reported at the other facility. Nimmo and Wilhelm were neutered by PAWS' veterinary staff in October, and Bigelow will undergo the same surgery soon. After enough time has passed for hormones to dissipate, it is possible they may be allowed access to each other, although they seem quite content and relaxed with their current housing. The tigers in this trio are often seen lying on their backs in the grass or under an oak tree, with their fluffy white bellies facing up to the sky - an image that PAWS cofounder, the late Pat Derby, always treasured as a sign of a happy tiger.
, a neutered 5-year-old male, and Rosemary Arnot, a 5-year-old female, share a large habitat at ARK 2000. Morris receives supplements and medications for a limp caused by a malformed shoulder that fortunately does not appear to be painful for him. He is very active and playful. Rosemary Arnot is our smallest tiger, weighing in at a "diminutive" 230 lbs. She arrived unspayed and, like Sawyer and Marin, was used to produce cubs for exploitation. Rosemary is scheduled for spay surgery and dental work soon. Both Morris and Rosemary are energetic and very active, and it is really wonderful to see these young tigers enjoy a large, naturalistic habitat where they can scratch on trees, lounge in the tall grass and playfully chase each other and run for long distances.
PAWS is honored to provide a permanent, loving home for these very deserving tigers who have suffered so much hardship in the past. It was a poignant moment for all of us when they first stepped out of their transport cages and into a new life where their dignity is preserved and their inherent wildness is respected. We are enjoying getting to know their distinct personalities, and are as committed to providing for their unique individual needs as we are for all of the animals who call our sanctuaries home.
We are grateful to you, our supporters, for making our work possible. Your donations will secure a bright future for the "Colorado Eight." Thank you.
Adopt a PAWS Animal or Make a Donation
in the Name of Someone Special
Valentine's Day is right around the corner!
If you're looking for a unique gift for that special person, friend or family member considering "adopting" an animal at PAWS PAWS or making a donation in the name of someone you love
Your compassionate gift supports our rescue and sanctuary work, and you give captive wild animals another chance at life.
When you adopt a PAWS animal for your Valentine, she or he will receive an adoption gift packet that includes:
- An email Valentine greeting from PAWS acknowledging your gift. (Adoption packet will arrive within 10 days of order.)
- Color photo and biography of adopted animal
- Certificate of adoption
- Two guest passes to one regular PAWS ARK 2000 Open House
- Invitations to special events
- Subscription to PAWS' online E-News
To "adopt" a PAWS' animal online using your credit card or a PayPal account:
- Select an animal category under our "Meet the Animals" link here, and choose the animal you wish to adopt.
- Click the "adopt" button for that animal. This will take you to the donation site where you can choose to use your PayPal account or skip PayPal and choose "pay with debit or credit card" at the bottom of the screen.
- When you reach the "review your information" window, please click on "Message to PAWS" (for PayPal users) or "Message to Seller" (non PayPal) and type in the name, mailing address and email address of the adoption recipient. Indicate that this is a Valentine's gift adoption. Then complete the transaction.
To make a donation in someone's name online:
- Visit the PAWS donation page.
- Enter your contribution amount and click on the "Donate" button. Choose to use your PayPal account, or skip PayPal and choose "pay with debit or credit card" at the bottom of the screen.
- When you reach the "review your information" window, please click on "Message to PAWS" (for PayPal users) or "Message to Seller" (non PayPal) and type in the name, mailing address and email address of the recipient of your Valentine's gift. Then complete the transaction.
To make a donation, or to "adopt" an animal by phone:
Call our office at (209) 745-2606 between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, Pacific Standard Time. We accept VISA, Discover, MasterCard and American Express. Please have your credit card ready. For adoptions, be prepared to tell us which animal you would like to adopt and provide the Valentine recipient's name, mailing address, and email address, along with any special message.
To ensure your Valentine receives an email acknowledgement greeting from PAWS by Valentine's Day, you must place your online order no later than Sunday, February 12th, or call our office no later than 4:00 p.m. on Monday, February 13th.
Have a happy Valentine's Day!
Save the Date!
PAWS 2018 International
Captive Wildlife Conference
Mark your calendar now! PAWS will be presenting the 2018 International Captive Wildlife Conference, November 9-11 in Los Angeles, with the theme of "Confronting Captivity." This three-day conference will address the confinement and use of wild animals, and features outstanding speakers from the fields of scientific research, conservation, law, and animal protection, care and policy.
PAWS has been presenting outstanding conferences since 1992, attracting speakers and attendees from around the world. Our aim is to educate, stimulate critical discussion, and promote action to protect and improve the welfare of captive wildlife.
Stay tuned for more information on location, registration, accommodations and program. Sponsorship opportunities are available; please send inquiries to PAWS Director of Science, Research and Advocacy Catherine Doyle at email@example.com.
New PAWS Program Reaches Out to Academia
PAWS has launched an innovative new program for college-level professors and their students, to be conducted at the 2,300-acre ARK 2000 natural habitat sanctuary in California. As part of Wild Animals in Captivity: Exploring the Interface Between Humans and Wildlife, students will learn about the captive wild animals we care for, and explore the empirical and ethical issues surrounding captive and wild animals, and how those issues resonate in the larger world today.
This single day program is designed for those interested in social justice, human-animal studies, animal welfare and behavior, conservation, and the contemporary interface of humans and nature. For more information, please contact PAWS Director of Science, Research and Advocacy Catherine Doyle at firstname.lastname@example.org.
UC Davis Students Visit ARK 2000
Veterinary students enrolled in the "Zoo & Wildlife Medicine" course at the U.C. Davis School of Veterinary Medicine visited PAWS' ARK 2000 sanctuary on January 18th. Led by PAWS Director of Veterinary Services, Dr. Jackie Gai, PAWS Co-founder Ed Stewart, and ARK 2000 Sanctuary and Elephant Manager Brian Busta, the students' tour featured a demonstration of protected contact elephant training, visits to the bear and tiger habitats, as well as lively discussions of the ethical and medical issues involving wild animals in captivity.
Follow the students and their philanthropic mission
on Twitter @mccaffreymaker1.
Middle School Student Entrepreneurs
Give Generously to PAWS
PAWS thanks the seventh and eighth grade students at the Robert McCaffrey Middle School in Galt, California, for their generous donation to support our animals. What makes this gift so impressive is that the students raised the funds through a student-run business as part of a program that uses entrepreneurship to make an educational and social impact. The students are creating custom-made luggage tags (see example at right) that are sure to catch your eye. The profits from sales are then donated to organizations selected by the students, as well as reinvested in their business.
In a note to PAWS, a student bag tag designer wrote: "We decided to donate to your organization because we have all decided that PAWS would be the best place for our money to go." The students have also given to other worthy causes, including a disaster relief fund in Napa County, California.
Learn more about the students and their project
, as well as order your own custom luggage tag. Every purchase helps the students, their business, and their philanthropic mission to grow.
USDA Considering Terrible Plan to Allow Animal Exploitation Industries to Self-Police
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is conducting in-person "listening sessions" and taking public comment as it considers delegating animal welfare inspection duties to industry trade groups. Zoos, breeders and research facilities would potentially be allowed to self-police, which would be nothing short of disastrous for the animals.
APHIS is responsible for enforcing the federal Animal Welfare Act and the Horse Protection Act. Under its proposal, the agency would determine how often federal inspectors visit licensed facilities, based on whether they are members of third-party inspection or "certification" programs. Members of an association for puppy mills, unscrupulous breeders, or roadside zoos could avoid independent scrutiny and easily hide critical information about animal welfare problems from public view. These facilities may not be inspected as often (the USDA usually conducts unannounced inspections of animal exhibitors once a year, for example), and would be alerted to inspections in advance, allowing a facility to conceal any welfare problems.
How you can help
1. Attend one of the listening sessions.
for information on dates and locations.
2. If you cannot attend a session, you can submit your comments
directly to APHIS via email at
. Comments are due by March 14.
Here are points you can make in your comments or during a listening session:
I am strongly opposed to the USDA's proposal to recognize the use of third-party inspection and certification programs as a factor in determining the frequency of APHIS inspections of facilities licensed and registered under the Animal Welfare Act.
Animal welfare is sure to suffer if licensed and registered facilities are not subject to regular, unannounced inspections by trained inspectors who are unaffiliated with those industries.
Third-party programs may not inspect its members' facilities as frequently as does APHIS. Inspections are usually announced in advance, which would give a facility time to cover up any animal welfare violations.
Reports from third-party program inspections would be unavailable to the public, unlike USDA inspection reports, allowing facilities to easily hide deficiencies in animal welfare.
Association with a third-party or certification program does not equal compliance with the Animal Welfare Act. For example, zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), which is considered to have more rigorous standards of care, are often found to be in violation of Animal Welfare Act regulations.
The industry trade groups that run third-party accreditation or certification programs have a strong vested interest in protecting their members, who pay costly dues to these organizations. This incentivizes both the trade groups and their members to conceal serious animal welfare problems.
The USDA should base the frequency of inspections on that facility's history of compliance (or lack of) with the Animal Welfare Act. It should not offer fewer inspections as a way to promote third-party inspection, certification or accreditation programs.
Rather than relinquish its inspection duties to third parties, the USDA should strengthen its enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act and not weaken protections for animals by allowing trade groups to police themselves. Serious enforcement will send a message that facilities must meet the minimum requirements under the law. Non-compliant facilities should have their licenses permanently revoked, saving the agency and the public time and money.
Remember, the deadline for comments is March 14!
Good News for Animals
The ban on importing elephant trophies from Zambia and Zimbabwe will remain in place
. President Trump confirmed in a recent interview that he is reversing last year's decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to overturn an Obama era ban on the import of elephant trophies from those countries. Trump stated that he did not believe the conservation argument put forth to justify trophy hunting, and that the decision was "terrible."
Nosey is free from the circus!
A district court judge in Lawrence County, Alabama, has ruled that African elephant Nosey will remain at The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee (TES). The judge gave custody of Nosey to Lawrence County, which is signing her over to TES. Animal control officer Kimberly Carpenter confiscated the elephant, who reportedly was confined without shelter, left standing in her own waste, and swayed repeatedly. Owners Hugo Liebel and his wife were arrested on animal cruelty charges. During the court trial, experts described Nosey's poor condition, including urinary tract, skin and roundworm infections, as well as painful arthritis and signs of dehydration and malnutrition. PAWS is thrilled for Nosey and wishes her all the best at TES.
Another major U.S. city bans wild animal acts
: The Pittsburgh City Council (Pennsylvania) passed a bill that will outlaw certain tools used for training or controlling wild animals, including bullhooks, electric prods, whips, or other instruments capable of "inflicting pain, intimidating or threatening pain." This action essentially prohibits the use of wild animals in circuses and other shows. It also affects the Pittsburgh Zoo, which has stubbornly clung to an outdated management method that controls elephants through fear and pain with the bullhook. Congrats to Humane Action Pittsburgh on this important victory! Click here to view PAWS' list of bans and regulations on the use of exotic animals in the U.S. as well as worldwide.
China has banned the domestic sale and processing of ivory and its products
, a move that closes one of the world's largest ivory markets and offers hope for wild elephants. Conservationists have hailed the ban as a critical step toward combating elephant poaching - as long as the ban is enforced. To truly protect elephants, markets across Asia will need to be shut down to ensure the ivory trade doesn't shift to other countries.
The Kelly Miller Circus, which featured elephants and zebras during its last tour, will no longer use wild animal acts! PETA reports
that pressure from concerned citizens led to show cancellations and a change in the circus' management. The new owner confirmed to PETA that there will be no exotic animal acts in the circus going forward.
Beloved Black Bear Oma Passes Away
Oma was born on February 12, 1994. She arrived at PAWS in July of 2003 along with three other bears - Sampson, who currently lives at ARK 2000, Cinnamon and Scarface (both deceased) - and a tiger named Nelson (also deceased). The bears and tiger were confiscated by Texas authorities from a situation of terrible abuse and neglect at the hands of a private owner who displayed them in a run-down roadside zoo. The owner of the dilapidated facility was cited for numerous violations and the animals were impounded and temporarily housed at the Houston SPCA until their transport to PAWS could be arranged.
Since the time of her arrival at PAWS, Oma had occasionally struggled with arthritis and bouts of weakness that were likely due to the damaging effects of poor early nutrition and being confined to a small cage with a hard, uncomfortable floor at her previous home. To meet her special needs, PAWS designed a large, comfortable, easy-to-navigate habitat where she enjoyed taking an occasional dip in her pool or her special bath tub and loved resting among the trees on a thick bed of pine needles that was lovingly provided by her caregivers. Throughout her years at PAWS this gentle bear enjoyed being "spoiled" with her favorite foods that included salmon and avocado, as well as a wide variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables such as berries, steamed squash and sweet potatoes.
Oma received special medications and supplements for arthritis (pills hidden in favorite treats), which made her comfortable and allowed her to have a good quality of life for many years. PAWS' veterinarian Dr. Gai developed an especially close bond with Oma, which began when the bear first arrived at PAWS. Oma would often come over to the fence and sit down next to Dr. Gai for a visit. These visits allowed Dr. Gai to have extra close-up looks at her. Oma was equally curious and interactive with all of her caregivers and deeply touched the hearts of everyone who knew her.
Dr. Gai, through a series of digital X-Rays, discovered that arthritis was beginning to affect Oma's spine and then her spinal cord,
causing severe mobility problems. After appropriate medical treatment and multiple unsuccessful efforts to help her get up, it was obvious that she was now unable to stand or walk. The difficult but most compassionate decision was made to gently euthanize her to prevent suffering. Oma died on December 26, 2017, surrounded by those who loved her. We will always remember Oma's sweet and gentle spirit, and her love of life despite physical limitations. She will be tremendously missed.
Our sincere thanks and condolences to Oma's many "adoptive parents" whose yearly donations helped provide her special medications and favorite treats.
Black bear Boo Boo loves to roll in the dirt and oak leaves in his habitat.
ARK 2000 March 10 Open House
Tickets Now On Sale
We have a limited number of tickets available for our upcoming ARK 2000 Open House to be held on Saturday, March 10th, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tickets are $50 for adults, $35 for seniors (65 and over) and $35 for children age 12 and under. If you're planning to attend, we advise you to purchase your tickets early. No tickets will be sold at the gate on the day of the event and these events do sell out.
Visitors to ARK 2000 open houses will board shuttles to the bear, lion, tiger, leopard and elephant habitats. Once you exit the shuttle you will be walking on grass, dirt, gravel, and sometimes paved surfaces, so please wear comfortable shoes. PAWS management, keepers and volunteers will be on hand to tell you about the animals and answer questions. A gift shop will be available on the day of the event. We accept cash, checks and all major credit cards.
This event happens rain or shine. Tickets are not refundable.
Two ways to purchase:
to buy online and print your tickets at home; or call 209-745-2606, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. PST, to charge by phone. Visit our calendar of events page for more information.
Ticket sales close on Thursday, March 9th, or earlier if this event sells out.
* * * *
PLEASE READ: Folding wheelchairs and strollers may be taken on most shuttles. Special arrangements for visitors with power scooters and power wheelchairs can be made by calling Kim Gardner at 916-539-5305. Yes, you may bring your cameras. ABSOLUTELY NO DRONES ALLOWED! (Anyone caught flying a drone at ARK 2000 will be escorted from the property.) There is no smoking on any PAWS property, including in our parking lots. We take fire prevention very seriously. No pets are allowed on any PAWS property, including in our parking lots. Please leave your pets at home. You will not touch any animals and all visitors will be required to stay a safe distance away from the animals.
SAVE THE DATE!
PAWS' 2018 "Elephant Grape Stomp:
An Afternoon In TUSKany"*
The 12th annual "Elephant Grape Stomp: An Afternoon In TUSKany" will take place on April 21, from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m at ARK 2000 in San Andreas. Tickets for the Grape Stomp are $100 per person and include Tuscan cuisine, wine tasting provided by more than a dozen of the California Gold Country's award-winning wineries, a silent auction to benefit the elephants, and shuttle service around the ARK 2000 sanctuary - allowing you to visit the lions, tigers, bears, leopard, and of course, the elephants. Tickets will be available for purchase online approximately 60 days prior to the event.
*No grapes are actually stomped. This is an adults-only event.
HOW YOU CAN HELP PAWS' ANIMALS
PAWS provides lifetime care to the tigers, bears, elephants, and other animals that call our sanctuaries home. As animals age, their needs change and they may develop arthritis, kidney disease, and other conditions that are readily treatable with proper care. PAWS expert animal care and veterinary staff provide specialized nutritional and medical support, tailored to the individual needs of each animal. Your generous donations make this excellent care possible.
Click on PAWS' "wish list" links 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.
Elderly rescued tiger Malabar plays with his new heavy-duty plastic ball.
These balls are one of the items that are featured on our Amazon Wish List.
Thank you Melissa Siebke for your generous donation!
Thank You January Wish List Donors
two 24" heavy plastic balls (one yellow and one red) for the tigers. David M. Barsky: one 10 lb. bag of Missing Link Ultimate Skin and Coat. Beverly Archer: one package AAA Batteries, 60#. Ethan Ecret: one Probiocin Oral Pet Gel. Kris Cooper: one 10 lb. bag Missing Link Ultimate Skin and Coat; one 5 lb. bag Missing Link Ultimate Skin and Coat; one 30 lb. bag of Blue Buffalo. Donna R. Fry: one 5 lb. bag Missing Link Ultimate Skin and Coat. Cynthia J. Kendall: two 6 ft. Folding Tables. Debra Rocker: two 20 lb. bags of Blue Buffalo; two quarts of Red Cell. Sandra Wilson: one bottle Azodyl, 90#; one 12-pack of Probiocin Oral Gel. Cathleen deOrnelas: four 30 lb. bags of Blue Buffalo. Tori and Gary Lange: one bottle of Emcelle Tocopherol (Vitamin E), 1000 ml. Sharyn and Jon Grant: one bottle of Duralactin, 180#; one 30 lb. bag of Blue Buffalo. Don Martorelli and Kathy Preziosi: three 2-packs of Walkie Talkie Radios. Lyn Castiglione: one 10 lb. bag of Missing Link Ultimate Skin and Coat. Jill Rivera: one bottle of Azodyl, 90#. MaraLee (Leezer): one 5 lb. bag of Missing Link Ultimate Skin and Coat. Anonymous Donors: two 5 lb. bags of Missing Link Ultimate Skin and Coat; two packages of AAA Batteries, 60#; one 5 lb. bag of Missing Link Ultimate Skin and Coat.
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
. Start selling!
and Matching Fund Programs
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 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.
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
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.
Help the Animals By Purchasing PAWS Merchandise
Products are fun, educational
and make 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.