Rescue. Advocacy. Sanctuary. For Life.
Since 1984

September 2019 | Newsletter

Tiger Kim Sees the Dentist

By Jackie Gai, DVM
PAWS' Director of Veterinary Services
When PAWS' caregivers noticed that 16-year-old tiger Kim (left) started refusing to eat food with bones in it, we suspected that she might have a problem with her teeth. I contacted veterinary dental specialist Dr. Nicodin Farcas from the Animal Dental Clinic in San Carlos, California, for assistance in evaluating and treating her teeth, and he gladly agreed to help. On September 19th, Dr. Farcas and three of his assistants joined me, PAWS' Registered Veterinary Technician (RVT) Lynn Dowling, and volunteer RVT Kirk Stafford for an anesthetized examination at our on-site veterinary facility, the Pat Derby Animal Wellness Center at ARK 2000. 
I am frequently asked how we provide hands-on medical care to the tigers and other carnivores at PAWS, and the answer is: It takes an experienced team of professionals working together to make the procedure safe for the patient, as well as the people involved. Performing dental work on a large carnivore like Kim must be done with the patient under general anesthesia, which requires expertise, efficiency and focus on the part of the veterinary team. 
After an overnight fast, Kim received anesthetic drugs from an air-propelled dart. Once she was safely asleep, we transported her from her den to the Wellness Center where a flurry of activity took place before we could start the dental exam. We placed an endotracheal (breathing) tube and connected Kim to gas anesthesia. We then inserted an I.V. catheter to administer fluids, and we connected monitoring devices to measure heart rate, blood oxygenation, and blood pressure. Once she was determined to be in stable condition the dental work began.
Right: RVTs Lynn Dowling and Kirk Stafford place an IV catheter and attach monitoring devices, getting Kim ready for the dental team to begin their work.
Left: Animal Dental Clinic Veterinary Assistant Jessica Little takes dental X-rays of Kim.
Dr. Farcas and his team took digital radiographs (X-rays) of Kim's teeth and discovered one devitalized incisor tooth in need of extraction. The tooth was pulled and dissolving sutures were used to close the socket. Kim's teeth were cleaned with an ultrasonic scaler, which addressed some minor plaque buildup and gingivitis. Overall, Dr. Farcas felt that Kim would do well after the procedure, and he was pleased to observe that no broken teeth or infection were found.
Above: Dr. Farcas using ultrasonic scaler to clean Kim's teeth.
While the dental team worked on Kim's teeth and Kirk monitored anesthesia, Lynn collected blood, administered injections, and assisted me with radiographs and a nail trim. Kim has had an abnormally thickened claw on her left front foot for many years, which needs to be checked and trimmed periodically.
Left: Dr. Gai and RVT Lynn Dowling X-ray Kim's paw and abnormally thickened claw. Dr. Gai is wearing a new leopard print, lead X-ray apron donated to PAWS by Susan Senser.
One of the most exciting aspects of Kim's exam was the opportunity to utilize our new, state-of-the-art ultrasound machine, a generous gift to PAWS from our friend and supporter Deb Hoffman. I used it to evaluate Kim's kidneys and bladder while Dr. Farcas took care of her dental needs.

Ultrasound allows us to non-invasively visualize internal organs and structures inside the body, greatly enhancing our ability to diagnose and treat illness. I'm happy to report that Kim's abdominal ultrasound exam revealed no abnormalities.
Right: Dr. Gai looks at an ultrasound image of Kim's bladder while Dr. Farcas performs dental work. 
Left: Dr. Gai using PAWS' new ultrasound machine to examine Kim's abdomen. We're very grateful for this wonderful gift!
Ultrasound technology has rapidly advanced since our older ultrasound machine was manufactured almost 10 years ago. Today's images are crisp, clear and show finer detail. This new ultrasound machine is portable so it can be used both in the clinical setting of the Wellness Center, as well as out in the field when exams are done in the barns or den areas. Still images and video clips can be saved and electronically sent to specialists for quick review when a second opinion is needed. A color Doppler feature allows our veterinary team to evaluate blood flow, a welcome enhancement to our diagnostic capabilities.
Kim was transported back to her den after the procedure, where she recovered from anesthesia smoothly and comfortably. She was back to her active, playful self by the next morning, ready to eat breakfast and explore her large habitat with brother Roy and sister Claire.

My heartfelt thanks to Dr. Farcas and his team who so generously donated their time and expertise to help Kim. Thanks also to long-time PAWS supporter Kirk Stafford, RVT, for his assistance with anesthesia. These professionals are a pleasure to work with and their involvement significantly elevates the level of care that we can provide to the deserving animals who call our sanctuary home.
Standing, l-r: Ed Stewart, President and Co-founder, PAWS; Dr. Nicodin Farcas, DVM, DAVDC, Animal Dental Clinic; Kirk Stafford, RVT, volunteer; Lynn Dowling, RVT, PAWS; Dr. Jackie Gai, DVM, Director of Veterinary Services, PAWS. Front row, l-r: Stacy Neubert, Practice Manager, Animal Dental Clinic; Maile Paini, Veterinary Assistant, Animal Dental Clinic; Jessica Little, Veterinary Assistant, Animal Dental Clinic.
PAWS 35 th Anniversary Celebration:
Tickets Available Now
On Saturday, November 9, the Bagatta Family of Laguna Niguel, California, is presenting an exclusive event to honor PAWS and its president and co-founder, Ed Stewart. The celebration will be held at the Carl Nolet, Sr. Hospitality Center in the Ketel One Pavilion in Aliso Viejo.

This intimate evening features some very special guests , including Academy Award-winning actress Kim Basinger ; comedian, writer, actor and producer Whitney Cummings ; comedian and actor Kevin Nealon ; and actor and documentary filmmaker Ross McCall . All proceeds from the benefit go directly to the rescued or retired elephants, big cats, and bears cared for at PAWS’ ARK 2000 natural habitat sanctuary. The event includes:

·          Exclusive Nolet’s Silver Gin Tasting
·          Plant-based gourmet buffet
·          Hosted bar
·          Silent auction

Thank you to event sponsors: Tony Bagatta, Bistro K, Nolet Distillery, Ketel One Vodka, M.J. Expiritu-Gerometta, Cindy Anderson, Kimberly McDonald, and Dr. Kristina Wiley, DDS.

Seating is extremely limited . All guests must be 21 years or older to attend.

Click here to purchase tickets – and for information on the event, including hosting a table.
PAWS' Innovative Outreach Program Welcomes Back College Students
PAWS is again offering Wild Animals in Captivity: Exploring the Interface Between Humans and Wildlife , a half-day learning experience for college professors and their classes. The program takes place at PAWS’ 2,300-acre ARK 2000 natural habitat sanctuary in San Andreas, California, home to rescued or retired elephants, bears, and big cats.
The program explores the links between captivity, animal use, and larger wildlife issues. It is designed for, but not limited to, those interested in areas such as human-animal studies, animal welfare and behavior, biology, environmental studies, animal law, education, and conservation. The aim is to motivate students to think more deeply about the interface of humans and nature as defined by our interactions with wild animals in circuses, zoos, private menageries, and when kept as exotic pets – and inspire them to make a difference. To date, the response from students and professors has been enthusiastic.
Wild Animals in Captivity: Exploring the Interface Between Humans and Wildlife is offered through December; dates are limited. The course will take place again from February through June 2020. Professors are invited to bring interested students, free of charge.
For more information, contact PAWS Director of Science, Research and Advocacy Catherine Doyle at .

PAWS thanks David Reuben for making this innovative program possible.
California Circus Bill Update
PAWS continues to actively work to pass the Circus Cruelty Prevention Act (SB 313) sponsored by Senator Ben Hueso. The bill – which would end the use of wild animals in circuses – was passed by the California Senate and Assembly and has been transmitted to Governor Newsom. We are now waiting to see if the governor will sign the bill into law.

If you live in California and haven’t yet contacted the governor to urge him to sign SB 313 into law, click here .  Where you see “Purpose of Communication”, select “Have Comment” and then provide the requested information. Use the pull-down menu next to “Please choose your subject” and scroll down to “SB00313/Animals: prohibition on use in circuses.” Click on “Continue”, which will take you to a page where you can leave a message. Next to “Position”, be sure to choose “Pro.” Click on “Send Message” to complete the process.

PAWS has long worked to end the abuse of wild animals in circuses, who are forced to perform under threat of painful punishment, confined in cramped cages and crates as they are transported from show to show, and generally deprived of all that is natural to them. We are hopeful that Governor Newsom will do the right thing for wild animals forced to perform in circuses.
Top Experts Call for End to Elephant Captivity at International Conference
Some of the world’s leading elephant experts recently participated in a conference in South Africa called “Taking the Elephant Out of the Room.” Organized by the EMS Foundation , the event followed the historic decision at CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna) to prohibit the capture of wild elephants for export to zoos outside Africa, except in extraordinary circumstances. Speakers included PAWS’ friends Dr. Joyce Poole (left) of ElephantVoices and conservation biologist Dr. Keith Lindsay.
Conference topics included : compelling descriptions of who elephants are and their importance to the ecosystems in which they live, the ways they suffer both physically and psychologically in captivity, how the captivity of elephants is not conservation, legal perspectives, and how captive elephants could be integrated into the wild. The speakers concluded that elephants should not be captured for a life in captivity, and that those elephants already in captivity should be placed in environments that are as free and natural as possible. A policy framework based on the conference will be developed.
This inspiring conference can be viewed here:

Panel 1 - "Why Elephants Are Important and Who They Are"

Panel 2 - "Capture, Conditions and Destinations"

Panel 3 - " Captive Elephants on the Edge: Risks and Remedies"

Panel 4 - "Wrap Up, Way Forward and Recommendations"
Tiger Pharaoh Passes Away
It is with tremendous sadness that we share the news that our dear Pharaoh has passed away. 
Pharaoh was the second oldest of eight tigers who came to ARK 2000 in late 2016 after a notorious Colorado roadside zoo was shut down and all animals at the compound needed placement. The facility repeatedly bred big cats and bears to produce a steady stream of cubs for public handling and photo sessions. Cubs were taken from their mothers while small and still nursing, and were subjected to long periods of rough handling, followed by neglect and further breeding when they quickly grew too large to handle. 
When Pharaoh first arrived at PAWS he was underweight, nervous, and aggressive towards people. Tiger supervisor Renae spent extra time observing and caring for him, and little by little he began to trust her and feel calm in her presence. We gradually increased the amount of nutritious food he was offered daily, but he did not gain weight and he appeared unusually hungry, considering the large meals he was eating. 
After allowing Pharaoh time to settle in and become familiar and comfortable in his new home, our veterinary team performed a comprehensive anesthetized examination and diagnosed a malabsorption syndrome that was not allowing his body to absorb nutrients properly. He responded well to treatment for this condition and started gaining weight. Soon he looked like a different tiger altogether, with muscle tone, a lustrous coat, and, best of all, his anxiety disappeared and his appetite was no longer insatiable.
Pharaoh flourished under the expert care of our tiger staff. He enjoyed the peaceful setting of ARK 2000, surrounded by the sights, smells, and sounds of nature instead of the near-constant gawking, loud human noises, and close confinement of his previous life. His favorite things to rub on and play with were pumpkins and Christmas trees, and he loved the water so much he could be found in his pool daily, even in winter. When he heard his favorite person Renae approaching, Pharaoh would wait at the front of his den area to say hello - with more than the usual friendly "chuff." He would talk loudly and rub his body along the fence to express his affection.
Pharaoh passed away unexpectedly in the early morning hours of September 20th. He was 16. He had shown no signs of illness or discomfort. A necropsy was performed at the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine in hopes of finding out the cause of his death. The results are pending.

Pharaoh was deeply loved here at PAWS, and we are grateful for the opportunity to provide him a safe and peaceful home for almost three years. He will be greatly missed.
Thank You September
Amazon Wish List Donors!
Rose: one bottle of Renal Essentials 60#; one bottle of CosequinDS 132#; one 10 lb. bag of Missing Link Skin & Coat; two 5 lb. bags of Missing Link Skin & Coat; one 25 lb. bag of peanuts in the shell. Linda Toren: one 5 lb. bag of Missing Link Skin & Coat. Leona Heraty: one 3-pack of bleach. Patricia Christensen: one 25 lb. bag of peanuts in the shell. John Brucia: one 25 lb. bag of peanuts in the shell. Cathie Van Veen: one 10 lb. bag of Missing Link Skin & Coat. Joyce E. Hodel: one 5 lb. bag of Missing Link Skin & Coat. Robyn Pierce: five Probiocin. Deb Kelly: one Probiocin; one 8 oz. bottle of EicosaDerm. Cindy in Sacramento: one 10 lb. tub of Psyllium. Madeleine Schlemmer: two 5 lb. tubs of Psyllium. Kaywood G. Fuqua: one 5 lb. tub of Psyllium. Kathryn M. Dodds: five 5 lb. tubs of Psyllium. Lisa Klotz: one book, "Images of Animals." Anonymous Donors: one bottle of Crananidin, 75#; one case of copier paper; one bottle of Azodyl 90#; one 3-pack of bleach.

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.
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P. O. Box 849, Galt, CA 95632 | (209) 745-2606