Rescue. Advocacy. Sanctuary. For Life.
Since 1984

January 2021 | Newsletter
Asian bull elephant Prince at ARK 2000.
PAWS Looks Ahead in 2021
All of us at PAWS enter this year with hope in our hearts for a better future for both people and animals. Despite the challenges of this last year, our work for captive wildlife in need has continued uninterrupted – whether caring for the many animals at our three sanctuaries, advocating for change, or educating the public – and we look forward to advancing that work. In 2021, PAWS will:
  • Continue to rescue captive wildlife in need and provide lifelong expert care in a dynamic, natural setting.
  • Work to pass the federal Big Cat Public Safety Act, H.R. 263, that will end the private ownership of big cats and prohibit their use in inhumane cub-petting operations.
  • Campaign to inform the public about the cruelties of elephant tourism and deter people from engaging in elephant “interactions” – in the U.S. and abroad.
  • Collaborate with other experts, organizations, and professional groups like the Big Cat Sanctuary Alliance on key captive wildlife issues.
  • Keep educating classes through on-line presentations.
  • Mentor and inspire students to become leaders in animal welfare and veterinary care.
  • Use our extensive experience and deep knowledge to bring about greater protections for captive wild animals and end their exploitation.
We will also mark some special anniversaries this year: In July, it will be 10 years since Asian elephant Prince arrived at ARK 2000, leaving the circus behind. We will also celebrate the five-year anniversary of key legislative victories: passage of the first state-wide bullhook bans in Rhode Island and California (the latter of which PAWS co-sponsored). These laws preceded the closure of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus and led to more comprehensive bans on the use of wild animals in circuses. 
We look forward to working together with you to realize our many goals for this year. There is much you can do to get involved: take action on important legislation, spread the word about captive wildlife issues, and support PAWS’ important work. Together, we can change the world for captive wild animals!
Help Stop Cruel Cub Petting and the Big Cat Pet Trade

You helped pass the federal Big Cat Public Safety Act in the U.S. House of Representatives last month – with a strong bipartisan majority voting in favor – but that session of Congress ran out before the bill could be taken up by the Senate. (Thank you to everyone who contacted their Congressperson!)

The Big Cat Public Safety Act has been reintroduced as H.R. 263 by Reps. Michael Quigley, D-Ill., and Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Penn. We need your help once again to pass this important bill – and take it across the finish line!

The bill would ban the private ownership of big cats and restrict public contact with these animals, putting an end to cub petting operations and their endless breeding of big cats for profit.

PAWS cares for tigers who were rescued from the exotic “pet” trade and defunct cub petting facilities – including Kim, Claire, Bigelow, Sawyer and Wilhelm. Help us ensure that no more big cats have to suffer for entertainment and profit.

To take action, please click here.
Book a PAWS Speaker for Your Online Class!

If you are looking for a unique way to broaden your students’ online learning experience, PAWS can provide a guest speaker for your college or high school classes. Topics can range from an overview of our sanctuary work to more in-depth discussions of captive wild animal issues, ethics, and care. Contact PAWS Director of Science, Research and Advocacy at for more information. Speakers are provided at no charge.
Adopt an Animal at PAWS
or Make a Donation in the Name
of Someone Special
Valentine’s Day is coming up soon! Put a smile on the face of that special person, friend or family member by giving the gift of a PAWS animal “adoption” or making a donation in their name. This compassionate gift supports PAWS’ rescue and sanctuary work, and provides your “adopted” animal with a more enriched and natural life.
Valentine Adoption Gifts
Your Valentine will receive an adoption packet and card acknowledging your special gift within 7 to 10 days of your order and includes:
  • Color photo and biography of adopted animal
  • Certificate of adoption
  • Two guest passes to one regular PAWS ARK 2000 Open House event (Passes never expire!)
  • Invitations to special events
  • Subscription to PAWS’ e-newsletter
To “adopt” an animal on the PAWS web site:
  1. Click here to access our “Meet the Animals” page and choose the animal you wish to adopt.
  2. Click on the “adopt” button under your animal's photo. This will take you to the donation site where you can use your credit card or PayPal account.
  3. When you see the pencil icon/“message to PAWS” during your transaction, click it and type in the name, mailing address and email of the adoption recipient. Indicate that this is a Valentine’s gift adoption. Then complete the transaction.

Donations In Your Valentine's Name
Your Valentine will receive a card acknowledging your special gift within 5 to 7 days of your donation.
To make a donation on the PAWS web site:
  1. Click here to access the PAWS donation page. Click on the yellow "one time" donate button.
  2. Enter your donation amount using your credit card or PayPal account.
  3. When you see the pencil icon/“Message to PAWS” during your transaction, click it and type in the name, mailing address and email of the adoption recipient. Indicate that this is a Valentine’s gift adoption. Then complete the transaction.
To make a donation or “adopt” an animal by phone:
Call the PAWS 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. For adoptions, be prepared to provide the name of the animal you would like to adopt and the Valentine recipient's name, mailing address, and email address, along with any special message.
Make sure to let your Valentine know their special gift will be arriving soon. Have a Happy Valentine’s Day!
PAWS Applauds
Inaugural Youth Poet Laureate
Amanda Gorman
Those of you who attended PAWS’ 30th anniversary gala – held in Burbank, California, in November 2014 – may remember the young woman who presented "Things We Will Never See", an original poem she penned especially for the occasion. She received a standing ovation. Her name is Amanda Gorman and she was then the first Youth Poet Laureate of Los Angeles at age 16.

Today, she is the youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history, having performed her inspirational poem, "The Hill We Climb", at the inauguration of President Joe Biden on January 20. We could not be more proud of Amanda, with whom we connected because of her love for elephants. She is a remarkable young woman with a brilliant future ahead of her.

Read "Things We Will Never See" below.
Notable January Dates at PAWS
Mara, 31 Years at PAWS
Rescued African elephant Mara arrived at PAWS on January 23, 1990. She is our longest-term resident and remains one of our more colorful personalities, known for her fun-loving spirit, athleticism, and high energy. She shares a habitat at ARK 2000 with African elephant Thika.
Happy 27th Birthday
to Boo Boo
Black bear Boo Boo was born in a breeding compound in January 1994 and was sold as a pet to a family in Ohio. Rescue brought him to PAWS on December 6, 1994. He shares an oak-forested home in the Bob Barker Bear Habitat at ARK 2000 with Winston, another rescued black bear.
Black Bear Winston
Turns 28
Once identified only as "Bear #1530", Winston, who was born in January 1993, was purchased as a "pet" and later confiscated by wildlife authorities. When he came to PAWS in 1995, he joined another young black bear, Boo Boo, who had also been a “pet.” The two bonded and they remain close to this day – a quarter-century-long friendship!
Georgette the Emu
is Rescued
Georgette came to PAWS in January 2017, after running loose for a week in the California foothill community of Valley Springs. Calaveras County Animal Services was able to capture her and PAWS agreed to give Georgette a home at our Amanda Blake Memorial Wildlife Refuge in Herald, California. She now lives with a flock of 10 emus in a very large enclosed pasture area filled with trees, grass, natural vegetation, covered shelters and a winding creek.
First Colorado Tigers
Arrive at ARK 2000
The first four of eight tigers rescued from a defunct roadside zoo in Colorado arrived at ARK 2000 four years ago this month; the remaining four tigers arrived in February. At the facility, tigers were repeatedly bred so the zoo could sell interactions and photos with their cubs to the public. After a life of deprivation and exploitation, these needy tigers finally have a natural environment where they can relax, play, and explore to their hearts' content.
Grand Opening of the Pat Derby Animal Wellness Center
On January 25, 2017, PAWS celebrated the opening of our new Pat Derby Animal Wellness Center, named in honor of the late PAWS co-founder. The 1,800-square foot facility, located at ARK 2000, allows on-site diagnosis and treatment of animals, sparing them the stress of transport to a specialty veterinary facility. 
Tiger brothers Apollo and Zeus napping in their habitat at ARK 2000.
Beloved Tiger Apollo, Passes Away
PAWS is saddened to share the news that our dear Apollo (left) passed away on December 30, 2020, after a sudden decline in health. 
Apollo and his brother Zeus were 10 years old when they arrived at PAWS' ARK 2000 sanctuary in April 2012. The two big cats were rescued from a failing exotic animal facility in Ohio. The brothers shared a close bond, and protective peacemaker Apollo was a calming presence for Zeus who wasn't especially fond of neighboring tigers.
The two tigers also shared a similar medical condition known as spondylosis, a chronic condition of the spinal vertebrae that often leads to compression of the spinal cord, loss of intervertebral discs, and eventual paralysis. Both tigers were also declawed in their front paws, a cruel procedure which is now prohibited in big cats due to the lasting harm and pain this procedure can cause.
Zeus passed away in 2018, when he lost the use of his rear legs. This condition is sometimes seen in older animals as a normal part of aging, but the early onset and severity of Apollo and Zeus' spondylosis was likely made worse by inadequate care and nutrition when they were cubs – a tragic consequence of the type of irresponsible breeding practices that take place in roadside zoos.
Apollo was friendly and interactive with all of his tiger neighbors, and they all seemed to love him. He enjoyed spending time near neighbor Sawyer, and the two often slept close to each other and took long, leisurely walks together separated by a shared fence. Apollo also developed a special friendship with his other neighbor, Mungar, a special-needs tiger who arrived in late 2019 with mobility and vision problems. When Mungar first arrived, Apollo watched him with fascinated attention as this new neighbor settled in. He chuffed friendly greetings while giving Mungar space to adjust to his new home. Perhaps Mungar, with his unusual gait, reminded him a little bit of his brother Zeus. Apollo and Mungar began taking walks together along their shared fence line. At first, Apollo had to walk slowly so that Mungar could catch up. As Apollo's mobility declined, Mungar could outpace him, but the two remained friends.
In 2018, Apollo began getting weaker in his back legs and was diagnosed with mild kidney disease by our veterinarian, Dr. Gai. He began receiving special medications and supplements at that time to support joint and kidney function, and these seemed to help him feel comfortable and content. In 2019 he began showing symptoms of nerve pain resulting from spondylosis. Our veterinarians prescribed appropriate medications again to alleviate his discomfort. Apollo was playful and active and seemed to feel well for quite some time after these diagnoses, until his mobility took a sharp decline in late December. As his condition was not surgically repairable, and medications could no longer help, the difficult but most humane decision was made to euthanize him to prevent suffering.
Apollo passed from this life at the age of 18, surrounded by so many who loved him, including tiger supervisor Renae who has cared for him since the day he arrived. He was very special to the dedicated staff who catered to his every need, from creating fluffy leaf piles for him to lounge on, to making sure his swimming pool was fresh, clean, and easy to enter and exit. We will always remember his playful antics, and miss his unique, deep, talking voice and his kindness to other tigers. Rest in peace, dear Apollo.
Above: Rescued bobcat Owen playing in his habitat at ARK 2000.

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.
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.
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.
Thank You January
Amazon Wish List Donors!
Jaime Rusche: one 8 lb. bucket of Simply Flax. Nancy Gordon: three boxes of AA batteries, 24#. Emily Marcroft: one 8 lb. bucket of Simply Flax; one bottle of Renal Essentials, 60#; one Probiocin. Erica Cordeiro: two 8 lb. buckets of Simply Flax; five Probiocin. Margaret, Henry and Casey Hague: one 8 lb. bucket of Simply Flax; one bottle of CosequinDS, 132#. Adella: three 8 lb. buckets of Simply Flax. Geri Campbell: one 8 lb. bucket of Simply Flax: five Probiocin. Marcia Pelka: one 5 lb. bag of Missing Link Skin and Coat; one bottle of Renal Essentials, 60#. Valerie: one set of Cobra Walkie Talkies. Mary Solomon: one bottle of Renal Essentials, 60#. Valerie Marini: one 8 lb. bucket of Simply Flax; one Probiocin; two boxes of AA batteries, 24#. Lynne Reeser: one 5 lb. bag of Missing Link Skin and Coat; one box of Denamarin, 30#. Susan Stangland: one 8 lb. bucket of Simply Flax. Anonymous Donors: one scoop shovel for the elephant barns.
Connect with us:
Share this newsletter:
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 12 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.