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California Heartland

 


Season 8 | Season 7 | Season 6 | Season 5 | Season 4 | Season 3 | Season 2 (More archive seasons coming soon)

  Season 8 - Episode 803
 

PAWS

PAWS

PAWS

PAWS

PAWS


  PAWS

This week we visited an addition to growing number of properties belonging to an organization called "PAWS", the Performing Animal Welfare Society. This 2300-acre sanctuary near San Andreas is home to a handful of elephants and 17 tigers, with more on the way. PAWS is internationally recognized as a leader in animal welfare - dedicated to the rescue of performing and exotic animals from cruel confinement.

At the sanctuary we met up with Pat Derby, and discovered her love affair with animals blossomed in her first career in Hollywood, where she worked as a trainer on popular TV shows like "Flipper" and "Daktari". Seeing animals captive and caged spurred her to become an activist and with partner Ed Stewart she founded "PAWS" in 1984.

Today PAWS takes in all sorts of four-legged refugees from traveling animal acts and other venues…and after twenty years, Pat's convictions have only grown stronger.

Of course, tigers and elephants having the run of the Gold Country wouldn't sit well with its human inhabitants, so the PAWS ranch is safely surrounded by sturdy fences, but the goal here is to keep this habitat as natural as possible and that means growing native plants, so the elephants eat the same foods they would in Africa. Today the property is a work in progress and Pat hopes it will inspire others to follow her lead.

In an effort to keep the animals in the most natural habitat as possible both PAWS sites are not open to the public. But visitors are welcome at the PAWS Amanda Blake Memorial Wildlife Refuge and Museum southeast of Sacramento in Rancho Seco Park. For years, Amanda Blake of the TV show "Gunsmoke" was a strong supporter of the PAWS effort.

For more information on PAWS call: (209) 745-2606

 
   

 

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