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Retirement Home for Gentle Ben, Flipper and Toto

PAWS, my friends, PAWS:

    The Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) was founded in 1984 by Hollywood animal trainer and author, Pat Derby, and cofounder, Ed Stewart.

    The story of PAWS began when cofounder Pat Derby worked with exotic animals as a trainer on the sets of many popular television shows (Flipper, Daktari, Gunsmoke, Lassie) and Disney films, as well as working with the famed Lincoln-Mercury cougars, Chauncey and Christopher. In the process of developing her own training methods based on love instead of fear, Pat was shocked to discover a profession rampant with cruelty, ignorance and lack of concern.

    It was during this time that she met Ed Stewart. Pat and Ed retired their animals in the early 80′s and moved to Mendocino, CA. But stories of animal abuse prompted them to begin lobbying for the passage of legislation to regulate the treatment of exotic animals. In 1984, Pat and Ed moved to Galt and established PAWS and the sanctuary.

    Pat Derby and Ed Stewart have pioneered the method of elephant handling that uses NO bullhooks or chains. PAWS was the first facility to use this “non-dominance” technique successfully and the work of Derby and Stewart has been a model for elephant handlers around the nation and around the world.

    ….PAWS is internationally recognized as a leader in animal welfare — dedicated to the rescue of performing and exotic animals from cruel confinement and performances of pain. Among our greatest concerns are the treatment of animals in traveling shows, animal acts, television and movies, as well as the problem of captive breeding, inadequate standards for captive wildlife and the exotic animal trade.

“Performances of pain” – sounds like an industrial or death metal band.

I am not for the deification of animals, and I think PETA people would better spend their time looking after the welfare of human children, but all creatures need a place to go. Good job Pat and Ed.

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