Ed Stewart, co-founder and president of PAWS

by | Nov 19, 2014

Ed Stewart—co-founder and president of the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS)—recalls what prompted he and his late partner, the indefatigable Pat Derby, to launch PAWS, now marking its 30th anniversary. f28TK.So.4In answer to a question about what ways the PAWS mission has changed over the years, Stewart explains they never expected to be running a sanctuary—all the more startling, given that EdStewartorganization operates three sanctuaries in California, including the 2300-acre ARK 2000 facility, which houses 21 tigers, 10 elephants, as well as bears, lions and other animals. He also describes the Tiger Rescue situation—involving a horrible facility in Colton, CA where there were dozens of neglected (and dozens of dead) tigers spread across a decrepit, dreadful money-making operation—BtUsFQECcAAVGicfrom which PAWS took in and relocated 39 tigers to ARK 2000, an undertaking Stewart called “the hardest thing we’ve ever done.” He addresses the emotionally-charged saga of the Toronto Zoo Elephants, three African elephants that the Zoo had decided should no longer live in Toronto, but erupted into an international story, as there was protracted debate among various factions over where those pachyderms should go, and even how they should get there. (Eventually, they ended up at ARK 2000.) Stewart also comments on some aspects of the 2014 International Captive Wildlife Conference, a three-day summit PAWS had organized in Burbank a few days before this interview. (www.pawsweb.org)

ALSO: We had a brief conversation with RaeAnna Saks, founder of The Little Cats Rescue, who explained that a confluence of factors had caused the organization’s unintentional transition, at least temporarily, from rescue to sanctuary. Saks also describes the then-forthcoming fundraiser: Drag Queen Bingo at Hamburger Mary’s in Clearwater. (http://thelittlecatsrescue.blogspot.com, www.facebook.com/TheLittleCatsRescue)

COMEDY CORNER: Matt Braunger’s “Owls” (part one) and “Dalmatians” (www.mattbraunger.com)

MUSIC: Rebekah Pulley’s “Talking Animals Theme,” Buck Owens’ “I’ve Got A Tiger By The Tail,” instrumentals

NAME THAT ANIMAL TUNE: We didn’t play Name That Animal Tune today.


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