Sunday, May 5, 2013

Pat Derby (1942-2013) cofounder of Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS)

Pat Derby PAWS
In my previous blog I told about that Pat Derby / PAWS threatens to sue me(In 2002, PAWS spent $67,000 in legal fees, according to its income tax return. Money from kind people who gave her donations, believing that all the money went to her animals.) It so happened that Mrs Derby passed away in February 2013, and I have not heard anything more from her lawyers.
During an interview, Pat Derby said that: "she is convinced that “speech killed us, because the first thing we learn to speak we learn to lie".

This may, in her case, be very true. In numerous interviews she says that she "that she developed her own training methods based on love and trust", but this seems to be wrong, according to other people.

I have documents (download here) stating Pat Derbys poor competence as animal trainer, critizising her total lack of welfare for animals in her posession, as well as privately taking money away from shared bank accounts with other persons os companies, which you can read further down, and at the bottom of the page you find links and sources mentioned, but lets begin with an introducation:

Pat Derby

Pat Derby, (June 7, 1942 - February 15, 2013) born Patricia Bysshe Shelley in Sussex, England, met the animal trainer Theodore Ralph Ball (alias Ted Derby, Pat convinced him to take his mothers maiden name Derby, as stage name) in 1964, who supplied trained animals for animals for the movies, in a San Francisco nightclub in the mid-’60s. They married, and settled in Placerita Canyon in Newhall, north of Los Angeles.

Here they faced protests from neighbors, because of the animals, why they, and their animals, moved to Buellton, where the business gradually changed from animals trained for movies, to an animal shelter, sometimes reaching about 200 animals.  

Be sure to read the poster below!!


On Internet I found the following: "The Andersen Animal Farm, behind Pea Soup Andersen’s, had exotic animals and a train for children to ride. It was operated for two years in the early 1970s by former Pea Soup Andersen’s owner Vince Evans, who died in a plane crash." "The business thrived under Evans' hand. By then the restaurant was purchasing 50 tons of peas each year, enough for three-quarters of a million bowls of soup! He built an aviary and filled it with parrots, he installed a train for children to ride that went from the restaurant to the area where the motel now stands, and even had a miniature wild animal park for two years. The park was discontinued in 1970 to make way for the addition of a Danish style motel in 1970."

The couple divorced in the mid-1970s, and Ted Derby took some 30 animals to his new place in Tehachapi.
On the morning of April 12, 1976. Derby was fatally shot by adjacent landowner Jack Coyne, 63.  (Theodore Ralph Ball (alias Ted Derby) is buried in the Santa Barbara Cemetery. He was born 9/3/34 in New York, and died 4/12/76 in Bakersfield, CA according to the cemetery records.)

Ted Derby was shot by a neighbour while stealing cattle, and the man who shot him was acquitted, according to Ronald L. Oxley, Action Animals, Acton, California. 

In the same year, 1976 Pat Derby met Ed Stewart.

From the article Open Wide:  
Santa Barbara County officials asked Ms. Derby to move her animals out after some Santa Ynez Valley ranchers complained the wild animal noises were disturbing their livestock, according to a Santa Barbara County Planning Department spokesman. He added that Ms. Derby located the animals there without proper permits and then didn’t follow through on applications for a conditional use permit. He said the Santa Barbara County district attorney gave her several extensions on the permit time limit, before he ordered her to remove the animals.

Read more here:
Since March 1977 the animals were housed at Earl Laursens farm in Nipomo Mesa, Santa Ynez Valley, California, according to the article Open Wide, where Pat Derby says that "Most of the animals are defanged or declawed".

Read more here:

View Larger Map
Elephant Neena and caretaker Ray Ryan, who went to work for Ms. Derby in Nipomo Mesa after she and her cougar appeared at an auto show in Chicago, his hometown.

Read more here:

Read more here:
1978 they opened Howling Wolf Lodge and Wild Animal Sanctuary in Leggett, California. In february 1982 the elephant Neena seems to have died in a barn fire, during Pat Derbys care. More about this on next blog. (Anyone who has detailed information about Neenas death, please send it to me.)

Pat Derby’s Famous Wild Animals – Leggett, CA

In 1984, Pat and Ed founded the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) and Ed Stewart, the former car man, is currently director of Sanctuary Operations for PAWS’ three sanctuaries and serves as PAWS animal care manager. Ed Stewart recently wrote an article titled: No Ethical Way to Keep Elephants in Captivity, where he states that "I have more than 32 years of experience caring for elephants, both Asian and African, including raising calves and managing dangerous bull elephants. My partner, and PAWS’ co-founder, Pat Derby, had more than 38 years of experience working with elephants. ", and in the same article he appearently can look into the future when he says: "The inadequacies for elephants in captivity will always be a source of disease and suffering for elephants", but he forgots to mention why only a few percent of captive elephants are suffering from diseases now, today. The former car man doesnt go into any details why he claim to be an elephant specialist. But when speaking about his experience with "raising calves and managing dangerous bull elephants" he seem to forget that PAWS has no breeding, no calfs were born there, and both their bulls are castrated.

So what about Pat Derbys claimed 38 years of experience working with elephants?

It seems actually that Ted Derby bought their first elephant Neena 43 years ago, in 1970, and Ted died 37 years ago, in 1976, which gives me the indication that Pat started to take care of Neena after Teds death, until Neena appearently died in flames in the barnfire six years later, in 1982.

 Ed Stewart says he has over 32 years experience with elephants. 2013-32 = 1981, one  year before Neena died. After this Pat Derby and Ed Stewart didnt had any elephants, until 71 arrived in 1986.

Signed statements from people who knew Pat Derby:

Ronald L. Oxley, Action Animals, Acton, California writes 1984:

This letter in response to a letter I received from PAWS announcing the formation of their new organization. I have relevant, important comments to make concerning Pat Derby who I suspect is in collusion with Ms. Sue Pressum in the formation of PAWS.

Mrs. Derby claim to have been an animal trainer for 20 years, while in fact her and he: late husband's short independent career as "trainers" lasted from 5-7 years. During this short career they were guilty of severe animal abuse at their own hand.. They maintained animals under the most abusive
and cruelest of circumstances.

Among their more notable achievements was time constant tranquilization of mammals, on the set of the filming of the Lassie series. The Derbys could not train their animals so they attempted to tranquilize animals as an alternative (substitute) for their obligation to provide the show with trained wild animals.  One particular incident included the sedation of a cougar which was placed in a corral with a horse. The horse became excited, kicked the cougar in the head,  and killed it. Subsequently the camera operator (who can attest to this event) refused to film the Derbys' attempts to later utilize tranquilized wolves.

While working on cougar commercial on location in the Valley of Fire in Nevada the Derbys allowed one of their cheetahs to die of heat stroke. I can proof this event with hard evidence.

Pat Derbys book Lady and the tiger
The Derbys' animals were never trained or conditioned to perform in motion pictures and it was pure cruelty on their part for them to even “perform” in moving pictures; just to take their animals on the set was a severe stress on their animals.
After their separation Pat Derby could not get a job with her animals so she had a veterinarian euthanize the animals Ted Derby wouldn’t take and those to which she had no personal attachment. This is a most disgusting and disgraceful act. A friend and colleague of mine witnessed these animals being scooped up by a tractor shovel and heaped in a pile in the back of a pickup truck.

(On the picture to the right, you can read about when Pat Derby describes how she was killing animals the whole day.)
As an illustration of the character, ethics and morals of Ted Derby it is a matter of fact that he was killed while stealing cattle from a neighboring farmer. He had been, warned against rustling cattle prior to being shot for doing so. The man who shot him was acquitted.  

My personal, well-founded feelings are that Pat Derby is a frustrated individual who is too lazy to find and/or create a meaningful career; she is therefore praying upon the emotions of an uniformed, innocent public by seeking donations to support P.A.W.S. She solicits many under the guise of animal humanity for her own personal needs so she can live “high on the hog”  I recently watched her on television being interviewed in the company of a bear which, she claimed had been abused by an animal trainer. Who was this trainer? She was publically denouncing "trainers" with no specifics; a rather irresponsible act. She was crying during the interview- l wonder if she ever cries at night over the  cases of neglect, outright: abuse and cruelty of which she was guilty?

Pat Derby should've been an actress because she has convinced so many people that she was animal trainer. I am convinced that she did not seek an acting career for the same reasons she is not animal trainer. Animal trainers work 12-16 hour days, seven days a week and should spend 75% of their income on cages, feed, animal transportation and property on which to maintain their animals. Animal trainers can ill afford to travel around the country collecting money and fabricating stories about the abuse of motion picture animals.

The few professional animal trainers involved in supplying animals to the TV and Motion Picture Industry are quality people who take excellent care of their animals. On a purely economic basis it is hardly in their best interest to abuse their animals.

I have always considered my ownership of animals a privilege and not a burden. My career as a Professional trainer has always been secondary to the health, welfare, and day-to-day care of my animals. I am proud and outspoken en ray love for animals. Pat Derby for years has written articles full of distortions and lies; she has given TV. interviews which are full of fabricated stories about animals, animal trainers, animal abuse, animal training, animal handling and animal care.

I am in favor of well meaning, highly qualified humane organizations who legitimately seek public and private support and aid in the elimination of any form of cruelty to animals. I will continue to support these organizations such as the American Humane Association who are under contract by the Association of Motion Picture and Television Producers to police the use of animals on the set. There are other worthy organizations which I support who center their activities in the field, off the set.

Any humane group that allows Pat Derby to represent them and use her acting abilities to distract from, whatever accomplishments the organization could achieve is wreckless in its judgment and has in itself been deceived by a professional cheat and a liar. The organization's objectives, goals and potential for future progress should be re-evaluated - or the organization should be reorganized or disbanded until a legitimate, knowledgeable, honest representative can be found.

Personally, from this day hence I will continue to gather information, based upon witness testimonials to expose Pat Derby for what she really is - a fraud! Whether or not a class action suit, to cause Pat Derby to cease and desist in her activities is presently being discussed by interested parties in my area.

P.A.W.S, and Pat Derby are not welcomed by our industry and their sordid lies and deceit of the public will not be tolerated. I respectfully caution you to tread carefully in the future and evaluate your allegations in the light of the serious repercussions which may result from any further attempts at public deceit, slandering of professionals and disruption of an industry who has successfully policed itself and driven off the bad characters which Mrs. Derby claims to exist. There are few of us professionals who derive a living by supplying animals for use in the motion picture, TV and entertainment field - we are beyond repute and can withstand any challenges Mrs. Derby cares to present. This is especially true in the light of Mrs. Derby's character, morals, ethics, past history, state of the art knowledge of animals and her present attempts to bilk a well-meaning public out of --20.00 --25.00 --35.00 --50 or other $.

Mr. Ronald L. Oxley

Transcript from a letter from Animal Actors of Hollwood, from 1988:
"I have known Pat Derby since 1967. At that time Pat and her then husband Ted were subrenting space from Jungleland for their animals.

I was also familar with their training methods, or rather lack of them. On one occasion (The Red Skelton Show) I was present when they were asked to leave due to, in my opinion, embarrasingly bad performance and working style. Since Pat could not succeed as a movie trainer, she became an active member of the animal protection industry.

In 1975 she introduced Sue Pressman of the H.S.U.S. as  a movie producer to Frank Inn, the late George Toth, Ron Oxley and myself, a missrepresentation to say the least. Among others Pressman requested we tie a wolf temporarily in the sun so that she could take a better picture of it for her upcoming movie. The resulting "Expose" appeared in that famous clarion of truth "The National Enquirer" claiming us as cruel trainers' tormenting the wolf in the biasing sun.

Just recently I have viewed a Canadian T.V. show "The Fifth Estate" where Pat Derby gave misleading, incorrect, and in my opinion hateful accusations against her former colleagues in the motion picture industry.

Her actions preclude any fair or unbiased treatment towards this group of highly qualified, severly controlled and supervised group of tax paying professionals. In my opinion to have Pat Derby on the Fish and Game Commission Board is an intolerable situation, and I recommend her immediate removal. ."

Transcript from a letter from Jan Giacinto, Exotic Animals in Santa Rita, 1988:

At your request, here is my statement about Pat Derby. I worked with her on several jobs. Quite a few years back I worked with her on the Cougar commercials. I supplied baby cougars on several jobs. Pat bragged about how the agency sent her cases of wine. That was her favorite drink and she would have her glass around ten in the morning. I have seen her drink wine while working on the commercial with full grown cougars.

Speaking of abuse to animals, if Pat Derby used to use abuse, and says she does not, why does she think that all other trainers use abuse and if they did in Pat's days, why can't they have changed like she says she is? I worked a cheetah commercial with her. I am the only trainer who had cheetahs; so many trainers used my animal. The cheetah is a very expensive animal and very docile. We worked a commercial where the cheetah had to run a distance from point A to point B for a car conical. We did this in the desert during the heat of the day. My cat did the run many times and was getting tired and I told Pat that the animal would have to rest, but she insisted that we try longer. She would not let me talk to the director to explain. She said that she knew how they worked. The cheetah was to run in a straight line to show speed. Then when the cheetah didn't run fast enough, the studio used a motorcycle to chase my cat with to get better speed. After a few tries my cheetah just curled up in a ball and would not run any farther. The animal was breathing very hard and was scared. I told Pat that was enough. I would not kill my animal for any job. My cat was worth more to me than having to work and die for a few dollars.

Then the location was moved over to another spot where there was a lot of very tall tumble weed, I told Pat to tell the director not to waste his time because my cat would not run through that stuff in a straight line and they would only waste a lot of time, but again she said she knew what she was doing and I told her that I would not let my animal run through the scene, and I did not.

Gardner McKay was also on this job with his cheetah, which never worked, but he said he would try the scene. His cat would not run so Pat tied a chicken to a piece of rope about 8 to 10 feet long and raised the rope above her head so the other cheetah could see it and spun the poor chicken around in circles over her head so the cheetah could see it and run in her direction. She tried this several times, but the cat would not come to the bait.

A chicken may be a chicken, but I thought that it was cruel thing to do. Also it was thoughtless to try to make any animal run through large tumble weeds. These things were higher than the cheetah and had prickly thorns on them. I could see my animal's feet get hurt or one of the thorns get in his eyes. On top of the many hours were wasted in placing a new set, when I knew in advance that my animal would not do it and I would not let him.

I hope this will help you a little. Sincerely, Jan Giacinto

Shirley Keith, 1989:
"We found that Pat had opened a separate account,  under the non-profit name of orphans for the wild. with only her signature required, and was divirting donations for her own use".

Sorry I was delayed for a short time. I started to continue with the narrative, but its too long - most of it is not pertinent. Some of the following might direct your effort in new directions. If you and your lawyer find anything that sounds hopeful, don’t hesitate to call on me.

1972 – Orphans of the Wild got off to a good start by April 1972. Another friend and I put in the money to get the non-profit account opened and we elected officers. I asked not to be included on the Board of Directors, but would continue as a volunteer. A friend of mine agreed to act as treasurer, and two business friends and advisers. ( I can give you her name, but she doesn’t remember much about those few weeks.)

She would handle donation income and outgo only with the understanding that her signature would have to appear on all transactions. It was so agreed. She emphasized she would do nothing to jeopardize her bonded integrity. She resigned when she found that Pat had opened a separate account under the non-profit name of orphans of the wild, with only her signature required and was diverting donations for her own use. (The only person that might have information is George Kalosky, then a vice president of that bank. He isn’t listed in the phone book, but I believe is still active here.)

At fund-raiser, Pat and Ted often took money from donation cans to buy lunch for the volunteers. Ted worried when I objected; they told me they’d replace it later. I don’t know if it was. At this time Pat instructed everyone that we were answerable only to her. That Ted had no part in running the ‘business’ except to put his name where she pointed.

Shortly thereafter we accidentally discovered that an official board had been elected without notice to the others who were continuing to give time and expertise - I can think only because Pat liked the prestige of some of them. They all left with very unpleasant feelings about the Derbys. Aside from resenting the extreme lack of courtesy to people who were giving up their time to help, I was pleased with the ‘real’ board. Foremost among them were General and Mrs. Pierpont–Morgan Hamilton. Besides their wealth, both were well known for their philanthropic work with animal welfare.

The Derbys promised to use their salaries as well as income from the Zoo, commercials, etc. to support orphanage expenses, build new cages and meet all the goals proclaimed, using income earned at Zoo, income from commercial - as well as all donations. The Hamiltons arranged to meet any financial shortfall, with particular emphasis on meeting mortgage obligations, when income was not sufficient to keep the organization afloat. (I discovered later that, unknown to Pat, they were responsible for convincing the San Diego Zoo to hire the Derbys to prevent wild animal shows, and guarantee their salary.)

During this time a couple who had co-signed a note toward purchase of farm equipment, came to me in distress. The note had come due and since the Derbys hadn’t paid out, they had been forced to meet the obligation. In spite of a family emergency had arisen, Pat had refused to meet them. They came to me after seeing Pat driving her new Jaguar (auto), while they were still driving their ancient BW to visit their son in the hospital. Although I had never met the people previously, Pats response was “Don’t bother me with your friends’ problems!” (They were never repaid. Their names may be somewhere in my files.)

By autumn, it was apparent to me and to Betty Hayes (who had been engaged as ranch manager) that no compound improvement was being done as promised to members and donors; that merchants were beginning to lose their patience and were dunning for payment of long overdue bills. Betty and I quit in August 1972.

In Spring 1973 while I was volunteering at our local zoo a very subdued Pat called me begging me to help. The Pierpont-Morgan Hamiltons were suing Orphans of the Wild, forcing them into bankruptcy. There was an emergency need for funds to prevent the animal from going to the block. (I think risking the welfare of animals by misuse of their support is cruelty!)

With the understanding I would merely write literature, answer fan letters, etc. as before, but have nothing to do with fund raising or other involvement in business, I agreed to help. The new organization was not tax deductible.

Besides generous donations, movies and television brought in some money; their training school brought in $1000 per student for a six week course. Most of the upkeep of the animals was done by students as part of the course. Beyond feeding the animals, nothing was spent on improving the compound. Ted finally filed for and received a divorce from Pat. She moved from the house but they continued as partners.

In mid-1974 Pat leased (using ‘her own money’) an ‘option to buy’ a large home in Sant Ynez Valley, about twelve miles from the compound. About three months later she and her boyfriend decided to purchase twenty acres and luxury home off Los Osos, and start a rival compound. She moved there, trying unsuccessfully to get Ted to take over her lease. He refused, and their partnership was dissolved. The Johnsons and Secretary Shirley Andberg (Solvang) continued on Pat salary; I continued to work for Ted gratis.

A lawsuit had been initiated against Pat by two students for requiring them to clean Pats house and small animal compound there. It was dropped when the students discovered that they could not sue Pat without suing Ted as well, who they felt blameless. (If this looks useful, I’ll try to find out their names.)

By October it was clear that the orphanage was going under. The final blow was foreclosure by the ranch owners who gave them until the beginning of 1975 to move themselves and the animals.

Ted and Pat moved to temporarily donated locations, each taking as many animals as they could manage to maintain. Homes were found for some. Three wolf cubs were born New Years Day (1975). That day, except for them, about seventeen unplaced animals (including a Kodiak bear, two Grizzly Bears, and the remaining wolves including the new mother) were put down by Pete Batten and buried in the hills behind the compound.

When Ted met Pat (about 1964) he was chief trainer for Ralph Helfer. Pat begged for and was given a job tending animals (by her own account in her book “Lady and Her Tiger” page 29 she states: At this point its important to talk about the way I was with animals in those days. In the first place, I didn’t know what they were. I loved them passionately and indiscriminately, but …. I had no slightest understanding of what it was that I loved nor of what such a love, to be real, must demand of me.”

Almost at once she began to want to start her own business with Ted as partner. When he refused, she waited until they were both guest of Bill Burrud on a radio show, at which time she publicly denounced Helfer and all other animal trainers as cruel, abusive, tec. (This has always been her line – that only Pat Derby knows how to treat animals.)

There was going to be a multiple lawsuit, but eventually Ralph, because of his long friendship with Ted withdrew, but fired both Derbys. (They said they left because of suit)

Pete Batten, formerly Director of San Jose Zoo. Helped Derbys on and off until the final breakup of the orphanage in Buellton, at which time he did the hardest thing of all – he put down all the animals which could not be placed elsewhere. I was with him – Pat would not accompany him, instead remained in the little ‘kitchen’ screaming about the poor animals – the animals that died because money to keep them and the land had been used for her personal gain.

Mrs. Beverly Coburn (then Mrs. James Coburn)

Donated monkeys and caging, plus support when Orphans of the Wild was opened. After the bankruptcy (see narrative) she continued to make donations, but stopped when Pat told her to ignore her (Bs) managers directions and make the donations larger.

The most important people backing the Derbys when the park contract was cancelled and Orphans of the Wild was organized, were General and Mrs. Pierpont Morgan-Hamilton, both noted for philanthropies, including human movements such as Seeing Eye Dogs, etc. Nora has remarried, now Mrs. King Straus. The General, I believe has passed away.

I hesitate to mention them – Nora was very bitter about the entire affair. The Hamiltons had, beside generous donations and acting Directors, had guaranteed to meet any shortfall, particularly with regard to mortgage payments. The 300 valuable acres had been sold to the Derbys at a very reduced price, with a guarantee that every consideration would be taken to help them maintain the animals. Very few, if any, mtg payments had been made, nor were made until in 1974 the lien holders foreclosed.

The Hamiltons also arranged a contract with the San Diego Zoo for the Derbys to produce a ‘Wild Animal Show’ with an extremely generous salary suggested by Mrs. Hamilton. The shows were tremendously successful – but very little of that income, including the fact that the show animals were boarded free of charge, was ever directed to payment of any bills including animal care.

The Hamiltons not only withdrew support when it was found that no money had been paid on the mortgage, building of animal facilities had halted, and the old ranch house was being expensively renovated.

They caused a bankruptcy to be declared. The animals were to be sold unless a sum of $10,000 was paid.

We did two fund-raising shows and I did a lot of publicity trying to regain trust. The non-profit Ootw was no longer in business.

I don’t know where Pat got the money but the $10,000* was paid and they started over again. [I had left the Derbys in  the fall of 1972 when I became very angry about the misuse of funds – at the same time Betty Hayes also left.

I did not see the Derbys again for three months at which time Pat called me begging me to help pick up the pieces and try to overcome the failure and continue in spite of not being able to offer tax incentives.

Betty Hayes Endicott (I’ve lost touch, but you may find her through the Screen Actors Guild – stuntwoman and character actress – last job I know of she was stand-in for Pernell Roberts in Trapper John)

Betty was ranch manager for Orphans of the Wild in Buellton from late 1971-until fall 1972, when we both decided there was too much lack of integrity. She, like all of us who were on the so-called board of directors, was very disturbed by Pat’s misuse of donations to the non-profit corporation. She did the books, and was aware of all transactions. She, the Johnsons and I frequently talked about leaving, but always hoped we or someone could make Pat understand that donations to animals cannot be used to buy new cards, clothes, or antique furniture.

There are several other names, but, like the above were so very hurt and disgusted that I don’t want to give you without their permission, and if they request, promise they will not have to appear in court. I talk to them as soon as I can react them.

Download the original letters about Pat Derby below.

Finally, heres a few lines what Circus Fans Association of America writes about Pat Derby:

The California based Performing Animal Welfare Society has been active in ant-circus efforts since its founding. An argument might be made that PAWS is less a true liberationist group or welfare society and more of personal fiefdom for founder and former Hollywood animal trainer Pat Derby. Like PeTA, PAWS has enjoyed significant success with direct mail fund raising. In fact donations have allowed have allowed PAWS to become significant property owners both around their original "sanctuary" in Galt , CA and the Sierra foothills where they have acquired more 2000 acres for a larger animal compound.

The National Farm Medicine Center studied one typical rural medical center over a two year period in 1994 and 1995 and reported 74 cases of horse related injures requiring in-patient treatment in a single community with a population of fewer than 59,000 people. In contrast in the two hundred years since the first elephant was exhibite d in America even the Performing Animal Welfare Society, reports only 120 approximate injuries directly or indirectly linked to elephant accidents -- with fewer than half of these accidents involving spectators at the circus. Sixty elephant related circus spectator injuries in 200 years in all of the United States versus 74 horse related injuries in 24 months in one rura l area with less than 59,000 people -- it's amazing that PAWS isn't su ggesting the closure of every stable in the United States . Moreover while PAWS reminds us that OSHA deems working with elephants to be a "dangerous occupation," they suggest that elephants will thrive in shelters, operations frequently staffed by volunteers with no professional experience and little training. If elephants are so dangerous in the circus by virtue of the fact that they are wild animals, then why aren't they equally dangerous when housed at the PAWS "sanctuary?"

"Because elephants are uniformly mistreated in circus training and they're forced to perform," they tell us. And where's the evidence to support that? Elephant related accidents are relatively rare, and when they do occur those accidents are as likely to happen in a zoo (where the animals don't perform) as they are in a circus.

PAWS likes to trumpet violations of USDA Animal Welfare Act standards by circuses traveling with elephants, but a look at the actual violations cited reveals that most of these violations were minor,
not unlike the several violations racked up by Pat Derby s own sanctuary in Galt.

Animal People further reminds usin their archives that PAWS Executive Director Derby lost a multi-million dollar libel judgement in August 1990 in a Nevada lawsuit brought by orangutan trainer Bobby Berosini. Derby was named in that suit along with PETA and others. Although the verdict was overturned upon appeal, apparently the 1990 jury decided that Derby and other activists weren't credible sources for information.

In recent years PAWS and Ms Derby have enjoyed some successes in "acquiring" elephants from Ringling Bros, in settlement for an ill-conceived espionage effort against the animal rights group, and from the San Francisco Zoo, which bowed to pressure for liberationist group nd city council to give up its animals. How will the elephants do under Derby s care? One zoo elephant has already been euthenized, according to Derby from the long term effects of captivity. Given her record one can t be sure that that "bull" will be the only casualty. Derby rarely mentions how in her days as a trainer and operator of a roadside zoo in Buellton , CA another elephant in her care died in a barn fire. PAWS would probably say, "at least it wasn t the circus."

1984: marked the year the organization started animal rescue efforts.

Rexano writes in their article Hypocritical Exotic and Wild Animal Sanctuaries: "There are too many exotic and wild animal "sanctuary/rescue" animal owners with questionable past or present. They try to ban the innocent, legal, loving and presently legal, responsible, private exotic/wild animal owners in order to deflect the attention from themselves and their irresponsible ways.

These people are hypocrites, they want to keep their exotic pets and getting public donations for them, while pushing for the legislation/laws that would ban others (the responsible people) from doing the same. These are the HYPOCRITICAL ANIMAL RESCUES or SANCTUARIES or whatever their latest name change might be. "

While critizising zoos and circuses, it seems to me that Pat Derby failed in her profession as animal trainer, and choose to take a short-cut, marketing herself as a animal heroine, and trying to make working life more difficault for her previous competitors, by critizising them publically, as well as paying lawyers to harass people. All those money, as far as I can understand, came from public donations:

2002: PAWS spent $67,000 in legal fees, according to its income tax return. 
Link to article describing different legal activities, including their neighbours.

2003-09: In September 2003, the 51 years old Asian female Tamara was euthanised. 

2003: The following figures of the PAWS animal industry are from 2003: Derby makes $36,416, plus housing on the Galt sanctuary grounds, while Stewart, as secretary and treasurer, makes exactly $1 less. PAWS had a net worth of more than $3.5 million while spending more than $1.7 million per year. The land value of its three sanctuaries is about $6 million, but the organization owes $1.6 million in mortgages to five lenders.

2005-03: In March 2005, the 39 years old Asian female Tinkerbelle,was euthanaised, Tinkerbelle arrived in November 2004.

2007: So, In any case, she has made a lot of money with her business: here is PAWS 2007 tax report

2008-04: In April 2008, the 56 years old Asian female Winky (Winkie) Winky arrived in August 2005. 

2010-10-08: The elephant bull Sabu arrives at PAWS, who wrote in their 2010 newsletter: Prince and Sabu, both retired performing elephants, are in good health so we expect them to be with us for a very long time. In this newsletter is also mentioned a very cool and rainy spring.

2010: $1.8 million in donations received in 2010. 

2011: was the final year PAWS hosted an open house at its 30-acres sanctuary in Galt after opening the new facility in San Andreas.

2012: Animal rights activists main stream has claimed that Performing Animal Welfare Society / ARK 2000 (PAWS) is the only suitable place for the3 african elephants at Toronto Zoo in Canada. Thousands of people have signed petitions that Toronto elephants should be moved to PAWS, encouraged by, among other celebrities, Bob Parker.

Sabu in the snow at PAWS.
2012-01-11: Sabu, the latest arrived elephant, collapsed in his sleeping stall early Wednesday at ARK 2000 in San Andreas, and and was euthanised according to PAWS due to "severe arthritis in multiple joints.". What PAWS did not tell was that already in 2000 Sabu tested positive for TB (Tuberculosis). The U.S. Department of Agriculture also found that two other elephants that died at PAWS within the past two years also tested positive for TB, according to necropsy reports. PAWS says the cause of death in both cases was not TB, but arthritis.

2012-01-16: On my blog I comment on Sabus death, and among other things, ask the question if it is logical to only see a TB infected location holder, pretty up north in west coast north America, as the single only place where Torontos elephants should live, just because a retired showman want to pay the transport of the elephants, if they come there, and can the defenition Sanctuary really be applied to a location holding with infected animals, carrying a chronic, lethal disease? Regardless of if they claim they have a TB quarantene? Is there, scientifically, an existing TB quarantene at PAWS?

I also reflected on wether the elephant stables really is a suitable playground for children and youths and if the youths and their parents also learned about the lethal zoonosis infection elephants from those stables are carrying? (See the picture below, with caption text)

JULY 29, 2012: Le PeTiT CiRqUe'S HUMANITARIAN cirque company of kids visited the Performing Animal Welfare Society's Incredible 23,000 sq.ft sanctuary and learned about the incredible animals they are performing for at the AVALON THEATRE on Sept-30. Since all of our productions are humanitarian based, the youths learned about these animals and where they were rescued from.
I also comment on the cold winter conditions at PAWS, and find it unprofessional to let the elephants walk in and out on their own decision:

An article written 2009 ago says: Nicholas, PAWS Asian bull elephant, walked outside for a few moments, but he obviously preferred a heated floor and very warm water for drinking to the beautiful, but frigid conditions in his outdoor habitat.

It is not known if PAWS are following the The AZA 40 degrees F rule. It seems like the elephants can choose as to stay inside or outside: "

Last Thursday, as Detroit's elephants snaked their way across the Plains States in a semi-trailer truck, Derby shuffled out every two hours in a nightlong rainstorm to check on the three Asian elephants that had refused to come into the barn that night. With a 10,000-candle power spotlight, she verified their whereabouts while often wallowing in a pond that night and returned for another fitful 120 minutes of sleep. "If they go down, you've got about two hours to get them up before they suffocate" under their own weight, she explained. Earlier this year an elephant did go down. Tinkerbell, who had only been at Ark 2000 for four months after her transfer from the San Francisco Zoo, collapsed and had to be euthanized. (source)

2012-05-04: SPCA Australia starts a campaign, with ambition to get $500k in order to send the elephant Mila at Franklin Zoo and Wildlife Sanctuary, south of Auckland to PAWS, after Mila killed Franklin Zoo director Helen Schofield.

2012-10-11: I get a mail from PAWS laywer Nicholas Nesgos with a threat to sue me.

2012-10-26: The Board of Management of the Toronto Zoo received a letter from the Performing Animal Welfare Society´s (PAWS) American attorneys threatening legal action against the Toronto Zoo.

2013-02-15: Mrs Pat Derby died of  throat cancer on Feb. 15 at the age of 69.

PAWS is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. PAWS Fed ID # is 94-3005157.

You can probably find out more about this lucrative business!

On next Blog: Pat Derby´s forgotten elephant Neena who died in a barnfire in 1982.



  1. I was no fan of Pat Derby, but I knew Ted Derby very well. In fact, I was with him, not 10 feet from him, the night he was murdered. What you have stated about his death in this blog is a lie. He never, EVER, stole any animals to feed our animals. There was so much more to his death than you likely even know, but it had little to do with Ted, or the animals so much as it had to do with the two owners in litigation over the property we were renting. I was there. No animals were ever stolen. Ted was murdered, plain and simple.

  2. I was no fan of Pat Derby, but I knew Ted Derby very well. In fact, I was with him, not 10 feet from him, the night he was murdered. What you have stated about his death in this blog is a lie. He never, EVER, stole any animals to feed our animals. There was so much more to his death than you likely even know, but it had little to do with Ted, or the animals so much as it had to do with the two owners in litigation over the property we were renting. I was there. No animals were ever stolen. Ted was murdered, plain and simple.