Pat Derby, the co-founder of PAWS passed away in March 2013.
So revered was PAWS co-founder Pat Derby, her passing has been commemorated internationally at the highest levels of government.
PAWS is proud to share these special tributes with you.
One of the greatest recognitions of Pat's contributions to the cause of animal protection was a flag flown in her honor over the nation's Capitol in
on Washington, D.C. March 29, 2013. The actual flag (pictured
above) was given to Pat's life partner and PAWS co-founder Ed Stewart.
Flags are flown over the Capitol to observe the remarkable works of individuals
and groups, as well as to mark special events and national holidays. We would
like to thank United Activists for Animal Rights' President Nancy Burnet, a
great friend to PAWS, and Congressman C.W. Bill Young and his wife, Beverly,
for arranging this very special honor.
March 13, 2013, U.S. Representative Sam Farr introduced
into the Congressional Record (below, right) a statement in honor of Pat,
in which he lauded her "lifetime commitment to protecting the welfare of
performing animals." Congressman Farr is a long-time champion for animals
with whom PAWS has worked to introduce important legislation to protect captive
In his statement, Representative Farr stated: "She was a true hero in the animal rights world whose sole crusade was aimed at helping animals that could not protect or advocate for themselves. Pat realized that even wild animals need someone to look out for them, and she dedicated her life to that belief." PAWS thanks Rep. Farr for this meaningful accolade, and PAWS friend Barbara Baldock for helping to facilitate this honor.
On April 10, 2013 in Sacramento, California State Assemblyman Ken Cooley adjourned the meeting of the Assembly in Pat's honor, memorializing her extraordinary achievements and recognizing her service to the State for her involvement in the California Department of Fish and Game's Committee for the Humane Care of Captive Wildlife. (View video below) PAWS thanks Assemblyman Cooley for this distinguished remembrance, and long-time PAWS supporter Linda Gibboney and her colleague, Larry Murman, for arranging it.
Ed Stewart and Lily Tomlin (right) listen as
Los Angeles Councilmember Paul Koretz addresses the City Council
during his adjournment tribute honoring Pat Derby.
, Councilmember Paul
Koretz adjourned the April 17 meeting of the L.A. City Council with a tribute
to Pat in which he praised her for dedicating her life to protecting captive
wild animals. (View video below) Cm. Koretz gave special thanks to Pat and to
PAWS for giving refuge to former Los Angeles Zoo elephant Ruby, who lived out
her final years in peace at ARK 2000. Actress and producer Lily Tomlin followed
Councilmember Koretz. She movingly spoke of Pat, stating, "She was a hero
of mine. She set the standard for the care of elephants in captivity in a way
that no one else ever attempted." Ms. Tomlin recalled Pat telling her
about the ARK 2000 sanctuary, saying, "If there's a paradise, this is
paradise for the elephants." Los Angeles
PAWS co-founder Ed Stewart was the final speaker, telling the Council, "We are celebrating a warrior, because Pat was the warrior for elephants in this country, and also for lions, tigers and all the rest of the animals who have to live in a captive situation." He referred to advances made in recent years for exotic and performing animals, and explained that some "very enlightened decisions have come out of bodies just like this... I know that Pat is somewhere watching and waiting for our next enlightened decision." PAWS thanks Councilmember Paul Koretz for this meaningful recognition, and Melya Kaplan, Director of Voice for the Animals, for requesting it.
After the meeting, Councilmember Tom LaBonge invited Ed Stewart, PAWS' friends Kat Kramer and Karen Sharpe Kramer, and PAWS' director of Science, Research and Advocacy, Catherine Doyle, to join him on the uppermost floor of City Hall for a magnificent view of the city. There, he rang the
bell in memory of Pat.
(View video below) PAWS thanks Cm. LaBonge for his kindness and this
heartfelt homage to Pat. Los Angeles City
L-R: PAWS President Ed Stewart, Kat Kramer,
Ways you can help:
On my visits to PAWS, I was fortunate to meet Pat Derby and Ed Stewart and am so impressed about their tireless work for the elephants and for all captive performing animals. Pat was a remarkable woman. I hope her legacy will continue.
In quiet reflection,
Please see previous stories on PAWS and elephants in the News on my Travel TidBits blog:
January 2013: Sheldrick's Elephant Miracle Rescue
December 2012: Elephants in Solitary Confinement
November: Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage
November 2012: Ban Elephants from Traveling Circuses
September 2012: In the News: Topeka, Kansas, Zoo Elephants
August2012: Elephant Mother and Baby rescue
July 2012: In the News: LA Zoo Elephants
June 2012: Elephants longterm survival?
May 2012: Fundraiser Event
April 2012: Speak out for Elephants
March 2012: PAWS Ark 2000
March 2012: New elephant for PAWS
March 2012: The Elephant Whipserer
January 2012: Loss of Sabu