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Lincoln Mercury "Sign of the Cat"

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Uploaded on Sep 27, 2011

The Performing Animal Welfare Society's (PAWS) co-founder, Pat Derby, worked with exotic animals as a trainer on the set of many popular television shows in the 1960s and 1970s, "Flipper", "Daktari", "Gunsmoke", "Lassie", "Gentle Ben") and other animal films, including Disney. She was also the trainer and spokesperson for Lincoln Mercury's "Sign of the Cat" car commercials and mother/protector of the popular cougars, Chauncey and Christopher, the animal stars of the television advertisements. This is one of the many commercials starring her cougars, and in this case Farrah Fawcett.

During her years in Hollywood, Pat was shocked to discover a profession rampant with neglect and abuse. Her autobiography, "The Lady and Her Tiger" (Dutton 1976), was the first expose of the harsh training methods and minimal care which were standard in the entertainment industry.

Pat met PAWS' co-founder and director, Ed Stewart in 1976 and the two spent the next few years promoting Pat's book with television appearances on the Today Show, theTonight Show, The Merv Griffin Show and other national media outlets. After extensive lecture tours for national humane societies, the two were persuaded to form their own organization to protect performing animals and captive wildlife. They formed the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) in 1984.

In 1985, Pat and Ed moved to Galt, a small northern California town south of Sacramento. They immediately began lobbying for state standards for the care of captive wildlife. That year their first bill, AB 1620, was signed into law. Because of the critical need for experienced care providers for abused and abandoned captive wildlife, PAWS opened the Galt sanctuary that year.

For more information, visit www.pawsweb.org.

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