Pat Derby


SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - A former Hollywood animal trainer who trained Flipper and Lassie and later devoted her life to protecting performing animals after seeing widespread abuse in the entertainment industry has died.

The Performing Animal Welfare Society says Pat Derby died Friday at her Northern California home at age 69. She had throat cancer. Derby co-founded the sanctuary and activist organization.

She often served as the public face and voice for performing animals, and in recent years fought primarily to get elephants out of circuses and zoos and into three sanctuaries.

Derby wrote in an autobiography that while working on television shows like "Flipper," ''Lassie" and "Daktari" she developed training methods involving love and trust. But she was shocked by the rampant neglect and abuse she saw among other trainers.

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Guest Book

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Thank you Pat for your love of animals.

Ms. Derby now has a new companion where she rests. It is Iringa. May they both rest in peace and forever watch over PAWS.
God Bless them both.
Posted: July 22, 2015
Sandy Draper
El Cajon, Ca.

I believe there are more animals in heaven than humans. Pat Derby sure has a front row seat up there with all her animal friends..

To the family,

I'm so sorry to hear about your loss and I pray you find peace in the God of all comfort. 2 Corinthinas 1:3-

I saw Pat and Ted every weekend at the San Diego Zoo and still have all their postcards that they sold there. I have always loved Pat and her dedication to wildlife. I was crushed to here this and I will miss her so much.

In memory of a great person who devoted her life to helping God's beautiful creatures. We were lucky to have visited her elephant sanctuary in Galt several years ago and to witness the haven she created for animals whose existence had been miserable prior to her providing a new life for them. Love, blessings and appreciation always and may PAWS continue on.

Jesus Christ has made the resurrection hope a reality.

The staff of The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee extend their heartfelt condolences to the PAWS family as they mourn the passing of Pat. This loss is felt throughout the animal welfare community as deeply as her compassion was felt by those animals whose lives she impacted. The first to champion the cause of performing animals, Pat took on the heavy responsibility and shared in the great joy of providing elephants, and many other performing animals, the refuge and freedom they deserved. We...