Claws, Inc. was formally founded and incorporated in July of 2004 and since that time has educated tens of thousands of people and helped thousands of wild and exotic animals.
Those of us who are involved and started CLAWS were all involved in other rescues prior to deciding to start our own organization.
Starting CLAWS came from the realization that there were so many animals out there that simply had no place to go and we could help them and make a difference. Everybody involved has many years of experience with both exotic and wild animals, from bear to tigers to squirrels and raccoons.
CLAWS is currently run out of the home of the Executive Director, Kindra Mammone, and is dedicated to helping all wild and exotic animals in need, even if they never actually come to CLAWS physically. We maintain a list with a variety of wonderful organizations to help those animals that we cannot, either by law, or just due to the lack of proper facilities. CLAWS has helped to save bear as far away as Montana, simply by maintaining this network of wondering and caring people.
Our philosophies are quite simple; those animals that are born in the wild and can still care for themselves in the wild should be placed back into their natural habitat where they can live their lives wild and free, however, those born captive, lacking the instincts, and at times, not being from this environment, to care for themselves in the wild should be helped to not just live, but enjoy the life of a captive animal. For this reason, most of the mammals at CLAWS live as "family members" in the Mammone household. Many do have cages that they can be put into when they or others need to be kept safe, but often they have run of most of the house (nobody is allowed in where rehabilitating animals are, for the safety and well being of all). This is a large part of why CLAWS cannot have people in and out of our facility.
The other reason is that, it has been proven, time and time again, that animals in rehabilitation should see as few humans and have as little human contact as possible. We do not want them associating humans with food or anything "good". All wildlife needs a healthy fear of humans, to maintain the natural order of their world. Animals who lose this tend to end up in trouble with local and state officials and not care for themselves properly. While we do understand that there are facilities whose sole animal care is done by a revolving door of volunteers, we have seen the results of this type of treatment too often and will not do it ourselves. Every rehabilitation facility has the right to choose their method of care, this is simply our choice and one that we aren't going to be changing.
Even with all of the animals that we have helped so far and that we continue to help, we have great plans for the future. Please read Our Future and help us to realize our dreams for these wonderful animals!