Nothing Eclipses Ongoing Animal Needs

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cute jack russell dog working on laptop at home.

Reminder: A total solar eclipse is expected Monday, April 8th, the first one in seven years to pass over the USA. Southern California will be afforded only a partial view. Still, animal advocates recommend bringing family pets indoors on the 8th between 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM.

A partial solar eclipse isn’t, of itself, dangerous to pets. You looking at a partial solar eclipse with approved eclipse glasses is fine, but your pet mirroring your behavior without eye protection is not.

April brings Earth Day on April 22nd, so here’s a sneak preview. Most of us city folk think of nature as something “out there.” This perception shapes how we view other creatures as well as the air, soil and water that sustains us all.

An alternative view is that human beings ARE nature, part of nature. It’s not something else outside of us; we are of it.

The difference in these points of view shows itself in many ways, and many of these are unpleasant, for instance, when people shoot parrots and peacocks. Pasadena’s tireless wildlife rescuer and rehabber Cleo Watts recently got an SOS about a green parrot that was downed in our area. Its wing was injured, the bird was bleeding, and the tip of its beak was chipped.

Cleo took the wounded bird to wildlife veterinarian Dr. Teresa Mecco at Point Vicente Animal Hospital. Their combined quick actions saved the bird’s life. Dr. Mecco thinks that the parrot chipped its beak by falling onto concrete after it was shot. The future of this bird is unclear, but it will likely spend the remainder of its life in captivity, perhaps delighting and informing people about the beauty of birds as an educational avian docent.

But just the other day, a local peacock wasn’t so lucky. Cleo was alerted (in case you’re wondering, Cleo gets very little sleep) to a wounded peacock. Long story short, she retrieved the bird, and Dr. Mecco confirmed that the bird had been shot several times. The bird’s multiple injuries were so profound that humane euthanasia was the only choice.

We all know that sermons sometimes fall on deaf ears. But, in response to lots of misinformation floating around the socials, know that both of the incidents described above are unlawful, punishable by fines and perhaps incarceration, depending upon several factors.

In California, it is a crime to “maliciously and intentionally” main, mutilate, torture, wound or kill an animal. The felony penalty for the animal cruelty charge associated with killing peafowl is up to three years in prison or a $20,000 fine. This conversation has been top-of-mind after a peacock named Cupid in the San Joaquin Valley was shot in March 2024 with a bow and arrow. Locals banded together to rehab Cupid. The peacock brought to Cleo and Dr. Mecco this week wasn’t so lucky.

By the way, Saturday, April 20, is Peacock Day at The Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden from 9:00 AM until 2:00 PM. Family fun includes peacock talks, library storytime, crafts, face painting, snacks, and photo ops.

Perhaps the most surprising fallout from these two recent avian attacks is the belief expressed by neighbors on Nextdoor, et al, that “they were asking for it,” and these birds are fair game for target practice since they’re non-native.

Regarding the first point, parrots do squawk while in flight. That seems to be about the worst thing anyone can say about them. Peacocks may be more problematic. They are loud. They poop. The strutting males do challenge their peacock reflections on shiny surfaces, especially the rear-view mirrors of cars.

As for the second point, parrots and peacocks are indeed introduced species, though hardly invasive.

Generally, invasive species are defined as those which threaten the well-being of native species because they proliferate aggressively. Rabbits in Australia, mongooses (mongeese?) in Hawaii, the Asian carp, the sea lamprey, and the Northern Snakehead are introduced species that have indeed damaged indigenous ecosystems. A peacock may scratch the paint on your car, but the impact of these birds on the ecosystem beyond your driveway is minor, although your pride of ownership may trigger you to cry “fowl.”

For further clarity about the legalities of harming birds, check out the finer points of the Lacey Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Any Google search of these terms will be eye-opening.

This Treaty and other federal laws protect native and migratory birds, their eggs, and their breeding grounds. The only birds not protected by Federal law because they are legally considered introduced species are pigeons, European starlings, and English sparrows. One may protest that parrots and peacocks are also introduced species, which is undeniable, but they are protected by law.

Discharging firearms to kill absolutely anything in our various municipalities is also accompanied by complex laws.

For those who are so motivated, check out the peafowl management plan of Fairfield / Rolling Hills Estates for legal and humane mitigation strategies, including capture and release. California’s Department of Fish and Wildlife will be happy to assist you to develop a plan for your community.

Meet Rudy, Cookie, Buster and Freeway

Thank you, Ronnie K., for bringing these canines to our attention. Just a shout-out to our Ronnie K: she goes down to Skid Row and the other nether regions of Los Angeles to rescue dogs used for backyard breeding, as guardians by unhoused people in desperate straits, chained to fences and posts and cinder blocks 24/7, which incidentally is illegal according to SB 1578 (“tethering law”). If you can walk, foster or adopt dogs yourself, talk to Ronnie K. at 310-804-1555.

Here are just a few of the dogs that Ronnie’s working to rescue and rehome. Details are understandably scant. Rudy, camera-left in the right side photo, is a Shepherd/Malinois, available for adoption. Shown with Rudy is Buster, an 8-month-old GSD dog mix on the small side, 35 lbs., fully vetted, crate-trained, easygoing nature. Both of these dogs are available for adoption.

Cookie is approximately 14 months old, a Blue-nose Pittie, approximately 50 lbs., fully vetted, sweet and affectionate, and good with other dogs. Ideally, Cookie and Buster would love to be adopted together. However, both dogs are well-socialized, so separating them is possible.

Oh! And although Ronnie describes herself as mostly a dog person, there’s this cat named “Freeway.”

Ronnie and her crew rescued this cat from under the freeway when the section of downtown Interstate 10 was on fire. He’s a classic gray tabby, no blaze. He has been neutered and vaxxed, is getting cuddlier, and is ready for a home of his own.

Meet Palomita

Thanks, Andrea A., for this tip!

Palomita means “little dove,” and—fun fact—en Mexico, fluffy-white, popped popcorn kernels are called “palomitas,” too!

This sweet-natured young dog would truly thrive in a home setting with other compatible dogs. She also requests an active human companion who will take her to parks to meet other dogs.
• Female canine
• Breed: Terrier-American Staffordshire
• Age: 6 months
• Coloring: White, with a few gray speckles
• Great with other dogs, kids and cats!
• Spayed, in fine health
• Social and friendly
To meet Palomita, visit

Meet Misty and Earl

Thanks, Mera, for sharing this story.

This brother and sister pair ideally need to be adopted together because their bond is so strong!
• DSH kittens are five months old
• One female, one male
• Have been spayed/neutered
• Microchipped and vaxxed, in fine health
• Pastel gray and white tabby markings
• Curious, playful, cuddly
• Seeking a serene home without small children or any aggressive pets
For a Misty and Earl meet-and-greet, text or call Mera at 424-251-1889.

Meet Momma Tara #A795783

Little to nothing is known about this mother cat except that she is nursing six kittens, which are estimated to be five weeks old.

She’s a dark calico. To do this family a solid, call (909) 386-9820; press 2 for Devore Shelter, then press 3 to speak with a shelter agent.

Devore Animal Shelter
19777 Shelter Way
San Bernardino, CA. 92407

Meet Patches and Miss Bean

Thanks, Darlene, for this great post about female “besties,” who are approximately one year old.

Both DSH females, one calico and one black tuxedo, are spayed, vaxxed, vetted, chipped, and in fine health. They must be adopted together, and these cats seek a quiet, relaxed home.

Darlene writes: “Patches is a beautiful calico! She’s rather shy and likes to watch from behind the scenes. Then, when she’s sure of things, she can be lured out to ‘catch the bird’ (feather wand). She’s a good jumper! She also likes to sleep next to her foster mom and be petted. Miss Bean is a shiny tuxedo who enjoys the limelight. She’s sweet, friendly, active and playful. She absolutely loves to ‘catch the mouse’ (mouse toy on the wand). Bean is a good friend to Patches and helps Patches to be more confident.”

Don’t you wish everybody had a buddy like Bean? If you’re ready to fall in love, follow the links:

Miss Bean:

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Victoria Thomas

Victoria has been a journalist since her college years when she wrote for Rolling Stone and CREEM. Victoria describes the view of Mt. Wilson from her front step as “staggering,” and she is a defender of peacocks everywhere.
Email: [email protected]

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