Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, December 12, 2015

MVNews this week:  Page 9



Mountain Views-News Saturday, December 12, 2015 




Happy Tails

by Chris Leclerc

To enjoy the holidays with? Astaire is a handsome 
domestic medium hair mix cat, 9 months old and 
weighing around 4 pounds. He has a soft silky black 
and white coat that gives him a striking appearance. 

 Astaire came to the shelter with Ginger, but when 
Ginger was adopted, Astaire was left behind looking 
for the chance to find a new 
dancing partner in a purrever 
home of his own. This 
handsome boy is even dressed 
in his Tuxedo black and white, 
ready to hit the dance floor. 
He is a domestic medium hair 
mix about 9 months old and 
a born entertainer. If you sit 
next to him and happen to be 
wearing shoes with laces, he 
will show you how quickly 
he can untie them. When 
the laser light hits the floor, 
he really shows his moves 
chasing it around. When the party is over, he is happy 
to settle into a lap to be cuddled. 

He is very fit, agile and athletic. He is a friendly, 
sweet, and affectionate teen cat. Astaire has a simple 
and elegant appearance that does not require a lot 
of grooming. He will be an ideal family pet. The 
Domestic Shorthair can even be a child’s first pet 
because they are known to be friendly with both 
adults and children. He would also be a great 
companion for someone living alone, who would 
love a pet that will follow them around and will 
snuggle with them on the couch. 

 This playful boy has a lifetime of love and affection 
to share and would be a great addition to a lucky 
family looking for a new family member for the 

 In celebration of the ‘25 Days of Xmas’, all cats 
are available for the special adoption rate of $25 
that includes spay/neuter surgery, vaccinations, 
microchipping and a free wellness exam at 
participating veterinarians. 

 If you are interested 
in meeting Astaire or any of 
the other available cats and 
kittens at the shelter, visit the 
San Gabriel Valley Humane 
Society at 851 E. Grand Ave., 
San Gabriel, Calif. 91776. 
Stop by any time from 
10:30am to 4:30pm Tuesday 
thru Sunday to arrange a meet 
and greet with Astaire. For 
more information, call (626) 
286-1159. See our website 
at for 
information and photos of all 
our wonderful pets. 

 Shelter supporters are encouraged to visit the 
website to read about the amazing story of Hoppy 
told by his rescuer’s blog. This three legged 
Chihuahua now has a second chance for a happy life 
after a terrible accident left him alone and helpless 
trying to survive on the busy city streets. 

 2016 calendars are available at the shelter for a $10 
donation. The photos were selected among hundreds 
submitted by shelter supporters. They make great 
holiday gifts for the animal lovers on your list! If 
you would like to order a 2016 calendar on line, you 
can stop by the shelter or do so through Paypal. Go 
to the shelter website at for more 

I so enjoy observing the local wildlife that resides 
in and around Sierra Madre, and I adore hearing 
the musical calls of birds echoing through the air. I 
especially love hearing the audacious calls that come 
from the enormous birds of prey living among us. In 
fact, when I hear the unique, low-tone hooting of an 
owl, I feel a sense of warmth and comfort that is hard 
for me to describe. Just knowing that owls nest in the 
trees close to where I live is like an honor to me.

 A few months ago I read an article, Homeless 
Owls Need Homes, Too, about a project that provides 
alternative habitation for owls rendered homeless due 
to development in the San Gabriel Valley. Interested in 
learning more, I contacted the author, Steve Scauzillo 
and he was kind enough to take the time to chat with 
me. Steve admitted that he is not an owl expert and 
may not be the best person to consult about local 
owls. His column covers a variety of current issues 
and concerns regarding the environment, and this 
particular article just happened to be about owls. 
Steve referred me to a true owl expert at the LA 
Museum of Natural History, Kimball Garrett, so I 
gave him a call.

 To my delight, Mr. Garret was more than willing 
to share his knowledge about the owls that inhabit 
our foothills. Apparently there are a few different 
types that might be seen nesting in the forest and 
visiting our village, but the ones we are most likely 
to hear exuding resonant hooting sounds back and 
forth to one another are Great Horned Owls (Bubo 
virginianus pacificus). Garret explained that this 
particular owl is more prominent in our parts because 
they are more adaptable to environmental changes, 
and are therefore willing to inhabit alternative 
nesting spots when preferred locations are no longer 

 Great Horned Owls prefer nesting in very tall trees, 
but when those trees go missing, which seems to be 
more of a trend now than ever in our town, the Great 
Horned Owl is wise enough to take up residence in 
lower lying canopies. Some will even nest in man-
made boxes built on stilts where they are protected 
from predators, high winds and hard rains.

 Like all living things, owls play a very important 
part in keeping nature in balance. With this in mind, 
the next time you are tempted to complain about there 
being too many rats running around in your yard, let 
it be a reminder of how important the 
big trees are. They provide a place for 
owls and other birds of prey to stay and 
help keep the local rat population in 

 I had a remarkable experience with 
a couple of local owls on the morning 
my dad passed away. I slept in a little 
later than usual that Saturday, so I 
was still lying in bed at 8am when I 
suddenly heard two owls calling out 
in unison, one slightly higher pitched 
than the other. They were so close and 
so loud that the huge picture window 
in my room seemed to vibrate. My husband was 
there to witness the experience, so I can rely on 
his confirmation when I share this story with my 
friends. They may not believe it really happened 

 We both laid there listening, amazed at how loud 
those owls were. They had to be very close, maybe 
perched in the avocado tree in our side yard. It is so 
rare that I see owls that close or hear hear them that 
loud, so when I heard those owls near my bedroom 
window, I thought is sounded like a sort of heavenly 
choir singing a sacred hymn just for me. It brought a 
sense of serenity to my soul.

 Just moments after hearing the owls, I got out of bed 
and went down to make coffee. It was then that I got 
the call from my family, telling me the sad news that 
my father had just passed away. When I hung up the 
phone, I sat for a while crying and trying to process 
the shocking news. The owls had left my thoughts 
completely until later that day when it dawned on me; 
at the very moment my dad died, I was listening to 
the amazing sound of two owls outside my window, 
hooting louder than I had ever heard before.

 There are many mysterious, mystical myths 
associated with the owl, passed down through 
oral traditions of various peoples. One myth says 
that the owl is an omen of death soon-to-come. 
Another regards the owl as the bearer of the 
deceased soul as it passes from this world into the 
next. I have never subscribed to mysticism about 
animals before, but I must say the experience I 
had on the morning my dad passed away made me 
think twice about whether those ancient theories 
might hold some truth.

 One thing that is definitely true for me is that I love 
those amazing birds of prey. I love them because of 
their beauty and elegance, their tenacity and their 
symbiotic relationship with nature, not to mention 
the fact that they provide excellent examples to 
we humans through their loyal, familial life-style. 
They work very hard to overcome life’s hurdles, 
just to survive in today‘s world where fast-paced 
development is so quickly stealing away the places 
where they used to stay. I thank God every day for 
this beautiful earth and all the creatures he placed on 
it, particularly the mythical, mystical, magical Great 
Horned Owl.


Sweet little Stewart has one wish, and that is for a 
place he can call home. Stewart (A4901139) is a 
soulful 7-year-old tricolor (black, white, tan) male 
Chihuahua whose owners left him and his son, 
Sammie [A4901142] at the Baldwin Park Animal 
Care Center on November 30th because they felt they 
no longer had time for their dogs. Weighing just shy 
of 9 lbs, Stewart lives to cuddle, and will seize on any 
opportunity for a hug or a pet. He is a gentle dog who 
watches the world with curiosity. His former owners 
tell us that he hasn’t had much in the way of training 
yet, so he would benefit from a basic obedience class 
to help him become the star-quality dog he is meant 
to be. Stewart seems fine with other dogs, and is 
especially fond of Sammie. Stewart will blossom in a 
loving household committed to making him a part of 
their family forever. To watch a video of Stewart, please visit the following link:

To meet Stewart in person, please see him at the Baldwin Park Shelter, located at 4275 N. Elton, 
Baldwin Park, CA 91706 (Phone: 626-962-3577). He is currently available now. For any inquiries 
about Stewart, please reference his animal ID number: A4901139. The shelter is open seven days a 
week, 12 pm-7 pm Monday-Thursday and 10am-5pm Friday-Sunday. This is a high-intake shelter 
with a great need for adoptions. For more information about Stewart or the adoption process, 
contact United Hope for Animals Volunteer Adoption Coordinator Samantha at Samantha@ To learn more about United Hope for Animals’ partnership with the Baldwin 
Park Shelter, as well as the many dogs of all breeds, ages, and sizes available for adoption in local 
shelters, visit

Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 Email: Website: