Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, January 1, 2022

MVNews this week:  Page 10

Mountain Views-News Saturday, January 1, 2022 


The greatness of a nation and its moral progress 
can be judged by the way its animals are 
~ Mahatma Gandhi 

Over the years of writing this column, I’ve 
often shared my feelings about the importance 
of treating animals more humanely. 
While my motive has been pure, with hopes 
of encouraging change for the better, I do re-

Happy Tails 

by Chris Leclerc 

alize that my writing has, at times, turned to ranting on a subject that some folks would rather not 
have to address. 

This week I decided to focus on the good things humans have done to help protect animals and enhance 
their quality of life. Many positive changes have come about through compassionate legislation, 
volunteerism, philanthropy and individual self-sacrifice - all on the part of the human and on behalf of 
the animals. There is much more to be done, but we’ve come a long way so let’s celebrate our success! 

Here are a few examples of positive change that have occurred for the animals over the past several 
decades. It’s a short list, but it shows our society is taking a more positive approach to our relationship 
with our fellow beings. 

 In 1966, The Animal Welfare Act was signed into law, making it the first in the United States 
that regulates the treatment of animals in research, exhibition, transport, and by dealers. Other laws, 
policies and guidelines before or after may include additional species coverage or specifications for 
animal care, but today all refer back to the Animal Welfare Act as the minimum acceptable standard. 

 In May of 2006, Ohlone Dog Park in Berkeley, CA became the first known of it’s kind in the 
world. Since then, dog parks have been popping up by the hundreds in numerous cities within the US, 
and throughout the globe. This proves that all those millions of dog owners care enough about their 
pets to want the very best for them. Off-leash play in a social setting (for well-socialized dogs) is a kind 
way to show you love your canine. 

 In February, 2012 LA County agreed to allow dogs to accompany their humans for dinner on 
restaurant patios. Now your four-legged friend can really be a part of the family, by joining you for 
an evening outing rather than waiting at home anxiously for your return. With LA county being the 
forerunner and followed example, this law carried over to several other counties in California as well. 
It was amended later to prevent restaurant owners from being cited by the Health Dept., opening even 
more doors to four-footers. 

 In October of 2012, The LA City Council voted 12-2 in favor of a law that would require pet 
stores to sell only rescued animals. In addition to reducing euthanizations, the law seeks to put an end 
to puppy and kitten mills that breed animals in poor conditions and ship them to pet stores for profit. 

 Pet ownership in the United States, Great Britain and Australia is on the rise! According to a 
recent census, the number of dog owners in these three countries has grown by several millions since 
the early 2000’s and the number of dogs per household has increased as well. We humans are obviously 
becoming much more willing to forego another toy or trinket, in order to love and care for someone 
besides ourselves! Pets are great teachers. 

 Countless animal rescue organizations have emerged over the past few decades. The Humane 
Society is a prime example of kind humans helping animals in need. Their efforts have reduced the 
number of euthanized pets to a proportionate fraction of what it used to be and numerous other 
organizations have followed their lead by placing rescued animals and advocating spay and neuter 
practices to all pet owners. 

 Which brings me to another positive praise for the human’s love toward animals. Many licensed 
veterinarians in the US now offer affordable - if not free - spay and neuter services to those who 
are financially strapped. Several non-profits network with veterinarians who share their desire to stop 
excessive breeding, and are willing to provide such services at their own cost. Do the research to find 
the right vet for your pet, and discuss your financial status frankly & honestly. You may be surprised at 
how helpful your vet will be when you tell them your desire is to prevent unintentional pet pregnancy. 

 Last but certainly not least, there is a growing trend in our society to adopt and not shop. This 
not-so-new concept got started by avid animal rights advocates, and has been made more popular in 
recent years by celebrities who promote the philosophy. Now it seems just about every animal lover is 
on the band wagon. Now adopting is not only a win-win for the animal and its owner, it is also a cool 
trend that has caught on like wildfire. 

It seems that, more than ever before, we humans are realizing how precious our beloved pets are. They 
love unconditionally, and for some people a pet may be the only source of unconditional love they 
have in their life. Kudos to those who recognize the value of animals and selflessly help pave the way 
to a better life for them. May we all try to focus more on the good things happening to make a change 
for the better in our society. Love and let live. 



[Nyerges is an educator and the author of nearly two dozen books, including “Extreme 
Sim-plicity: Homesteading in the City,” and other books. He can be reached 

Recently while driving around town doing some errands, I began to notice a strange 
phe-nomenon. I was behind a line of cars in the right lane, waiting for the red light to 
change to green. The light changed and the cars ahead of me did not move. I didn’t 

know why, but I didn’t honk but just got out of that lane, and drove around the curious line of waiting cars. 
As I drove by, I noticed that all the drivers were just sitting there, parked, waiting. 
I began to notice this on numerous other occasions, and soon realized that this line of waiting cars was 
always by a school. The time was always around two or three p.m. I no-ticed this often enough, and always 
around schools. I suppose I am a slow learner, but everyone else I asked about this already knew what this 
was all about. Parents are lining up to give their school children a safe ride home from school. Oh! Simple!
Now, each time that I see this line of waiting parents in cars, usually with the motors still running, I cannot 
help but think how different the world has become in the several dec-ades since I was a school child.
When I was about to begin my very first adventure out of the womb and home at age five, my father 
drove me several times from our home to Longfellow school, over on Washing-ton Avenue east of Lake. 
He instructed me in the path that I was to walk each and every day, to school and back home again. He 
instructed me which side of the street to walk on, and where to cross, and a few pointers for emergencies. 
(I believe I kept our phone num-ber written on a piece of paper in my shoe.). I had a least one in-person 
guided walk so that it was absolutely clear how and where I was to walk every day. Every day I walked along 
the path my father instructed for me to get to school, and at noon, when kindergar-ten was over, I walked 
directly home along the same path. I never deviated from that path because I thought I would get lost.
Then, the following year, I began first grade at Saint Elizabeth school, which was a lot closer to our home. 
My mother walked with me to the new school, about five blocks away. Now that I was “grown up,” I walked 
by myself, sometimes with my brother, up Highland Avenue to school. There were no twists or turns to get 
home, so when school got out, I walked back down the residential area to my home.
By second grade, I was riding my own bicycle the few blocks to school every day, and rid-ing home afterwards. 
I noted that a handful of parents actually did come to the school and drive their children home. 
There was also a small bus that came to our school and drove maybe 20 of the students to their homes. 
Once, I was invited to the home of a fel-low classmate and I curiously rode the bus with the other students. 
My friend lived up the hill at a remote home at the base of the mountains, at least a mile from the school. 
That visit made me realize the reality of the economic differences of the members of my school and community. 
My friend’s home was very upscale, and their furniture was splendid, and even the food we were 
served at dinner was quite exceptional by my usual standards.
Back home, in my “real world,” my brother explained to me that our family lived in “lower middle class” 
standards, and that my friend’s family, and neighborhood, was either “upper middle class” or “lower upper 
class.” I remember telling my brother that I’m glad we lived so close to the school, because I could not 
imagine bicycling all the way up the hill to my friend’s home.
“Yeah, but your friend would never bicycle to school,” my brother told me in a conde-scending voice, attempting 
to pierce through my naievete. “Your friend’s parents have money! Why would he bicycle?” It 
was an interesting comment, since before that time, I had never thought about myself or my family in 
comparative economic terms.
More recently, I asked a friend what he thought about the long line of cars that now await daily in front of 
nearly all grammar schools.
“The world has changed,” he told me. “This is no longer the 1960s.” 
“Yes, but why do you think that parents do this today,” I asked. 
“Things are not safe today,” my friend quickly replied.
“Really? Is that the reason?” I wondered aloud. Hasn’t the slow gentrification of our cities reduced much of 
the suburban crimes? I remember when I was growing up in Pasadena that there were children everywhere 
after school, in yards, walking, playing ball in the street, everywhere. When I lived with my father while he 
was dying, in our same family home, I observed a very quiet section of Pasadena that had previously been 
bustling with youthful activity.
“Are you sure that’s the reason?” I asked my friend. He speculated that perhaps comput-ers had something 
to do with this phenomenon, where youngsters spent way too much time behind the computer, playing 
games and chatting with friends. 
We didn’t know all the causes, but I did speculate that laziness was another factor. Plus, I can recall talking 
to friends my age who had children, telling me how they didn’t want their children to endure all the “hardships” 
they had to endure. Though it was a sincere comment, and a sincere concern, I realized that it was 
life’s childhood hardships that made me who I am, and formed my character. I had to get out in the world, 
and I had to bicycle and work to get anywhere. Threats were very real, and I could not fight dangers by 
hid-ing behind a computer screen. And the few times when we really did have to get physical with another 
boy taught each of us that sometimes our greatest seeming-enemies could (eventually) be a friend and ally, 
and that the rewards of negotiation can be quite pro-found. 
Maybe it’s just me and getting older, but when I see the long lines of cars in front of schools, though I realize 
the concerns of safety, I cannot help but think about all the expe-riences that these children are no longer 


Tilda is a cute 
little ball of fur. 
She’s a shorthair 
tortoiseshell, age 
about 3 months. 
She will most 
likely stay a petite 
cat. She was born 
of a feral mom, 
but is adjusting 

to home life quite well. Tilda enjoys climbing 
Christmas trees, cat trees, and knocking down 
other Christmas deco-rations. She also likes 
standard cat toys and wrestling with her kitten 
friends. She’ll make a wonderful addition 
to the presents under your tree. See more pictures 
at Lifeline for Pets,
For more info please call foster mom Gabbi at (626)808-8557. 

Pet of the Week

 Eight-year-old Betty is a beautiful dog who enjoys gettingattention from her favorite people, and would love tosleep next to you on the bed. Betty can be a little shy withnew people, so she needs an adopter who will let her goat her own pace and provide her with a calm and quietenvironment. She would do best in a home without other 
dogs and without very many visitors, so she would be agreat dog for an introvert who wants a furry best friend!

 The adoption fee for dogs is $150. All dog adoptionsinclude spay or neuter, microchip, and age-appropriatevaccines.

 New adopters will receive a complimentary health-andwellness 
exam from VCA Animal Hospitals, as well as agoody bag filled with information about how to care for 
your pet. 
View photos of adoptable pets and schedule an adoption appointment at pasadenahumane.
org. Adoptions are by appointment only, and new adoption appointments are availableevery Sunday and Wednesday at 10:00 a.m.

Pets may not be available for adoption and cannot be held for potential adopters byphone calls or email. 

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