Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, May 7, 2022

MVNews this week:  Page 11

Mountain View News Saturday, May 7, 2022 

Happy Tails 

by Chris Leclerc 


One weekend a few years ago, my husband and I decided it had been far too long since we‘d “gone out 
to country”, so we put everything else aside and drove to Lake Matthews in Perris, CA to spend the 
day at the Animazonia Wildlife Foundation’s big cat refuge. At that time, Animazonia was opening the 
gates to their gorgeous sanctuary for public visitation & site tours on the first Saturday of each month. 

What a serene countryside setting. Surrounded by steep, rounded rolling hills littered with huge boulders 
& dramatic outcroppings, the refuge is hidden in a small niche off the beaten trail. Winding our 
way along the 2-lane road that took us there, we enjoyed a fabulous view of snow-capped Mount Baldy 
to the north and a hand-full of small farms with sheep, horses, chickens and goats. But to me, the best 
part of the drive was seeing all those huge birds soaring above us, over the lake and over the meadows. 

The feature event we set out to take part in at Animazonia was a “Raptor Release” sponsored by the 
Orange County Bird of Prey Center (OCBPC) and presented by veterinarian Dr. Scott Weldy, director 
of OCBPC and owner of Serrano Animal & Bird Hospital in Lake Forrest, CA. Raptors - or birds of 
prey as they are commonly called - include owls, eagles, falcons, condors, hawks, ospreys, kites, and 
vultures. They have strong feet with sharp talons for catching and holding caught prey. Their hooked 
upper beak is designed to tear into their catch, and their binocular vision allows them excellent depth 
perception needed for efficient hunting. 

Raptors are very important to our environment because they help maintain the balance of nature by 
controlling the population of rodents, reptiles, insects and other prey that would otherwise overpopulate. 
Because of the important role they play in the balance of nature, and because of the dramatic drop 
in their population over the past several decades, raptors are now protected by state and federal laws, 
but if you ask me their beauty and elegance alone is enough reason to protect them. 

Known for his heart-felt dedication to rescuing orphaned, injured or ill birds of prey, Dr. Weldy brought 
with him 5 raptors, 3 of which had been rehabilitated and were ready for re-introduction into the wild. 
The other 2 were “Hank”, a gorgeous red tail hawk and “Gus”, a sweet petite screech owl. Both had been 
rescued as fledglings and had spent their formative weeks as babies being cared for by humans, whom 
they came to know as their parents. This phenomenon is called “imprinting” and can be the reason why 
some wild birds in captivity will never have a chance to fly free again. 

Dr. Weldy and the Animazonia staff gave a super interesting and educational presentation which was 
quite a treat, but the best part of the event was when the 3 rehabbed raptors were released. For me, it 
was an emotional experience. I felt so privileged to be there, as those amazing animals took to the sky. 
Whilst each one ascended, I couldn’t help thinking they were being lifted up to the heavens and given a 
new life, much like the “rapture” described in the Bible. All 3 of those beautiful birds had a story. Each 
had been rescued at a crucial time, when it was touch and go, life or death. They were among the lucky 
ones who’ve been found and given help, just when they needed it most. 

As I watched each raptor being “raptured“, it gave me a new sense of hope that these wild creatures are 
far more tenacious than I often give them credit for. My human heart wants to reach out when I see 
trees disappear (far too often these days) and I fear the birds themselves will disappear with no good 
place to land and nest. It is true that they can be rendered vulnerable by habitat encroachment, felled 
trees, sudden up cropping of wind turbines, solar panel fields, electrical lines & human-caused chemical 
disasters, but the raptor is one tough bird that doesn’t give up easily. Yet another priceless lesson 
learned from nature’s wild creatures that I aspire to live by. 

As most folks here in the San Gabriel foothill area know, raptors are doing their best to survive and 
thrive in this, their natural habitat, as we humans continue to infringe upon their space. Let’s do our 
best to help them along, what do you say? If you should happen to come across an injured or orphaned 
bird of prey, please immediately call your local Animal Control Department, or contact OCBPC @ 
949-837-0786 to report it. Do not attempt to care for an injured or orphaned raptor yourself. It may result 
in serious injury to you and/or the bird. If it is absolutely necessary to handle the injured bird while 
waiting for help, use heavy gloves and a towel or blanket for easier handling. Stay calm. Grasp the bird 
on the sides, over properly folded wings and place it in a cardboard box slightly larger than the bird. 

It is helpful to keep a record of the time, date and location of a capture. Some raptors have been “banded”, 
meaning they were in captivity at some point and are now wearing an ID bracelet that may provide 
important information such as a phone number to call. Be certain that any baby bird you find is truly 
orphaned before removing it from the area. Don’t overreact. It may have fled it‘s nest, but still being 
cared for by it’s parents nearby but not visible, in which case it is much better off being left alone. 

I implore all of my fellow dwellers here in Sierra Madre and beyond, please be respectful to all wildlife. 
Don’t invite your list of social media friends into a frenzy of senseless sensation or fruitless fear if you 
spot a wild creature. Just consider yourself blessed to have seen it - and keep it to yourself. Whether it 
is a deer, a coyote, a bear, or a bird, they are all relying on us humans to do the right thing. They are not 

the threat, we are. Love and let live. 



It’s early May of 2022. When I 

heard the “leaked” news that the 

Supreme Court is planning on 

overturning Roe v. Wade deci

sion of nearly 50 years earlier, it 

naturally made me think of my 


Of the many hats that my mother wore, one was 

a freelance counselor of older teen and early 20s 

girls, some of whom were considering getting an 

abortion. Some may have simply have had confu

sions about their sexual activity, or were concerned 

about a man whom they thought loved them but 

who probably didn’t. 

[Note: please read to the end. You might think you 
know where this is going, but I think you will be 

Most of our family knew some of these young 
girls, but not all of them. And when my mother 
had these deep discussions, no one dared disturb 
them or interfere. These were usually later at night 
when my father was already asleep. He always went 
to bed early – unlike the rest of us—because he always 
had to get up early. My brothers and I knew 
that when my mother’s discussions were occurring 
in the dining room, we stayed in the kitch-en, or 
watched TV in the living room. Without knowing 
the exact content of their hushed discussions in the 
corner of the dining room, we knew that whatever 
they were talking about in these sometimes hours-
long discussions was important, sensitive, and potentially 
My mother—like my father—was a staunch lifelong 
Democrat. She had an autographed photo of 
President Kennedy right up there on the wall next 
to the pope. But as someone who felt abortion was 
wrong, she always found it hard to balance her devotion 
to the Democratic party which said abortion 
was OK. But my mother was also pragmatic, and 
she was a strong Catholic. 
And as a nurse, she saw a side of life that average 
people never experience, and only get a taste of 
from TV. 
My mother would always let us know that having a 
baby was a wonderful thing, that a new life was being 
brought into the world. But in her private conversations, 
she also knew that babies didn’t always 
come into a loving, caring home. What about the 
pregnancy from rape or incest? What about when 
something happens during the pregnancy, and the 
mother or the child will die if the pregnancy is 
brought to term? My mother realized the complexity 
of the female body around pregnancy, where 
the unexpected could occur. I recall a would-be 
mother speaking to my mother after an unexpected 
spontaneous discharge of the baby occurred (I am 
sure there is a medical term for this). My mother 


expressed sadness, shrugged, and said “It must have 
been God’s will.” 
My mother told those young girls to be careful who 
they got involved with, and to be extra careful if 
they had sexual involvements. She believed that sex 
should only occur in marriage, but she also was a 
realist who knew the real world. My mother valued 
human life, and told these young girls and women 
to never regard abortion lightly.
Still, her main thinking was that government agencies 
should stay out of the decision to have or not 
have such a procedure, and leave the matter to the 
doctor and the woman. My mother felt this was a 
compromise of sorts, but she felt that government 
workers and their agencies do far greater harm 
than a doctor making a decision in an individual 
case. I know my mother did not like abortion, but 
she would not be happy about what the Supreme 
Court is reportedly about to do since it could force 
this very serious procedure back into the darkness. 
That’s what I believe my mother would have felt 
about this situa-tion (may she rest in peace). 


I believe there is an even bigger and greater issue 
playing out. If Humpty Dumpty falls, we won’t be 
able to put him back together again. American citizens 
have largely regarded the Supreme Court as 
the ultimate, and objective, arbiter of what we call 
our “Law of the Land.” We want to continue feel 
that the court members are not simply low-level 
politicians playing politics with each issue.
In this case, each of the five jurors who are reportedly 
going to cast down Roe v. Wade as not being 
Constitutional have each gone on record (during 
their confirmation hearings) as stating that Roe v. 
Wade is an established Constitutional fact. So did 
they each lie about what they felt about this case so 
they would be voted into the Supreme Court? Were 
the three most recent Trump appointees telling us 
a fib all along? 
It discredits their own court by saying that the 
court’s earlier decision on Roe v.Wade was based 
on a poor foundation, as if precedent is irrelevant. 
Precedent, after all, is the bread and butter of all 
court decisions. Does the current court now go 
pick and choose what they want to agree about, 
or believe? To say that the Roe v. Wade decision 
was not based on the Constitution is somewhat irrelevant, 
since many modern cases are argued and 
decided with no clear Constitutional connection. 

In my opinion, this course of action will spell the 
death of the Supreme Court as a viable and trusted 
institution in American politics and thinking, if 
this comes to pass. This is a short term decision 
which will take them down the path of their own 
demise, unfortunately. 


Just taking some time 
this week to wish you all a 
very happy Mother’s Day! 
We also want to remind 
you that if you are looking 
for a new pet, please 
start with Lifeline for 
Pets. Also, even though 
this is “kitten sea-son,” 
please don’t overlook the 
teens and adult cats from 

about age 2 to about age 9. Those are great ages and 
their purr-sonalities are al-ready set so you know what 
you are getting. For instance, here is Dazzle. She’s only 5 years old. She’s a little shy at first, but is 
easily held, playful, and diligent with her litter box habits. We have a variety of teens and adults, 
from friendly and playful, to bonded twosomes, to very affectionate, to very shy but sweet. Please 
visit our website at and take a look at all we offer. At the very least, you’ll 
love looking at all the beautiful cats! All the best! 

Pet of the Week

 Seven-week-old Garth is incredibly softand adorable! Garth is a lap kitten, but he 
also loves to perch on your thigh or knee. 
If he’s not already on your lap, he just might 
climb up your pant leg to get there! Garth 
is also very playful and loves his wand toy.

 The adoption fee for kittens is $150. All 

kitten adoptions include spay or neuter, 

microchip, and age-appropriate vaccines.

 New adopters will receive a complimentary 
health-and-wellness exam from VCA Animal 
Hospitals, as well as a goody bag filled with 
information about how to care for your pet.

 View photos of adoptable pets and 
schedule an adoption appointment at Adoptions are by 
appointment only, and new adoption 
appointments are available every 
Sunday and Wednesday at 10:00 a.m.

Pets may not be available for adoption and cannot be held for potential adopters by 
phone 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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