More than once on our favourite trail we have surprised a bald eagle feasting on its latest catch. Bald eagles can live for two or three decades, so I suspect that the nesting pair on the ridge overlooking the river are well accustomed to seeing us by now.
They are beautiful and breathtaking when they are on the wing .. but beneath it all they are predators who bring none of our warm and fuzzy sentiments to the table. A fish is a rabbit is a cat is a small dog is dinner, eh? They are such successful hunters that many times when they are perched overhead along the wooded trails we would miss them entirely if it wasn't for Miss Ruby's own keen senses.
There is no point in moralizing about this or getting ticked at the eagles for preying on small animals ... like any wild thing, an eagle is what it is.
Humans, on the other hand, can choose whether to be predators or protectors. Nowhere is that more evident than in the widely varied outcomes for the companion animals born in our society.
One of the things that wakes me up at three in the morning is the myriad of issues around pet abandonment. How to discourage it. How to nip it in the bud. How to get a law to ....
But wait just a gosh darned minute ... there IS a law! While there are many laws that we DO desperately need in order to create a safer world for the animals ... at this point in time, in Nova Scotia, it IS illegal to abandon an animal.
I'm a middle aged grandmother, not a lawyer, so I can't say for sure if that can be enforced if the offenders leave the province. Each province has its own Animal Cruelty Act and I honestly don't know enough about legal jurisdictions, eh?
But, it is rare for a person to be able to rent a dwelling without providing some sort of identification. If they leave pets behind, would outraged neighbours be willing to talk to society investigators if they were confident their complaints would not fall on deaf ears?
People are not shy about talking about these things ... a couple of days ago I was in our local used building supply place and listening to a Very Unhappy Tail about a 19 year old deaf and blind cat that had been left behind by a neighbour. ( and yes, before the keyboards catch on fire, I did suggest to the kind heart that took the cat in that he should call the society's cruelty line. )
To be perfectly honest, I can't think of a better way to fundraise for the society's cruelty investigations than by successfully prosecuting a case or two of pet abandonment.
Even better, like the RCMP holiday spot checks, it would definitely give some people pause to think before acting.
Best of all, it would paint a more proactive picture than any position papers and press releases could.
What time is it? Its always time to understand that the achievable objectives are always the best building blocks.