The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


July 7, 2014

Animals have feelings

— Your article reporting an incident between a local resident and children whom he believed to be harassing wild ducks in Bull Run raises questions that need examination.

I know the accused personally to be an ardent and devoted care taker of the welfare of our wild duck visitors. His interest and concern for their well-being is wholly commendable.  Period.

If, as alleged, he “harassed” or “stalked” the 12-year-old children, that might constitute a serious error in judgment on his part, were it not for the reported behavior of these apparently unsupervised minors whose upbringing apparently did not include respect for wild animals or their welfare.

Where were these children’s parents? Were they brought up to respect wildlife? How else might the alleged have stopped, and/or prevented further recurrence of, the children’s behavior — or determined who their responsible adults were — than by following them as they fled? Did they flee from fear of him, or of consequences for their behaviors? Note also that, absent a breathalyzer, or blood test, mere presence of alcohol on the breath does not constitute “public drunkenness.”

It sounds to me as though the alleged may have been merely exercising due diligence in his attempts to stop animal abuse and to bring appropriate consequences to bear on the apparent harassers of wildlife. Animals have feelings, too. Anyone who thinks otherwise is not paying them sufficient attention. Animals have rights, too.

John N. Cooper,


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