So remember last winter, I was sick and laying in bed when I heard a strange noise outside? I looked out the bedroom window and witnessed my neighbor shoot a squirrel out of his tree and kill it. It was a really traumatic experience for me, just the senseless cruelty of it… and here’s why:

It’s not that I have something against hunting – I’m a meat eater like millions of others. What I cannot tolerate is cruelty. On that day, when I heard the noise I was really curious because I had heard it off and on for the past few days. When I looked out my window I could see the squirrels in the tree next door, and they were scared. They were trying to run down the trunk but something was shooting at them and they were forced to keep running back up into the tree. Just as I registered what was happening, I heard the noise again and a poor black squirrel who was trying to get down the trunk was shot off the tree and into the snow below. He tried to get up but after a moment collapsed and died.

In my sleep-ware and all, I marched next door and banged on the door. His wife answered and trying to control myself I asked her WHY they were shooting squirrels. Her reply, “we have too many”. Seriously?! What the heck?! I told her “You can’t do this!” and she tried to tell me that they were nasty pests, but I told her again she couldn’t do this, and if I heard it again I would call the police. She said okay, they would stop.

For 3 days I watched them leave that squirrel in the snow, and just when I decided to call the police anyway, they cleaned it up. I wished justice could be done but the truth is, people can be cruel and they are most cruel to those things that are weaker than them. It’s disgusting, but that’s the truth.

Fast forward a few months to spring. I was in the front yard one morning when the police arrived. They wanted to ask me if we had a gun in the house, or if we knew of anyone who did. I said we didn’t but that I knew the neighbors had one, and told them about the squirrel incident. Long story short, the police had gone next door in the weeks prior, but the elderly couple denied any knowledge of guns or shooting in the area.

The reason the police were involved, is that they guy who lives on the street behind us had 2 windows shot out of his house. The BB pellets were in his house. Then the people who live on the other side of the elderly couple had their playground equipment all shot up as well, with the BB pellets embedded in the wood of the swings and slide. The police were investigating but they had nothing to pin it to until I told them I witnessed the squirrel getting shot and the confrontation that happened after.

Interesting side note – it IS against the law to shoot wildlife in a residential neighborhood! So if you have a neighbor who’s all into that, report him. I wish I had known that, I would have reported it for sure. The only reason I didn’t was I thought I’d be wasting the police stations time and they would dismiss me.

Now at this time, the little elderly couple next door decided to stop answering their door when the police came. We saw this happen a few times, and had asked the other neighbors involved if they ever heard anything; But one had, and eventually we assumed the case was dropped.

Then, tonight happened. We had met up with friends earlier in the afternoon for a play-date with the kids and it turned into dinner and a late night visit at our house. At 10pm, with children running all over the place and us sitting upstairs having coffee, the door bell rang and an officer was on the step. It turns out, I’ve been summoned to court!! The investigation has continued, and now I’ve been called as a witness because you know… the squirrel.

So I’m sitting here writing this because I am just so proud, and so happy that this guy is not getting away with it. He’s old. He’s in a walker even! But he shot up peoples homes, playground equipment, a shed and he inflicted cruelty on defenseless creatures. I bet he thought that because of his age and state he would get away with it, but he also lied to the police – and whereas I’d hate to see him actually punished for this, I am so satisfied with our system not letting him get away with it, and for making him own it. It makes me feel happy knowing that accountability is alive and well in our small town, and I’m sure my neighbors all feel the same way.

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