Re "Opossum Killings Test Limits of Cruelty Cases," July 29:
As a high school English teacher, I never pass up the opportunity to teach my students the importance of respecting all living creatures. As a devoted animal lover, I was appalled and sickened by the heartbreaking photo accompanying the disturbing story on opossum killings.
Anyone who has ever observed opossums knows that they are harmless, timid creatures.
It is disappointing that Kirk Broomall was acquitted in an animal cruelty trial when it is obvious that the man gets enjoyment by seeing an innocent animal suffer a long, slow and painful death.
Anti-cruelty laws need to continue to be strengthened. The next time Broomall sees an opossum in his yard, he should remember the classic Beatles song and just "Let It Be."
Suzanne E. Feighery
The article quotes Aaron Reyes of the animal control authority as saying that had Broomall called authorities, "We would have responded, picked it up and educated him."
Reyes is the one who needs to be educated. I recently trapped a female opossum and her four babies, and I mistakenly thought that all I had to do was contact animal control. They advised me to contact the Opossum Assn. of Irvine and provided me a telephone number that no one answered.
After spending the greater part of the day struggling with what to do with the animals, I eventually set them free in one of the larger parks in the area.
What shocked me more than the picture of the (still) living opossum riddled with arrows was the story that went with it. The security guard and Kirk Broomall both went after those small animals in outrageous ways. Both should suffer consequences.
Broomall's actions, however, are especially troubling. That is three small animals he has either burned alive or shot with arrows and then finished off with a shovel and a pipe. If he isn't under psychiatric care or police watch for his repeated willingness to burn or batter something small to death, he should be.
He probably doesn't realize it but his family and neighbors have more to worry about from him than any opossum in the backyard.
By the way, opossums don't like water. You can herd them out of your yard with a hose.
The Times' photo this morning of the opossum with three crossbow bolts through its body makes me want to do the same to its shooter. And for all you potential bow "hunters" out there, this photo is the real truth: Arrows rarely kill an animal quickly or painlessly.
And the truth about opossums: There isn't a more timid wild animal. Their perceived ferocity is all bluff.
Your article should serve to educate a few of the truly clueless imbeciles among us, providing these miscreants can read and have read this article. Thank you.