It has been quite a summer for deer being kept illegally after they were rescued — and then being ratted out to authorities. In two separate incidents — one of which involved an armed raid of sorts — authorities have ordered deer be given up by their caretakers.
A no-kill animal shelter near the Wisconsin-Illinois border called the Society of St. Francis had taken in an abandoned baby deer. Two weeks ago though, the shelter was visited by warrant-bearing DNR officials and deputy sheriffs that shelter worker Ray Schulze described as “like a SWAT team” “all armed to the teeth,” according to WISN-TV.
They were there to search for the deer “Giggles,” named for some of the noises she would make. According to the state’s policy, the shelter had been in violation for keeping her.
The DNR received anonymous reports about Giggles and in drawing together information for a search warrant, the sheriff’s office even had aerial photos of the deer on the shelter’s property, WISN reported.
Even though the nine agents and four deputies might have looked intimidating, Schulze told WISN he didn’t seem too alarmed when they began searching for the deer, as he had just told them she was to go to a wildlife reserve the next day.
“I was thinking in my mind they were going to take the deer and take it to a wildlife shelter, and here they come carrying the baby deer over their shoulder. She was in a body bag,” Schulze said. “I said, ‘Why did you do that?’ He said, ‘That’s our policy,’ and I said, ‘That’s one hell of a policy.’”
WISN received an explanation for the death of Giggles — and the extensive team that showed up at the shelter — from the DNR:
Supervisor Jennifer Niemeyer said the law requires the DNR agents to euthanize animals like Giggles because of the potential for disease and danger to humans.
“These are always very difficult situations for both parties involved, and we are empathetic to the fact of what happened because we know in our heart of hearts they tried to do the right thing,” Niemeyer said.
“If a sheriff’s department is going in to do a search warrant on a drug bust, they don’t call them and ask them to voluntarily surrender their marijuana or whatever drug that they have before they show up,” Niemeyer said,
Niemeyer also told WISN that the DNR agents had only tranquilized Giggles at the shelter and later euthanized her elsewhere. Schultz said the shelter plans to sue the DNR for what was allowed to happen to Giggles without a court hearing.
Watch WISN’s report:
In other deer news, authorities in Ohio ordered a woman get rid of the raccoons and two deer she has cared for on her property for the past two years.
The Knox County officials got involved after receiving an anonymous tip that Carol Deyo had been keeping the animals on her farm, according to WSYX-TV. Considering them wild animals, Deyo has been charged with six misdemeanor counts and will appear in court in August.
KnoxPages.com received further clarification on why Deyo couldn’t keep the animals, reporting Derek Klein with the Ohio Division of Wildlife saying, “Deer are property of the state, they are wild animals.”
But there is a petition launched on Change.org that Deyo be permitted to keep the animals. The petition asks Ohio DNR Director Scott Zody to issue permits for the two deer — Trooper and Patch — and the four raccoons.
“It is important because these animals do not deserve to die because someone went against the law and had the heart to save their lives and not let them die in agony. Especially since they are living in outstanding environments and are well taken care of by qualified people,” the petition with more than 900 signatures stated.
A commenter on WSYX’s story wrote that authorities ordering the animals be turned over to the state “angers me greatly!!”
“With all the crap there is to worry about and they want to charge this woman for taking care of some wild animals?? Really?? Leave her alone so she can go on being a wonderful humanitarian!! Shame on the ‘legal’ system and whoever shot off their mouth!!” the commenter continued.
WSYX also included that Deyo, a breast cancer patient, believes caring for the animals helped her as she battled with the disease.
According to a Facebook page established earlier this month to save the animals, Deyo began caring for “Trooper” after he lost his leg when run over by mower at only two days old. Deyo, a retired veterinary technician, mended the wound and nursed him back to health. “Patch” was brought to Deyo’s farm by someone who found him malnourished.
In addition to these animals, Deyo also has horses, goats and a pig.