We’re Here For Giggles: Family Finds Fawn And Brings It To Shelter . . . Wisconsin Officials Raid Shelter And Kill Fawn

220px-OdocoileusVirginianus2007-07-28fawn32395_460630240667849_1067942150_nA family and animal shelter in Wisconsin is raising questions about the response of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to a fawn being dropped off at the shelter. An Illinois family found the fawn and brought it to the the Society of St. Francis shelter a couple weeks ago. The shelter planned to take the fawn named Giggles to a wildlife shelter. However, the DNR learned of the plan and, according to the shelter, raided the facility and killed the fawn.

The shelter said that nine heavily armed DNR agents and four deputy sheriffs stormed their facility and searched for the baby deer. To the surprise of the shelter, they tranquilized the deer and threw it into a body bag. When shelter employee Ray Schulze objected as it was carried out on a shoulder, the DNR reportedly said that it was the policy of the DNR to kill the animal. The deer was taken off sight and euthanized. Somehow that was much better than allowing the shelter to take the deer to a wildlife shelter.

The DNR explained that it was illegal to possess a wild animal because they are dangerous. That would explain the 12 heavily armed men. It is something like Bambi Meets Rambo.

What is curious is that all wildlife shelters “possess” wildlife. The Illinois shelter appears to have agreed to take the fawn, which would have been taken out of the state. Rather than view this as a transit rather than possession, the state decided to kill the animal to protect it and the public. There would seem a logical distinction to be drawn between a citizen and a shelter. If the DNR cannot find a little wiggle room for the next Giggles, then the law should be changed to add a modicum of logic and mercy to Wisconsin policies.

Source: WISN

86 thoughts on “We’re Here For Giggles: Family Finds Fawn And Brings It To Shelter . . . Wisconsin Officials Raid Shelter And Kill Fawn

  1. Wisconsin laws regarding wildlife need many changes! Last year, most of the wolves (recently removed from endangered species protection) killed in Wisconsin were pups! http://wiwildlifeethic.org/2013/08/01/wisconsin-dnr-brags-that-majority-of-wolves-killed-last-year-were-pups-and-then-launches-heavily-armed-raid-to-kill-a-fawn-seriously/ Hunting wolves with dogs is state-sanctioned dog fighting, only more cruel. The victims are (mostly) juvenile wolves and the domestic dogs hunting them. Visit http://www.friendsofthewisconsinwolf.org/ to learn more or donate to help to stop the wolf hunt. Images and information are also on their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/FriendsOfTheWisconsinWolf

  2. Hey, I wonder what happened to the Constitution sometimes, myself, OS, it’s just that I’m not seeing the lunatic hand of Scott Walker in any of this. The DNR is completely separate from the county – it could care less about what goes on at the pound, as long as it doesn’t involve wildlife, and frankly, such is the bureaucrat’s life that if someone’s complaining about another agency, then they aren’t focused on yours. No sense getting caught in the crossfire.

    Deer hunting is integral to Wisconsin’s culture and a big part of its economy; the threat posed by CWD would prompt the kind of response from wildlife managers meant to protect the state’s deer herds, irrespective of who sits in the governor’s office – this was strictly about managing wildlife. Even if you’re correct about this shelter attracting the ire of some government agency or official, there are better, more effective ways to go about retaliating.

    You imagine burly, snarling jack-booted thugs wielding Bushmasters shoving volunteers into corners based on press accounts, while I tend to believe that most of the DNR agents were slight, career professionals wearing pocket protectors, requiring the county sheriffs to usher them in so they may do an unpleasant task. Why were there so many agents on the scene? I don’t know…it’s not every day a search is made on an animal shelter, maybe the novelty attracted a crowd, maybe a couple were on hand for training. Prohibiting photos probably had nothing to do with covering up aggressive, abusive behavior and everything to do with preventing the disastrous PR that would result from images of poor Bambi being taken away to slaughter. People become attached to deer like the piano player on the Titanic who couldn’t let go of his piano. So, although I’m prepared to believe the worst about Scott walker and his ilk, having seen first hand how emotionally charged people can become over deer, I’m skeptical about the press accounts.

    As for DavidM being banned from the Facebook page, gee, I can’t imagine anyone banning him. Personally, I think it’s a mistake and I would encourage him to keep trying friend-up, or whatever it’s called – perhaps make a few calls. Who knows, maybe his buddy Scott will fix it for him.

    • RTC – Really? Don’t you think a DNR agent could have called up St. Francis and said something like the following:

      DNR: “We understand you have a deer. You realize the law does not allow you to keep that deer, nor are you allowed to transport the deer across State lines.”

      St. Francis: “Uh-huh.”

      DNR continues: “Okay, so we will send an agent out this afternoon to pick up the deer, ok?”

      St. Francis: “Yeah, okay. Thank you. See you this afternoon.”

      DNR sends out one unarmed agent and picks up the deer.

      What am I missing here? Do you have some information that this was not the response St. Francis would have had?

  3. Guest,
    The WordPress filter catches posts with more than two links in them, as well as certain naughty words. Your comment has three links and was sent to moderation. I read it and it looked OK, so cleared it with the third link included. Everyone, please keep links to no more than two in a single comment. I just happened to notice Guest’s comment by accident and was able to clear it.

  4. RTC,
    We don’t know what the agents looked like because they confiscated all pictures. Perhaps more information will emerge in news stories or interviews. As for wildlife, I am pretty familiar with that here in the mountains. Bears and raccoons in the garbage, whitetail deer in the parking lot of my office yesterday, dodging skunks and possums in the road, and foxes in the driveway at the house. When my daughter was young, we taught her to look around outside before going out the door to make sure there are no predators bigger than her in the back yard. We are encroaching on their habitat.

    Google Earth has a history function in their views of most locations. It is interesting to use that toolbar and work backward. You can see the disappearing woodland and forests. Every time we spot a new building site going up on a mountainside, we know more pressure is being put on the ecosystem. When she was just a toddler, my daughter would spot a new clearing and say, “They are digging up my mountains again.” And don’t even get me started on mountaintop removal. My blood pressure is high enough as it is.

  5. I am a chicken. I have lived most of my life in hiding, while millions of my kind are murdered and eaten daily. While I am (of course) disturbed by Giggles’ murder, I am also deeply hurt by the fact that no one cares about us Chickens. Maybe if we were the embodiment of “cute” and “innocent” people would care. I defy anyone to tell me why our lives are given zero value, but everyone freaks out over the death of a baby deer, but not us. Hypocrisy of the highest order.

  6. Hard to imagine how a fawn being transported to a sanctuary in another state would affect Wisconsin. Now a state that is being held hostage to the whims of people that like to kill things is something to think about. Who in their right mind would eat venison suspected to be from CWD deer? Deleted photos to protect their PR is small time compared the civil rights violations that will rain down on their head.
    Hard to believe an ecologist does not know about one of the biggest blunders in history http://www.ted.com/talks/allan_savory_how_to_green_the_world_s_deserts_and_reverse_climate_change.html

  7. The DNR show of force was in response to an erroneous anonymous complaint that the Society of St. Francis no-kill shelter was planning to permanently house a baby deer on the property. The baby deer, shelter workers named Giggles, was found over the Wisconsin border in Illinois and brought to the St. Francis shelter by a man who had found the baby deer four days earlier and kept the deer in his home. “There was no way of getting the baby back to her mother because the person, who found the deer, had kept her too long” said Schultz. “Because Giggles
    was an Illinois deer, we made contact with an authorized Illinois deer rescue and made arrangements to take Giggles to that rescue” Schultz said. “We had planned on taking Giggles to her new home after our Walk for the Animals on Sunday.”


  8. DNR is now claiming they made a phone call that was ignored. The DNR underestimates the power of the public to verify such statements. Surprised they did not bring a tank. You know well armed and nasty those volunteers can be.

  9. “DNR is now claiming they made a phone call that was ignored. ”

    Department of Natural Resources Supervisor Jennifer Niemeyer told WISN 12 that …….

    The station asked if the raid could have been done in a less costly manner by making a phone call first.

    “If a sheriff’s department is going in to do a search warrant on a drug bust, they always call them and ask them to voluntarily surrender their marijuana or whatever drug that they have before they show up,” the supervisor responded.
    “If the criminals ignore the phone call, then a SWAT team goes in.”

  10. DougieB:

    I love chicken(s), fried, baked, bbq’d, they are excellent. Although I will admit having your head chopped off, your feathers removed in scalding water and hanged by your feet probably inst the most pleasant death.

    And the final insult is that your bones go into a land fill and your flesh to the waste water treatment plant all in the name of gastronomy.

    Keep on pecking.

  11. RTC:

    I think you are correct in your observation of out of control deer herds in populated areas. We have a huge deer population where I live, also a huge Canada Goose population.

    The solution would seem to be to allow more hunting and trapping and give the meat to homeless shelters.

    But I think a simple phone call would have been sufficient. If they did not comply a single DNR officer could have taken the deer.

  12. Anyone want to make any bets on whether this facility and other St. Francis facilities start installing security video cameras? More and more people are installing dashcams in their vehicles as well. The way things are going all over the country, video cameras seem to be a wise investment.

  13. @SlingTrebuchet: Haha! I noticed that DNR Spokesweasel Jennifer Niemeyer spoke out of (at least) two sides of her mouth too! Maybe she doesn’t realize she’s being videotaped?

  14. @RTC: *”Prohibiting photos probably had nothing to do with covering up aggressive, abusive behavior and everything to do with preventing the disastrous PR”*

    Perhaps, but preventing disastrous PR doesn’t (or shouldn’t) trump the first amendment. If you know, please tell us what law authorized these officers to prohibit photo and/or video recording – or indeed to confiscate cellphones from anyone not under arrest.

  15. Shame on the Wisconsin DNR I am ashamed for them..our Governor should look.into this behavior..shooting the fawn is inhumane….I am.so disgusted….

  16. Larger breed dogs seem to have more of a problem with the joint disease then do smaller breed dogs.
    Advertising is a crucial way to create your customer base.
    Clothes provides appropriate protection for the kids specifically in extreme cold conditions.
    Most people are familiar using the use of your treat to
    instruct a dog to take a seat or lie down.

Comments are closed.