A 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.
86 thoughts on “We’re Here For Giggles: Family Finds Fawn And Brings It To Shelter . . . Wisconsin Officials Raid Shelter And Kill Fawn”
hey, give’em a break. they have some new toys, er, weapons they just got from homeland security they want to try out.
bron: Proponent of laissez-faire? Hardly, particularly when it comes to deer management. I am strongly in favor of culling in order to restore balance to the ecosystem. I thought that was obvious in my post or are you just being sarcastic?
Michaelb: Do you even know what ad hominem means? Where in my post do find anything that remotely meets the definition.
thumper: Amen, brother/sister
Sling T: It certainly wasn’t god’s plan for an individual of an overabundant species to be sheltered and cornfed until maturity, then released back into the wild so it can innocently amble up to a hunter looking for a handout. And it’s definitely wasn’t god’s plan for deer populations to be as high as they’ve become since we’ve removed their natural predators. Worse case, it escapes predation, mates, and goes on to browse native vegetation, which is already under pressure. Odocoileus virginianus is not in any trouble and is, in fact, threatening to throw entire ecosystems out of whack.
And Sling, you’re a great one for evidence-based statements: define “heavily armed”. JT’s rhetoric makes it sound as if DNR agents went in like a SWAT team. Was it that all the agents merely had a sidearm or were they all carrying Bushmasters? Could it be possible one agent simply had a high powered rifle, the type used to hunt, or they had flash bombs and armored vehicles? And, where’s the evidence to support these allegations? Statements by emotionally overwrought deer lovers to reporters and references to Facebook amount to hearsay.
The DNR staff that I deal with are professional and courteous, particularly to members of the public; it’s not in their interest to alienate people. They are charged with safeguarding the natural resources of the state and it is a necessary, difficult job that’s often dangerous. Whenever they’re required to enforce the laws, like checking for permits or apprehending poachers, invariably people, like Nick’s friends, call them Nazi’s. They are underpaid public servants working for an under-funded department trying to protect natural resources. Restoring balance to the ecosystem is an important part of that mission.
I worry sometimes that people who spend the majority of their time in offices, disconnected from nature, lose sight of what ecosystem health means to society. For someone like DavidM, there are quantifiable economic benefits that natural areas provide that are severely undervalued. I know how easy it is to feel sorry for little Bambi; it says you’re all people with good hearts. But it’s important to keep the big picture in mind. I would have a hard time putting a doe down myself, but witnessing the population of plant like the Eastern prairie fringed orchid plummet to a handful or two in Illinois, I know it’s the right thing to do.
Bella: (objecting to) “The deer was taken off sight and euthanized”
Perhaps they had intended to shoot it, and had in their sights.
Then they changed their minds and decided to inject it.
They therefore took it “off sight”.
Moral: Never attribute to imprecision that which can be adequately explained by indecision.
As I said, The Wi. DNR is gestapo like. I have never had any experiences w/ them via environmental or hunting, since I don’t hunt. But people I trust have been telling me this for a long time. The press has been afraid to challenge them because we have a very timid, go along to get along, media her in Wi. Cheeseheads like for everyone to be nice.
Nick Spinelli wrote: “The Wi. DNR is gestapo like. I have never had any experiences w/ them via environmental or hunting, since I don’t hunt. But people I trust have been telling me this for a long time.”
I tried to go back to their Facebook page to share a story from someone who posted there about how they mistreated him for 5 hours. Never charged him with anything, but without his knowledge, they unplugged his freezers in the basement that was full of game. Weeks later, he smelled it and discovered what they had done. He was more than a bit upset at the loss of all his meat.
Unfortunately, I could not copy and paste his story because I have apparently been banned from their site now. Whenever I try to go to it, I am returned to my Facebook home page. I posted a couple comments there that I guess they did not like. This is not a good way for government to act, pretending to be open to the public through Facebook, but secretly banning those who might question what they have done. It kind of reminds me of Obama posting how they would make it easier for Whistleblowers to keep government honest, then removing that statement after getting into office.
It’s VERY distracting to any serious article when there are SIMPLE editing errors, such as the one below:
“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.”
AGAIN, I URGE you to hire a competent copyeditor!!!
It was God’s Plan that the requirement for nine heavily armed DNR agents and four heavily armed deputies should be thought of as part of a natural process.
So two heavily armed DNR agents were assigned to this very distressing mission.
Seven heavily armed DNR agents went along with them. This was not because their presence was required for carrying out the mission. They went along to give emotional support to their colleaques – y’know group hugs, affirmative exclamations, patting and stoking, more group hugs, etc.
Four heavily armed deputies also went along. This was to ensure that the nine heavily armed DNR agents did not breach any public decency laws should their supportive stroking and hugging of their colleagues go beyond what they might normally do in the shower room.
They didn’t want anyone else joining in the group hugs, stroking, etc. Things could have gotten out of hand. This was a very emotional mission. Despite all precautions, it seems that the occasion was simply too much for some of them.
In fairness people, viral YouTubes of heavily armed DNR agents rolling around on the ground, weeping and stroking each other would be a gross intrusion. This was a deeply difficult and emotional mission.
They didn’t actually know the deer was in the barn, so they searched everywhere.
“Baaaambi! Baaambi! Where are you? Are you hiding in the bathrooom? Nooooooooo! Are you hiding in the kitchen? Nooooooo!
Ooh Ralph. Hug me. Hug me. I’m gonna cry again. Stroke me”
I don’t see what all the fuss is about.
This is simply normal procedure.
If it makes you feel any better, Big Mama is raising triplets this year and they are all fat and sassy!
Though I am no apologist for the paramilitary style, the police state or the sundry semi-covert armed agencies that sit athwart the fearfully obedient remnants of our society, the DNR response suggests this likely did happen in the CWD (mad cow disease in deer and elk) containment zone in southern WI, and Giggles could well be a potential vector for a neurological disease that has no known treatment or cure and is a very real threat to deer populations.
If you come across an “abandoned” fawn–for the love of all that is green and holy, leave poor Giggles alone. Mom is probably stressing out within 100 yards of you, or she is off having a well-deserved lunch. Fawns can exhibit extremely low heart rate that allows them to lay low and avoid predators, so don’t go huggin’ bambi or allow your wretched primate offspring to pose for photos, or load the little cutie into the minivan etc., as you may stop their precious little angel hearts. Enjoy the moment and move your troop on down the trail.
The fact that assumptions must be made and not clearly explained is telling.
I see you are a proponent of laissez faire in envinronmental matters.
The Wisconsin DNR has a Facebook page. I am not signed up with Facebook, but somebody who is tells me they are being blasted in the comments section.
As more information comes to light, seems the agents rounded up all the staff and held them at bay (apparently at gunpoint). When people tried to take pictures of the raid, cell phones were confiscated and files deleted. The warrant allegedly said it was for the deer, which they knew was in the barn, but claims are being made that agents searched the residential area and entire premises. As more comes out, the uglier it looks.
Here is a link to the WDNR Facebook page:
OS – Thanks for the link. Following are two of their posts:
“Last week our warden staff had the difficult and emotional job of removing a fawn that was illegally taken out of the wild and into captivity. None of our staff take joy in these situations. The department does the best it can to educate the public about keeping wild animals in the wild. In the end, we are charged by the citizens of Wisconsin to carry out state laws mandated by the legislature. It is a responsibility we take very seriously. We don’t have the ability to pick and choose which laws to enforce. Wardens did request voluntary compliance from the facility. When that didn’t happen, our staff took precautions to keep everyone safe as they executed the required search warrant. We are always very empathetic to those involved in these situations and understand how difficult they are to all who are involved.”
THE REASON FOR OUR CAPTIVE DEER LAWS
Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a fatal nervous system disease known to naturally infect white-tailed deer, mule deer, moose and elk. Though it shares features with diseases like mad cow disease in cattle and scrapie in sheep, it is a distinct disease known to only affect members of the deer family. CWD has been discovered in wild deer, elk, or moose in 17 states, including Wisconsin. Deer that are taken into captivity in areas of the state where CWD has been discovered are required to be euthanized. There are no licensed rehabilitation facilities in the state which are authorized to rehab deer in a CWD zone. State and federal laws prohibit the movement of deer taken from the wild and held in captivity illegally from being transferred to a rehab facility out of state without authorization. Learn more about CWD on our website here: http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/wildlifehabitat/wildlifehealth.html.
Get over it people. Deer overpopulation has become a real problem with devastating consequences to the ecosystem. Native vegetation, already under pressure from invasive plants, is being decimated, in some cases to the point of extinction. To maintain healthy natural areas, there should be no more than 14 individual deer per square mile, yet in most places of the Midwest there are up 3 and 4, times that many. In the absence of sufficient natural predation, we simply should not be trying to rescue an animal that is causing as much harm through overpopulation.
Two points to bear in mind here: the fawn may not have been orphaned, but merely temporarily separated from its mother, in which case, the family’s interference ironically helped bring about its death. Or, natural processes, if allowed to play out, would mean the fawn was not meant survive. However, the fawn’s death may mean survival for the offspring of other species, possibly wolves, for instance, which are more deserving of our concern.
I wish more people would develop a greater appreciation and concern for native vegetation and get over the exaggerated charisma of animals like deer and rabbits.
RTC ad hominem much?
It would appear as if the cretins operating the levers of power within the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources are operating under the same rules as their tax feeding parasitical ilk from the Seattle Office of Civil Rights.
This is simply another in a long line of federal, state and local government waste, fraud and abuse under the guise of the “law”.
You’re correct…. But think…. It would have been a better use depending if a yearling or not…
I’ll bet a phone call in the beginning could have solved this issue without all this mess.
Animal shelter: “Hello”
DNR: “This is XYZ with the state DNR. We heard a baby deer was being stored at your facility”
AS: Yes, someone dropped it off and we’re going to move it to a wildlife refuge.
DNR: Ok, just so you know the law doesn’t allow the keeping of wildlife, do you have a timetable for this?
AS: We planned to move it out tomorrow.
DNR: Sounds good
I read of this at http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/aug/1/13-wisconsin-officials-raid-animal-shelter-kill-ba/
The biggies that caught my eye were:
“[There were] nine [Department of Natural Resources] agents and four deputy sheriffs, and they were all armed to the teeth,” Mr. Schulze told WISN 12. “It was like a SWAT team.”
Department of Natural Resources Supervisor Jennifer Niemeyer told WISN 12 that the law requires DNR agents to euthanize wild animals because of their potential danger.
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 don’t call them and ask them to voluntarily surrender their marijuana or whatever drug that they have before they show up,” the supervisor responded.
We have a hammer, so everything is a nail.
Baby deer is on the same level as a drugs bust.
Thirteen heavily armed heros.
Beware the savage bambi !!!
I’m not kidding. Even rabbits can be extremely lethal…
Defaulting on your student loan?
Department of Edcation have a freaking SWAT team. Defaulting students have a history of resisting using automatic weapons and explosives.
I have a small herd of deer I have watched for years, the mother and fawns [twins] feed together all of the time. Now I dont see them 24/7 but they are always together, in my yard, while the fawns still have spots.
“I don’t think deer are helicopter parents.”
they are indeed at least for a year or until the next years birth.”
bron, what I meant was that the doe does not stay by the fawn every second. It must leave to feed. Here’s a good explanation:
It’s almost never a good idea to “rescue” a fawn or any other baby wild animal. But that’s really beside the point. The issue here is the extreme overreaction by the DNR. However, I don’t think that a fawn should be killed because someone made the mistake of “rescuing” it.
“I don’t think deer are helicopter parents.”
they are indeed at least for a year or until the next years birth.
The video link Anonymously Posted provided was very interesting. Did you hear the Warden Supervisor justify what they did? How do they expect anyone to have respect for the law when they do stuff like this?
I’m not so troubled about euthanizing the deer as I am about the extreme show of force. There are plenty of valid reasons and law for not wanting the deer transported and the shelter should have known the state law related to caring for wild animals. Most likely, the deer never needed “rescuing” to begin with. I don’t think deer are helicopter parents.
However, using a virtual swat team was way over the top. This was DNR Supervisor Jennifer Niemeyer’s response to questions about the use of force:
“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.”
Really. She thinks a bunch of aging hippies caring for animals should be treated like violent drug traffickers? I wonder if the DNR so much as googled these people or checked for criminal history before the raid.
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