Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Bambicide in Forest Lake, Minnesota

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Jeff Carpenter and his pet deer Abbie and Pinkie
Jeff Carpenter and his pet deer

Be careful about which cute and cuddly animals you and put a collar on – not because they might be dangerous, but because it might give police license to slaughter them:

Jeff Carpenter said Monday that he thought concrete was cracking from the cold when he heard a loud "bang" about 7 a.m. outside his home at 10010 North Shore Trail. After he heard a second loud noise, he ran outside and found a police officer and two dead deer.

Carpenter said he went "ballistic," cursing at the officer and demanding to know why the deer were killed.

Carpenter said the deer had spent more than seven months in his yard and he and his wife, LeeAnn, had been taking care of them.

But a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources employee said Monday that the Carpenters should not have put identifying collars on the animals.

The collars were a signal that the deer could not be regarded as wild - and thus posed a potential health threat to wild animals.

Diseases can fester among animals in captivity, said Capt. Greg Salo, regional supervisor for the DNR's enforcement division.

"If he had contacted us, I think we could have corrected the problem without having to destroy them," Salo said. "The minute he took them as fawns and put collars on them, he sealed their fate."

I certainly understand the need for precautions to ensure the safety of both wild and domesticated animals, but you cannot possibly reasonably argue that the only way to deal with the issue of two harmless domesticated deer in someone’s backyard was to walk right in with guns blazing. At least this time the officers were only following orders (as opposed to most other unfortunate encounters between police and household animals), but nonetheless, you’d think that any policy purportedly intended to help protect animals would at least suggest trying to capture the creatures before shooting them dead if all else fails.

(via The Agitator)