Skip to main content

Armed Wildlife Agents Kill Fawn in Animal Shelter Raid

Armed Wildlife Agents Kill Fawn in Animal Shelter Raid

The actions of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources in dealing with a whitetail fawn at a no-kill animal shelter are drawing fire from across the country.

According to WISN-TV in Milwaukee, a team of nine DNR agents and four sheriff's deputies raided a shelter in Kenosha, Wis., killing an abandoned fawn that was being kept on the premises.

Check out the video from WISN-TV.


The fawn, nicknamed "Giggles" by shelter staff, was brought to the shelter by an Illinois family who had found the animal believing it had been abandoned by its mother. The shelter planned to deliver the fawn to a wildlife rehabilitation center in Illinois, but the Wisconsin DNR began investigating after receiving two anonymous calls regarding the fawn.


After receiving a search warrant and even taking aerial photos of the shelter, agents arrived at the shelter two weeks ago, corralled the staff into a picnic area and entered the shelter's barn in search of the deer.

"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," said shelter employee Ray Schulze. "I said, 'Why did you do that?' He said, 'That's our policy,' and I said, 'That's one hell of a policy.'"

DNR officials defended their actions, saying it had requested compliance from the shelter before seizing the fawn. When the shelter failed to do so, agents executed the search warrant in what they deemed was an appropriate manner.

Agents also have the law on their side. Under Wisconsin law, wildlife may not be kept in captivity without a permit. In this case, the DNR said, agents acted because of the potential to prevent the spread of disease to humans.




To support this claim, the Wisconsin DNR's Facebook page posted a lengthy explanation citing chronic wasting disease (CWD), a fatal neurological disease that manifests in deer, elk and moose. The disease slowly attacks the brain of the animal, which gradually becomes emaciated, begins acting strangely, loses motor skills and eventually dies. Since the disease was identified in the 1960s, there has not been a documented case of CWD in humans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, though health officials advise hunters use caution when handling or preparing meat from a potentially infected animal.

"Deer that are taken into captivity in areas of the state where CWD has been discovered are required to be euthanized," the DNR explained. "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."

Officials did not say whether they were 100-percent certain if the fawn was infected, however. Nevertheless, the DNR stood by its agents' actions.


"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," said DNR Supervisor Jennifer Niemeyer, adding the deer was not euthanized at the shelter, but was rather tranquilized and euthanized offsite.

Be that as it may, that explanation didn't sit well with the shelter.

"I don't care where they would have killed her, it would have been wrong," said shelter president Cindy Schultz.

Almost immediately, readers from across the country were in uproar over a perceived use of excessive force at taxpayers' expense.

"Authority in this country is out of control. No wonder our taxes are so high, we pay for the careers of morons like this," wrote one commenter, Anthony Quatroni.

Another commenter, who chose to remain anonymous, took a different approach.

"Wisconsin has an abundance of deer, which is only causing the spreading of CWD to spread faster. That is why ANY licensed wildlife center would have to euthanize this deer due to the county it was in," the commenter wrote. "I don't agree with the extreme tactics, but the shelter should have never taken the deer because they should have known the laws to begin with."

Some have even gone so far to leave death threats with the DNR, according to WISN. Such responses are obviously overreactions, but Schultz said she doesn't plan to let this issue rest, telling WISN she is considering suing the DNR.

"I think it's going to be a fight right down to the end," Schultz said.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

New for 2021: Kershaw & Zero Tolerance Knives

New for 2021: Kershaw & Zero Tolerance Knives

Get your first look at the new Kershaw Launch 13, Brace, and Lucha-Blackwash, as well as the Zero Tolerance 0762 and 0357.

New for 2021: Browning Maxus II Shotgun, Wicked Blend Shotshells

New for 2021: Browning Maxus II Shotgun, Wicked Blend Shotshells

Waterfowlers should take notice at the new products from Browning.

Stuffed Elk Backstrap Recipe

Stuffed Elk Backstrap Recipe

Take your venison loin to a whole new level with this delicious reverse-seared stuffed elk backstrap. Smoking the backstrap on a Camp Chef Woodwind pellet grill first, then finishing it on a blazing-hot skillet or flattop, creates a perfectly cooked, medium-rare steak with a crispy, seared exterior. The filling of diced mushrooms and creamy Boursin cheese adds a whole new level of amazing flavors to an otherwise classic smoked venison loin.

Venison Curry Recipe

Venison Curry Recipe

Hearty and flavorful, this curry is simple to make and requires just a few ingredients you can likely find at your local store. The cooking method turns tough cuts tender, making it a great choice for shoulder and hindquarter cuts from deer, elk and other venison. Bonus points if you use axis deer, which are native to India.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Hunters may not have as much influence on buck movement and behavior as we think. Deciphering New Deer Data for Rut Success Whitetail

Deciphering New Deer Data for Rut Success

Jeff Johnston

Hunters may not have as much influence on buck movement and behavior as we think.

The outdoor industry gets serious about recruiting new hunters with some curious marketing strategies.Are New Hunter Recruitment Strategies Working? Conservation

Are New Hunter Recruitment Strategies Working?

Andrew McKean - May 05, 2020

The outdoor industry gets serious about recruiting new hunters with some curious marketing...

Learn what freezer burn is, how it occurs, and how to slow it down with these tips.Why Freezer Burn Matters Recipes

Why Freezer Burn Matters

Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley

Learn what freezer burn is, how it occurs, and how to slow it down with these tips.

Are predators really to blame for declining deer numbers? The answer might surprise you.Do Coyotes Really Affect the Whitetail Herd? Conservation

Do Coyotes Really Affect the Whitetail Herd?

Jeff Johnston

Are predators really to blame for declining deer numbers? The answer might surprise you.

See More Trending Articles

More News

Hunters should't let the pandemic scare them away from license draws.Will COVID-19 Pandemic Kill Hunting Tag Applications? News

Will COVID-19 Pandemic Kill Hunting Tag Applications?

Joe Arterburn - March 27, 2020

Hunters should't let the pandemic scare them away from license draws.

Perspective from the National Shooting Sports Foundation.NSSF: Mayors' Blame Game as Lawlessness Grows

NSSF: Mayors' Blame Game as Lawlessness Grows

Larry Keane - July 09, 2020

Perspective from the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

A portion of the proceeds from Nosler's ammunition sales will go directly to RMEF and their conservation efforts.Nosler Expands Partnership with RMEF News

Nosler Expands Partnership with RMEF

Joe Ferronato - September 11, 2020

A portion of the proceeds from Nosler's ammunition sales will go directly to RMEF and their...

These social media powerhouses are the first partners in Nosler's Project 48.Nosler Partners with Tim Kennedy and Colion Noir News

Nosler Partners with Tim Kennedy and Colion Noir

Joe Ferronato - February 24, 2021

These social media powerhouses are the first partners in Nosler's Project 48.

See More News

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save.

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Petersen's Hunting App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Petersen's Hunting subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now