Thirteen Officers to Capture a Whitetail Fawn? Seriously, 13 Officers for a Fawn

This almost sounds like something out of Alice’s Restaurant, with Officer Obie leading the way to make sure everyone knows what’s going on and who’s in charge! Just call this one The Giggles Raid of 2013. Will someone have all the 8-by-10 photographs with the circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one?

By Alan Clemons, Managing Editor

whitetail huntingThe Society of St. Francis, a no-kill animal shelter on the Wisconsin-Illinois border, had a whitetail fawn within its midst. They said they were getting ready to turn it over to a rehabilitation facility in Illinois. But at least two people turned narc, calling the Wisconsin DNR about this terrible situation. A fawn. Horrors! Thank goodness that area’s crime and drug rates are so low that a fawn warrants enough attention.

After some checking and such, and blazing in as if the ghost of Pablo Escobar had taken up residence in the Wisco hinterlands to enjoy New Glaurus delights and cheesy brats, the Wisconsin DNR — and four sheriff’s deputies, too! — arrived on the scene.

Big vehicles! Guns! Stylish wrap-around sunglasses and high-top scalped haircuts! The Giggles Raid of 2013 is underway! They probably weren’t as cool as Jack Lord on Hawaii 5-O (I like the old version, although Grace Park is pretty and talented in the new episodes), but they offered a commanding and forceful presence nonetheless.

Fawn! Where’s the fawn! Find the fawn! The man interviewed on this WISN interview said the officers were “armed to the teeth” and “like a SWAT team.” Well, that’s to be expected, of course. They are law enforcement officers and law enforcement officers carry guns, y’know. Although they had guns, it’s not like they showed up in an MWRAP or with Barrett fitties mounted on their DNR vehicles.

But we learn more by watching the video. This fawn had a name — “Giggles.” (Sounds kinda Michael Jacksonish. Ewww.) After the shelter employees were “corralled” (really, like horses?) elsewhere, the officers began looking for the fawn. Hut! Hut! Hut! They found it and, reportedly, tranquilized it before bringing it out and euthanizing it elsewhere.

The shelter’s president said a lawsuit may be forthcoming for not having a court hearing. A court hearing? If the shelter president is admitting to having the deer, she’s in violation of state law. But Wisconsin DNR says it won’t prosecute her. That’s smart because they’d step in a second bucket of public relations poop they don’t want to be in after putting their foot into this one with the overkill of nine agents and four sheriff’s deputies for a fawn.

That said, a lawsuit would be stupid. Animals are not humans. They are not “children” or “grandchildren” or “my little baby” or whatever. They should not be mistreated or treated cruelly. But I don’t give three rips if 15 cats and three dogs sleep in your bed and have been bottle fed from birth, pets and animals are not humans or your children. And a lawsuit about illegally possessing wildlife probably wouldn’t fly.

Unbelievably, though, the Wisconsin DNR agent compared The Giggles Raid of 2013 to a drug bust. Yes, a drug bust. Maybe Pablo Escobar’s ghost was living in Kenosha, after all? DNR supervisor and spokesperson Jennifer Niemeyer was asked by  WISN reporter Colleen Henry if they could have maybe called first about the fawn. Silly question but the intent was clear: why such manpower and tactics for a fawn?

“If a sheriff’s department is going to do a search warrant on a drug bust,” Neimeyer said, “they don’t call and ask them to voluntarily surrender their marijuana or whatever drug they have before they show up.”

Wow. That’s, well, hmmm … that’s a stretch. Speaks for itself, too.

Look, this was silly. Wisconsin DNR followed its law about wildlife possession and had a warrant. They did what they did. But unless that shelter has wild animals with giant teeth or the people who work there are doing some kind of MMA workouts when they’re not saving baby deer and dogs and cats, having 13 officers is a bit much.

The other thing that sticks out is the Illinois family who found this fawn and brought it to the shelter because they thought it was abandoned. Don’t bother “orphaned” animals and if you see one, call your state’s DNR if there’s a problem with it. Quit messin ‘around with baby animals in the wild.