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

Top Ten Hunts

Top Ten Hunts

Here at Petersen's Hunting we have compiled the 10 best hunts caught on camera from the last 2 years of Petersen's Hunting TV. Enjoy!

Sighting In the CZ .557 Carbine

Sighting In the CZ .557 Carbine

Kevin Steele sights in his CZ .557 carbine rifle that he plans to use on a Colorado elk hunt.

Is That a Grizzly Bear?

Is That a Grizzly Bear?

Kevin Steele and Jason Morton are above the Arctic Circle pursuing grizzly bears in Alaska and put a stalk on what they believe is a good one.

Venison Cheeseburger Bites Recipe

Venison Cheeseburger Bites Recipe

If you're tired of the same old jalapeno and cream cheese poppers, here's a completely different take on the popular party appetizer. Easy to make, and incredibly delicious, these mini cheeseburgers, wrapped in bacon, make the perfect one-bite-fits-all snack for your next tailgate party or hunting camp.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Here's how to toughen up the weakest link in your shooting system.How to Mount a Rifle Scope for Maximum Accuracy Optics

How to Mount a Rifle Scope for Maximum Accuracy

Joseph von Benedikt

Here's how to toughen up the weakest link in your shooting system.

Crossbow technology, accuracy and power continue to advance with demand, and this year's crop is the most impressive yet; here's a look at the top five that caught our eye.Ranking the 5 Best Crossbows for 2020 Bowhunting

Ranking the 5 Best Crossbows for 2020

Chris Larsen - September 21, 2020

Crossbow technology, accuracy and power continue to advance with demand, and this year's crop...

We're deciphering new deer data for rut success.Daylight Deer Movement During the Rut Whitetail

Daylight Deer Movement During the Rut

Jeff Johnston

We're deciphering new deer data for rut success.

See More Trending Articles

More News

As the world's most iconic gunmaking company is set to see changes, many are holding out hope that its legacy will continue in a different fashion. Bankrupt Remington to be Broken Up and Sold News

Bankrupt Remington to be Broken Up and Sold

Lynn Burkhead - September 30, 2020

As the world's most iconic gunmaking company is set to see changes, many are holding out hope...

Highlights included increased access, advanced conservation, and new employment.Great American Outdoors Act Closes in On Full Passage News

Great American Outdoors Act Closes in On Full Passage

Lynn Burkhead - June 11, 2020

Highlights included increased access, advanced conservation, and new employment.

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...

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.

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