A local animal lover is not satisfied with the actions of RCMP and conservation officers who would not euthanize a mortally wounded deer on the side of the road.
“We as the public are not forced to endure the suffering; having to watch this occur and know that these animals could be humanely dealt with, and it’s just not done,” said Theresa Nolet, who came across the deer south of Duncan Avenue on the east side of the road.
Nolet was driving on the Channel Parkway on Monday when she stopped out of concern of the injured deer which was nursing a young fawn. From her active involvement with O.A.T.S. Horse Rescue and the AlleyCATS Alliance, Nolet deduced the injury was a broken leg. A person that had pulled over before Nolet informed her the conservation office was called and the dispatcher said no response would be issued.
“I was not satisfied with that answer,” said Nolet.
Nolet decided to call the RCMP who did dispatch an officer, although she didn’t consider his actions to be effective. To mitigate the situation for the fawn, Nolet said she relayed to the officer that she had the means to offer overnight rehabilitation and transport it to a safe environment the following day. However, the officer refused to shoot the doe. Nolet said she’s witnessed the practice in the past, where RCMP have humanely dispatched injured wildlife.
“So I know it can be done, and is done,” she said. “The deer and that little fawn are going to die unless by some miracle someone else comes upon them. I think their future’s kind of bleak.”
Nolet and the other driver watched the deer go into a bushy area and not come back out.
In addition to the “unnecessary suffering” endured by the doe, Nolet said she worries about the potential danger that could result.
“It’s a hazard. This deer was right beside the highway; the Channel Parkway is on the other side of the highway where they likely get their water – what if someone hits her or hurts the fawn, or has to swerve to avoid them. There’s a number of scenarios that could end badly. I don’t understand the thought process behind it.”
Conservation officer Dave Cox said every call is dealt with on a case-by-case basis, and the team didn’t feel it was appropriate to intervene. He believed the animal was not stressed enough that it needed to be euthanized. Cox said mule deer are very resilient and their will to survive is remarkable.
“We want to give an opportunity for the fawn to nurse and have a chance at surviving. If it gets to the point where (the doe) can’t care for herself or the fawn, then we’ll have to make a decision at that time.”
Nolet is hoping the incident will lead to improved public policy. She said she’ll be approaching MLA Dan Ashton, MP Dan Albas and possibly start a petition.