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Baby Deer ‘Giggles’ Killed Following Raid on Wisconsin Animal Shelter

More than a dozen armed law enforcement officials raided a Wisconsin animal shelter to capture and kill a harmless fawn named ‘Giggles.WISN reports nine agents from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and four local deputy sheriffs stormed the Society of St. Francis no-kill animal shelter in Bristol, just west of Kenosha, two weeks ago.

“It was like a SWAT team,” shelter worker Ray Schulze said of the raid. “There were nine DNR agents and four deputy sheriffs, and they were all armed to the teeth,” Schulze told WISN.

Although Society of St. Francis is a no-kill shelter, the agents who came for Giggles that day had death on their agenda. The baby deer, which had been brought to the shelter by an Illinois family concerned that she’d been abandoned by her mother, caught the attention of DNR officials when an anonymous tipster called about a baby deer living at the shelter.

The agents who raided the shelter told workers that they did so because possession of wildlife is a violation of state law.

Giggles, who got her name because she made noises that sounded like laughter, was scheduled to be transferred to a wildlife reserve across the state line in Illinois the day after the raid. Schulze said he explained this to the raiders, who he says rounded up workers near the shelter’s picnic area before searching for the fawn. Schulze and the other shelter employees never saw Giggles alive again.

“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,” Schulze told WISN. “She was in a body bag. I said, ‘Why did you do that?’ He said, ‘That’s our policy,’ and I said. ‘That’s one hell of a policy.'”

“None of our staff take joy in these situations,” DNR wrote. “In the end, we are charged by the citizens of Wisconsin to carry out state laws mandated by the legislature.”

DNR official Jennifer Niemeyer told WISN that agents are legally required to euthanize wild animals due to the potential risk of disease and other danger to humans.

“These are always 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,” Niemeyer said.

Niemeyer insisted that agents did not kill Giggles at the shelter, but rather they tranquilized her and euthanized her at a different location.

“I don’t care where they would have killed her, it would have been wrong,” shelter president Cindy Schulze told WISN. “They went way over the top for a little baby deer.”

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  1. wildAugust 3, 2013 at 11:47 amReply

    I can see & understand the professional approach the DNR swat team carries with it as they extract the wild deer from this unlicensed facility.

    OK, sure 9 officer swat team might seem over the top, but they were possibly expecting the possibility of having to run down the very fast deer(if attempting to escape). And yes it is ‘normal’ for them to carry firearms & other equipment, to present a militarized attitude with the public where excuses and reasoning is not tolerated. (just ask anyone that has ever been raided)

    The law sited is longstanding and simple enough to understand, the law is very important to protect wildlife. The CWD cronic wasting disease sited in the law itself is at epidemic proportions presently across all of the NE United States, and is highly contagious & present in wild animals like deer, moose, & elk.

    Schutze didn’t seem to mention in this article any fines, or jail time, or arrest, or even getting roughed up…I can only hope her learning curve from this raid will prove valuable to her & her club members in the future. These Pet Owners really have NO CLUE, nor respect of the environment and people like Schultze should be stopped in their tracks.

    Wildlife cannot protect itself in this case, where the police remain a valuable aspect of society, by enforcing various laws.

    I think these ‘humane societies’ need to get a CLUE as does so many other citizens of These United States of Pet Owners, they are not helping anything except to rise the over population (and burden) of a country filled with 100X too many ‘pets’.


    • Brett WilkinsAugust 3, 2013 at 2:28 pmReplyAuthor

      Could DNR not have tested the fawn for CWD or any other potentially dangerous diseases? Could they not have waited until the next day, when the fawn was scheduled to be transported to a wildlife sanctuary? I find it difficult to believe that executing an innocent baby was the only, or even best, option available.

    • javi leeAugust 10, 2013 at 10:26 pmReply

      Humane soocieties do not “rise” the population of pets but educate owners on the importancce of spaying and neutering their pets. They also spay and neuter every animal they get their hands on. They are valuable privately funded organizations that work in conjunction with governments to help control pet overpopulation due to irresponsible owners. They are run by staff that relies heavily on dedicated volunteers who give time and sometimes their own money to help solve the pet overpopulation problem. To criticize animal rescue type organizations is counterproductive. They could probably use a knowledgeable volunteer like you to help formulate a policy for wildlife so their agency doesn’t have another unpleasant dnr encounter.

  2. Debbi FullerAugust 4, 2013 at 5:48 amReply

    What they did was absolutely horrible! There’s NO excuse at ALL for euthanizing poor little defenseless deer who was about to be turned over to an appropriate shelter the NEXT DAY! NONE. I’m so angry. What kind of government do we have that runs around wasting resources with SWAT teams on something so absolutely stupid! Even IF the shelter was in the wrong, the little deer should never have been made to pay the price!

  3. wildAugust 4, 2013 at 9:19 amReply

    Well sure the DNR could of performed a test, and possibly did at autopsy. I feel fairly confident that the DNR did not extract the deer just so they could kill it, I cannot say their exact motivation with this raid, but I suspect the public safety is at risk, and the wildlife safety is at risk, not to mention all those $400 dogs that are also captive in that facility were put at risk, but hey the DNR does not regulate dogs & cats & facilities created for those domestic animals.

    The proven implication from well meaning, but wrong, captivity/handling of wildlife can and does expose the greater wildlife population, and even the human population to serious risk and not just thru disease. The recent devastation to the wild Bat population is upon us now in these United States of Pet Owners, the disease is commonly known as White Nose Syndrome, millions of Bats have died from the foolishness of some well meaning humans invading the Bat habitats.

    Bottom line is that fawn was possibly illegally brought by humans across the state line ? miles, that is a clear violation that the law specifies clearly if the animal was picked up in IL & then transported. WI Statute 169.02 (2) the DNR did not obtain from the state of IL title to the animal, and because the origin of the animal is unclear/undocumented the animal had to be put down. The deer was transferred from the IL family to the humane facility without any mention of qualified inspection or authorization to do so. If the deer was picked up in WI, then the title of the deer remains by law with the DNR of WI. From the article: “The baby deer, which had been brought to the shelter by an Illinois family concerned that she’d been abandoned by her mother, caught the attention of DNR officials when an anonymous tipster called about a baby deer living at the shelter.” The statute 169.4 par. #3, and par #2 (b) clearly shows a violation, as there is no mention in the article of any veterinary inspection, or federal license authority(rehabber, or DNR official, etc.), or application for approval/title from the DNR, nor the length of time the deer had already been in captivity (I’m going to guess in total time it was more than 24 hrs.).

    I would think the DNR might also raid a ‘no-kill’ gas station if they were in illegal possession of wildlife. In my opinion it is torturous and abusive to keep a wild animal in captivity with a pack of dogs & cats, much like I believe it is torture to hang a set of ear phones on a guys head and blast loud music thru it.

    Baby deer are rarely abandon by their mothers, and if they become abandon, other deer mothers will usually accept. These animals are herd animals and very much family oriented, their natural instinct is to avoid or run from dogs, not to be set in the midst of them.

    I can’t imagine a healthy fawn that giggles, I can imagine a sick one that might sound that way. They could of just as easily named the deer ‘shaky’ as I’m sure that deer was under a great deal of stress.


    • Brett WilkinsAugust 4, 2013 at 12:32 pmReplyAuthor

      Well you certainly seem knowledgeable on the subject, although I cannot say I concur with your conclusion.

  4. wildAugust 4, 2013 at 2:10 pmReply

    Hey Brett, that’s fine if you & others don’t agree with my argument, I’m just glad to be able to give the wildlife a chance to be respected, by magnifying the problem of domesticated pets, their owners, and the owner’s misplaced(my opinion) feelings that become detrimental to wildlife itself. This article is stereotypical of the ‘do gooder pet owners’ that cannot see the devastation that they cause.

    I can only hope that Schultze & her club members learn from this exercise in discipline, and determine to keep wildlife out of their facility.

    The facility could have obtained training & licensing like others have done if they are truly interested in handling wildlife… had they had a license this story would have never existed.


  5. shimieAugust 5, 2013 at 4:41 pmReply

    The deer was scheduled to be transferred to a nature reserve in Illinois the next day. The fawn was not showing symptoms of CWD or Chronic Wasting disease and should have been tested before being euthanized. How is it that the DNR is so heavily armed. They were put in place to serve the conservation of natural resources not to become an agency engaging in high handed tyranny. This is not the first time DNR in several states has exhibited this type of behavior. I don’t want my tax money going to pervert the original intent of an agency. This is what people are objecting to “wild”. I would like to inquire as to the type of employment you have? Are you with the DNR? Married to one, have an agent as a dear cousin or friend. I think that is likely. As to the agency declining to file charges… they know better. The public would not stand for it as it is sick of the militarization of authorities that are supposed to be employed by and not against it’s citizens.

    A similar situation happened in Connersville Indiana to Jeff and Jennifer Counseler they nursed an injured deer back to health… another “anonymous” caller reported them. In that case the deer escaped from an open pen before DNR could descend on the deer and kill it. They were only charged after the fact… and that was basically for defiance. This is the couple were not the ones who left the gate open…. people are getting mighty sick of this high handed crap. The DNR worked in conclusion with a special prosecutor… “a special prosecutor” who was really costing tax payers money. Indiana DNR put in a bit of effort attempting to track down the deer and kill it after it’s escape, why? Defiance that is why. These departments need to be looked at hard and paired down. They are no longer serving the citizens in the manner in which they were originally intended and have become an arrogant and over powered group. They need to be stripped of their “swat” gear.

  6. Catherine ToddAugust 6, 2013 at 2:12 pmReply

    Thank you Shimie. You “said it all.”

    “These departments need to be looked at hard and pared down. They are no longer serving the citizens in the manner in which they were originally intended and have become an arrogant and over powered group. They need to be stripped of their “swat” gear.”

  7. wildAugust 7, 2013 at 9:15 pmReply

    Hey everyone, I think I have made some clear arguments to support the DNR, but these are only my personal opinions and have nothing whatsoever to do with the actual motives or behavior of any of the parties in this case.

    I’m simply a blogger that likes to vent my personal opinion for or against various subjects, Brett the owner of this site knows that I have been posting occasionally here at moral low ground for more than a year.

    Just for the record, I am not nor ever have been related to the DNR in any way, I was using the law sited in the article simply as a reference or foundation of my argument. This is the first time I have ever actually read the specific law & particulars of it.

    I do happen to live in the woods and have a valuable relationship with not only the wildlife but also the wild flora. You won’t find a cage/pen/ or a fence on my place in the woods. I don’t have much respect for litter bugs, game poachers, nor pet owners that neglect, abuse, and intentionally allow their children & pets to wreck havoc in an otherwise wild wood.

    Don’t get me wrong, the wild landscapes and wildlife are lots of fun & should be enjoyed by everyone that are fortunate enough to seek such out, but without respect of the wild landscape, & wildlife then we will quickly see a very valuable resource destroyed again & again!

    When the state DNR put a ballot for the public to vote upon, over 10 years ago, the ballot said: yes or no raise the sales tax .05% to specifically fun the DNR, I voted NO, because I don’t think we need a game warden behind every bush, nor did I support all the high tech equipment & strategies the DNR now has obtained with said tax money. But all the ‘do gooder Pet Owners’ where I live out voted me, and voted YES to increase the sales tax. Personally I don’t agree with it, but that is what it is, and I have absolutely nothing to say about how the DNR spend the tax revenue.

    There are lots of examples of things that occur daily, for years, and decades and centuries that are managed badly by the government(s) and the citizenry of The United States of Pet Owners.

    So that just leaves me to find a baby deer bleating in the woods all alone (it would seem) I’ll promise everyone this: the last thing I would do is bring the thing home, or find it a home, or interfere with the wildlife when the wildlife is already in it’s own home and quite capable to take care of itself WITHOUT my help.


  8. HermiticWondererAugust 9, 2013 at 10:54 amReply

    Hello Everyone!

    Please help bring justice for Giggles by signing the petition here:

    Your support is appreciated & important!!

  9. wildAugust 10, 2013 at 6:40 amReply this website shows a simple tonnage/year of consumption in the US for dogs & cats. 7,880,000 metric tons/year(2012)

    This astronomical volume of pet food is required to sustain a ridiculous amount of animals 75 million dogs, 84 million cats for the year 2012 in the US.

    These numbers represent a consistently high diversion/mismanagement of natural & agricultural production resource. Just how much motor fuel is used in the transportation of such tonnage? How much of your fresh water resource is diverted for the extravagance of pet ownership, the tonnage of water consumption might be similar to the feed requirement. Do the Pet Owners really believe that the feed & water and the transportation of it, does not drain the strength of resources?

    An old American adage once was: ‘I would give you the shirt off my back’ and now it has become: ‘give the shirt off your back so that I may clothe my pet’.

    ~~These United States of Pet Owners refuse to face anything that requires facing an existing and rising problem, they actually seem more concerned if their pet will be in Heaven with them one day~~ This landscape is literally covered in animal feces and the disease that goes with it, and signing a petition shall continue to kick against anything that resembles discipline. Make and sign your petitions and try to make these two wrongs (the captivity of a wild deer, & the death of it) somehow right.

    Wildlife has already paid an terrible price for pet owner’s selfish consumption and this case in WI is just another glaring example of it.

    Where are the ‘do-gooder pet owners’ when it comes to citing their supporting proof other than emotion? No one here has said a thing about just how many animals pass thru this single WI pet distributorship per year? I guess something like that is not important enough to know. It was easy enough to find the individual value, as much as $400 their website claims for a dog from them, so just how many of these little money makers pass thru the facility in an average year? Perhaps the facility applied for the proper license to handle wild animals and were denied by the DNR, but no one has claimed that here. Perhaps the proper feed for the deer was obtained, if so no one has claimed that here, and proved that proper feed was used to sustain the deer. (and I’m not talking about cow/soya/or other wrong milk either, which is usually the first mistake do-gooders will do, trying to feed a baby the wrong type feed, the second mistake they do is they will overfeed the thing OMG!) Where is the proof that proper rationing was used with the deer? Can anyone say with some certainty that the baby deer was only fed 1 ounce or less per feeding? I’m certain the proper forage consideration for a deer was not available in the humane facility.

    All I can say is watch some new mom or dad with a human baby, and they intentionally over feed that kid until the milk literally runs out its face. I’ve spoken with these new parents (as everyone has a learning curve) it is amazing how they immediately glaze over when warned… and nervously ready another bottle, that is not proper care, that is abuse.


    • Brett WilkinsAugust 10, 2013 at 12:55 pmReplyAuthor

      Silly Americans, pets don’t go to heaven!

  10. wildAugust 10, 2013 at 7:41 amReply this is another support article for my arguments, if your in a hurry scroll down to the last sentence. shows the basic rules about wildlife abandon or injured.

    but you don’t have to take my word for it, search ‘destruction from domestic pets’ or ‘care & handling of wildlife’.


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