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.”