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More details emerge from Giggles the fawn raid

By   /   August 8, 2013  /   News  /   44 Comments

By Kirsten Adshead | Wisconsin Reporter

MADISON – Complying with Gov. Scott Walker’s request to avoid SWAT team-style executions of fawns may force the Department of Natural Resources to reconsider how it does its job.

Responding to the recent uproar over last month’s euthanization of Giggles the fawn at a Kenosha shelter, Walker said he ordered multiple cabinet secretaries to a meeting Monday to change the DNR policy that led to the fawn’s death.

Photo courtesy of WISN.

HOW MANY OFFICERS DOES IT TAKE … : The state Department of Natural Resources said Thursday that a team of 16, including wardens, local law enforcement and plain clothes detectives, was involved in the raid July 15 that led to Giggles the fawn’s demise.

DNR spokesman Bill Cosh did not immediately respond to an email or voice mail Thursday asking for details about the development of a new policy.

But earlier in the day, Cosh did provide more details regarding what exactly happened July 15 at the Society of St. Francis no-kill animal shelter in Kenosha:

— DNR executed a search warrant after investigating an anonymous complaint of a deer being held illegally

— Prior to serving the search warrant, three conservation wardens and one county sheriff deputy asked the shelter to voluntarily turn over the fawn, named Giggles

— When that failed, a team of 16 executed the search warrant: 10 conservation wardens dressed in regular uniforms, a county sheriff deputy in regular uniform, two plain-clothes detectives and three non-enforcement wildlife staff.

That, critics argue, was excessive.

“It was like a SWAT team,” shelter employee Ray Schulze said to WISN 12 News.

Cosh, though, said DNR adjusts its response to the situation.

“The number of staff involved was based upon the size of the property, number of buildings involved and recommendations from the local sheriff’s department concerning the potential of aggressive dogs on the site,” he wrote in an email to Wisconsin Reporter. “The goal of the staffing level was to quickly and safely complete the process and to cause as little disruption to the facility as possible.”

Wisconsin Reporter will update as more details of the DNR’s new response policy become available.

The shelter has threatened a lawsuit, but it’s unclear whether one has been filed.

Phone numbers listed for the shelter and Schulze were disconnected as of Thursday afternoon, and an email was not immediately returned.

Contact Kirsten Adshead at [email protected]


Kirsten formerly served as staff reporter for Watchdog.org.

  • LadyGunfighter

    Serious CYA on the part of the DNR. Were they told Giggles was going to a wildlife shelter? They don’t say, of course. “Quickly and safely complete the process and to cause as little disruption to the facility as possible” so holding people hostage for 3 hours and confiscating cell phones is just a “little disruption”? Comparing this animal shelter to drug dealers, really? Worried about disease, but they killed Giggles before they tested for anything! This was wrong on so many levels. We’re being laughed at nationwide. The DNR has been screwed up for years, screwed up our lakes, screwed up our deer population and walk around my area like they are “all that and a bag of chips”. Just sick of the DNR and all the little alphabet agencies that think a show of force is the only way to get anything done…really…that spells cowards to me.

  • jane smith

    They put on their macho gear, smelled blood, hunted down and murdered a innocent two week old baby fawn, wow, aren’t they special. I’m sorry you had to go through the terror of these heartless thugs, Giggles.

  • Rom50

    Nothing like ‘over the top’ or excessive aggression when it makes them ‘feel’ like HERO’s. What were they thinking? “The may make an action hero comic strip of me and it will be printed in every newspaper across this nation”? MORONIC! They only give this kind of consideration in a drug bust or an alleged domestic violence complaint because “harry raised his voice to marge in their one bedroom apt after years of unemployment”. You people (sheriffs, cops, dnr), make me want to puke!

  • cjkup123

    From my observations for how the current state administration handles business, my guess is that the Kenosh no-kill shelter will have it’s license revoked and be shut down. Bets?

  • Nancy Lynne Kriescher

    Once they got there, any human would have known this was a rescue. They need to get out in the woods up here, & habitats of Eagles & Osprey, who are being killed for their feathers..& do their job, .”

  • Modres

    The deer was going to be TRANSFERRED to another center where it could stay legally!

    Instead, machismo and testosterone determined to raid the facility and KILL the deer.

    High fives and chest bumps all around…morons!

  • Karl Hungus

    The government is just practicing for raids on our homes. We will soon be hearing about raids to take guns, seize wealth, maybe even to take kids if they aren’t being “properly indoctrinated.” All this will be for our own protection of course.

  • Karl Hungus

    I will bet you $1,000 that will not occur.

  • Dave

    Gigggles the fawn was up a dawn consuming her skittles and tea, the DNR were around in the air and on the ground to see what they could see. Officer(?) Niemeyer said hey it’s ok, stormed in and blew little Giggles away. What a bunch of heros?

  • Guy de Maupassant

    Hey liberals! This is what big government run amok looks like. You reap what you sow.

  • Franseenit

    St. Francis is the guilty party – they know they are supposed to notify the DNR when they receive an animal in this manner. The person or persons that picked it up are guilty as well. Keep your hands off of wild animals!

  • Franseenit

    Jane, it is against the law to keep wild animals on your property. If a wild animal is seen in the wild that YOU happen to think is alone or abandoned you are to leave it alone. Mother deer leave their fawns routinely while they forage for food. If you were ever hiking and truly making an effort to enjoy the beauty of our natural environment you would be delighted to actually encounter many wild animal babies – as a matter of fact you would pass most of them by without actually noticing them while the mothers are searching for food. It’s time you put things in perspective. I can understand why the authorities approached this institution with this assemblage of people. The ‘management’ at this institution knows they were wrong and should have notified the DNR immediately when they were presented with this fawn. The Society of St. Francis and the person who actually picked up this, most likely secreted by the mother, fawn are the guilty parties, end of discussion.

  • Franseenit

    This organization has no business accepting WILD ANIMALS without DNR approval – there are clear rules and reasons for them – a shelter such as they run is for domesticated animals such as dogs, cats etc. They are not a wildlife rehabilitation center. KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF OF BABY ANIMALS IN THE WILD – THEY HAVE BEEN SECRETED BY THE MOTHERS WHILE SHE EATS.

  • yousuck

    you are out of control. All the guilt is not on one party or the other. Yes St.Francis shouldn’t have had the deer. AND yes DNR went way overboard and aggressive for no reason. All they had to do was send 2 people to deal with it and leave. No excuses for holding employees for 3 hours and taking their cell phones. If they react this aggressively to something so small and minor what do they do in a serious situation? The DNR employees should be fired and new ones taught how to properly enteract with society.

  • Tabitha C.

    ABSOLUTELY AGREED! Will voting Libertarian even help?

  • Greenconsciousness

    SEND NOW – WRITE THEM NOW – EVERYONE: One bit of news on the DNR and Giggles the
    Fawn is that the governor wants a policy change so that this (swat teams
    killing fawns) does not happen again (read his office does not get all those
    angry emails) and no rehabber group has been invited to the gov mansion to tell
    of all the harassment they receive from the DNR and to ask that those who care
    for animals have the same rights as those who raise them for game farms, canned
    hunts, to profit off their fur and meat and those who, under the guise of
    training, use them to watch their dogs tear an animal apart. THIS group,
    Justice for Giggles, the baby Deer, wants a seat at that policy making table to
    say allow people to keep wild animals safe on their own property as long as
    they are not confined and the Humane Society can do regular inspections and
    pictures can be taken of the conditions of confinement under which the animal

    A general idea goes through so many changes in a democracy that it is no good to work out every last detail and get married to a plan that will be changed a thousand times. Right now the DNR does all these inspections. I envision a partnership between a board of rehabbers and the Humane Society in each county — sort of like the monstrously complicated DNR system The deal now is
    to get at least a thousand people sending this demand to every radio and TV
    station and to collect the rehabber harassment stories on our private message

    Do YOU want to see the DNR change its ways.

    To see the DNR become more humane?

    To see NON – hunter have equal seats on all their consulting, boards and
    governing bodies.

    If so – then >> please join our-

    Justice for Giggles – the baby Deer group


    And the facebook page -https://www.facebook.com/pages/Justice-for-Giggles-the-Fawn/1406097802937324

  • JML

    Bambi against Walker 2016

  • PAC

    No, not end of discussion. What the DNR did is over the top wrong. They wasted taxpayer money, terrorized unarmed citizens, confiscated cell phones, killed a helpless baby animal.

    If you think that is okay….then YOU are part of the problem.

  • jeccaG

    Funny how Wisconsin’s state government is virtually dominated by Republicans, then.

  • 71MAV

    Incredible! You really believe that outrageous display of force was justified? The thugs that pulled that off, know they were wrong. Why else would they have destroyed evidence. The only thing I can add to what PAC said here, is that you are also a dangerous idiot.

  • 71MAV

    St Francis’ actions did not justify the actions of the DNR. In case you missed it, I’ll repeat it for you. You’re an idiot.

  • Anne D.

    Republicans are no better. We need a Libertarian party. Representatives who actually represent the people. We need to decrease the size and scope of government, so representatives actually understand what’s going on in the real world. Someone brought the fawn to the shelter because they thought it was the right thing to do. Should the shelter have said, “leave it outside to die, please.” I think not.

  • Franseenitisamoron

    What a good little German you are.

  • JMR in WI

    Not as long as people are watching. But then, yes, I believe that is their intention.

  • Barbara Bunny Smith

    Are you a “hater” to the rescue organization or what?!? Those people had compassion which is something that you and the DNR seem to be lacking! No justifiable reason to kill that fawn…that’s the way many see it including myself. With so many wildlife sanctuaries out there why the hell did they feel the need to do it? If you can’t open your brain and your heart to look at both sides of this sick situation than you need to just shut the h@$% up.

  • Barbara Bunny Smith

    You’re a narrow minded jackass

  • Barbara Bunny Smith

    Are you a “hater” to the rescue organization or what?!? Those people had compassion which is something that you and the DNR seem to be lacking! No justifiable reason to kill that fawn…that’s the way many see it including myself. With so many wildlife sanctuaries out there why the hell did they feel the need to do it? If you can’t open your brain and your heart to look at both sides of this sick situation than you need to just shut the h@$% up.

  • dlm

    “End of discussion” at the conclusion of an earlier comment, doesn’t work for me either! There will never be an end of discussion when a life, any life is so callously taken. It was a fawn! A healthy fawn! So what if the shelter wouldn’t hand it over to DNR when they knew it was going to a wildlife sanctuary! They had the fawn’s best interest at heart. The government “Rambo-ing in” was so over the top ridiculous with the end result being a body bagged baby deer. Way to go! I hope this dialogue continues! And to the person who is pro DNR and stated “KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF BABY ANIMALS IN THE WILD”….Really? Your end of discussion comment was ludicrous! It would certainly give the world pause for thought if this incident didn’t leave a mark! Sad be the day when a blind eye is turned to seeing government running so clearly amok doesn’t rattle peoples chains!

  • concernedcitizen

    way out of control… DNR – employed entirely by HUNTERS have way too much control! it’s time that the PEOPLE. have a voice. and I do believe the majority are fed up with Hunter control! of our lands and our wildlilfe!

  • Rom50

    You are truly in need of Gods help. I’ll be praying for you.

  • Frannieaintseenshit

    Names! Who did this? What are the names of the gestapo illiterate DNP fawn murdering snake worshipers? Where is the dung pile called Franain’ts eenshit? What are their names! What city dump do they live in??? Jail them NOW!

    If there’s anyone left in Wisconsin on the DNP who wasn’t trained in Iraq and isn’t kicking in doors of Americans at midnight, stomping on fawns, watching cage fights and dropping out of school? Are there any private citizens left who will stop partying long enough to monitor the Wisconsin KGB? Then turn off the TV and get out and protest to change the lowest lowdown Krock of a government agency in the world- the DNP! . And F- you again Frannieaeain’tseen shit for being the devil’s enabler-.

    Nothing you wrote about he letter of the law regarding policy carries any weight in this situation. Of course the fawns ought to be left with the mother’s when there is one, that is irrelevant to taking shelter workers hostage and gunning down the fawn out of spite towards towards people who don’t want to be roboticized.. You’re obviously some nit-picking secretarial cubicle worker who knows how to dot the i’s and cross t’s while typing up Mein Kamph. All done perfectly- perfectly wrong that is
    Don’t worry, your blockheaded ilk is over-running the country by birthrate so you’ll have lots of company when the secret police take over, and when they carry away Frannieaintseenshit there’ll be no one left to speak for it.

    Names! Who did thi??, What town do they live in and What middle school did they drop out of?????? Lock them up and take their badges off of them, take their guns away, take away their License to Kill Now!

  • pubpubpub

    This was revenge from typical vile civil servants.

  • proidiot

    ah guess what hunters don’t employ the dnr we are however forced to pay the wages by the way the dnr has more power to do what ever they want tan any other policing force hmm see something wrong with that wonder WY they think tere $hit don’t stink and whatever they do is the right thing to do rep don’t rule them either dumiss

  • jane smith

    @Franseenit…end of discussion? I didn’t discuss anything with you and I never will. As far as I’m concerned, you are a idiot!

  • Chia Chee

    This was a general alert message to all of us, no matter how you slice it– the police state is here and it will kill if it wants.

  • Established_1781

    And how much did this cost taxpayers?

  • Dixie_Pixie

    Ok… Who shot the fawn Giggles ?
    Why would any government order the execution of a harmless fawn in a animal shelter ?

  • RealityObserver

    Once the fawn was picked up by the civilian, it could not be returned. All that anyone could do at that point was to make it possible for the fawn to go to a wildlife shelter.

    You can blame the civilian – but not the Society.

    You can also blame the DNR for a grand overreaction, and the killing of a wild animal that was destined for a refuge where it would have lived.

  • RealityObserver

    Some det cord around the Obama windmills would probably achieve more, for less money and effort.

  • RealityObserver

    The “t” is not properly crossed, Fraulein! Prepare to meet your maker! Seig Heil!

  • RealityObserver

    The bureaucracy is under the full control of – Democrats. The same ones that trashed the State Capitol.

    Other than staging a full-out military campaign on all Government offices, from large to small – you cannot get rid of the Socialist rot.

  • john


  • john

    You are a small minded kiss ass

  • vailbunny

    These “animal control” people are out of control. The governor needs to fire them.