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.
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@example.com.