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Walker: No more ‘SWAT team’-style executions of fawns

By   /   August 5, 2013  /   27 Comments

By Ryan Ekvall | Wisconsin Reporter

MADISON – Gov. Scott Walker says he never wants to see another Giggles incident on his watch.

The governor at press event Monday afternoon said he ordered “a number of cabinet secretaries” to a meeting earlier in the day to develop changes to the policy that led the Department of Natural Resources to euthanize the fawn, following report of a law enforcement raid on a no-kill animal shelter in Kenosha.

“My charge to them was, going forward I don’t ever want to see something like that happen again,” Walker said, speaking with reporters after a bill signing at the Department of Military Affairs in Madison.

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NO MORE: Gov. Scott Walker emphatically responds to controversy over the way the DNR euthanized a fawn named Giggles. He said he wants changes in policy so similar incidents don’t happen in the future.

Society of St. Francis shelter employee Ray Schulze described the scene to WISN 12 News, which broke the story last week.

“It was like a SWAT team,” Schulze told the station. “(There were) nine DNR agents and four deputy sheriffs, and they were all armed to the teeth.”

“I said the deer is scheduled to go to the wildlife reserve the next day,” Schulze told the station. “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. She was in a body bag. I said, ‘Why did you do that?’ (The agent) said, ‘That’s our policy,’ and I said, ‘That’s one hell of a policy.’”

Department of Natural Resources Supervisor Jennifer Niemeyer told WISN 12 News that the law requires DNR agents to euthanize wild animals because of their potential to spread disease.

Walker said he wasn’t ready to announce the specifics of a policy change and that he would listen to suggestions brought to him by cabinet members.

Wisconsin Reporter has reached out to DNR for comment. As of this post, Wisconsin Reporter is waiting for DNR for a response.

Contact Ryan Ekvall at rekvall@wisconsinreporter.com

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M.D. Kittle

  • concerned citizen

    We must preemptively drone strike ALL the fawns. For freedom! FORWARD!

  • banjuju

    Worried about a baby deer but refuse to do anything about the gorillas in our midst.

  • Mark Bye

    The question remains: How did Cathy Stepp and the DNR ever come to imagine this was the best way carry out a policy?

  • JANE 72

    Thank you, Gov. Walker! I appreciate the caring you exhibit towards our wild life, and setting a good example for future generations. It’s about time we had a Governor who shows compassion for “the least of these” as referred to in the Bible, and it demonstrates the compassion you also show for your constituents.
    Being a good Governor is not giving in to everyones’s wants, but addressing their needs, even tho they complain!

  • Barbara

    Thank you, Governor Walker! Thank for taking a stand, and not ignoring this over stepping of your DNR. Now, if you will just acknowledge the BIG WRONG your Department of Natural Resources is making in allowing the hunting of Wolves with dogs which starts in our beautiful state on December 2nd. Trust me, you will have the respect of ALL the citizens of Wisconsin STAND TALL and ignore the pressure from the powerful lobbyists representing the members of the Wisconsin Hunters Rights Coalition & the Wisconsin Bear Hunter’s Association.

    The truth be told, Governor, you need to take off your Hunters hat and stand up for ALL the citizens you represent. It is imperative that you come out and voice your opinion on this issue! As you said yourself, Governor, there is no need for hunting with dogs when the quoto of Wolves was met well ahead the closing date of 2/2012 WITHOUT THE USE OF DOGS! You know Hunting Wolves with Dogs is wrong, and as the Governor of our
    State, you need to talk the truth to ALL Wisconsin residents, including
    the Hunters AND your DNR!!! Please join in and do not allow this Blood Sport, this LEGALIZED DOG FIGHTING to come to our State, Governor! Stand up for what is right!!

  • DNRisNotAboutTheEnvironment

    I can tell you with all certainty if I saw a wolf on my property I would
    not hesitate to drop it. The DNR is widely known to cover up many cases
    of wolves slaughtering livestock and pets to satisfy
    Mother-Guia-worshipping nutjobs who cannot stand the truth, especially
    when it does not fit the false image they consistently try to ram down
    the public’s throat. I will not allow my live property to be put at risk
    on a “maybe” when wolves are instictively designed to kill anything
    they can eat. There is no ecological asset to having them around to
    begin with.

  • DNRisNotAboutTheEnvironment

    What’s even more concerning is the fact that aerial surveillance was also conducted on the shelter property prior to the raid.

    This criminal government at all levels, starting at the top with OnumNuts, cares not one iota about your rights, your privacy, your property, and what you are seeing here is only the beginning.

    Check into the fact that 180+ family dogs have been shot by city police in Houston since 2010, yet if you so much as kick a police dog in defense while it is allowed to gnash its teeth inches from your face, you are charged with assaulting an officer (the same applies if you pat a police horse on State Street in Madison, look it up). This means your criminal government(s) believe an animal has more rights than a human being.

    You begin to see the conditioning being put in place for what is to come for the average American who does not blindly lick boots of these illegitimate authoritarians.

  • DNRisNotAboutTheEnvironment

    This is the same department that says if you own an ATV, you owe these criminals $15 for the “privilege” to operate it on your own private property. This is not to be confused with a trail pass by the way.

    Yes, that’s right. Your property on YOUR PROPERTY, and you owe them $15. These are the same clowns that expect you to believe that forcing you to install card board license plates on your ATVs is to help recover stolen ATVs (as if you can’t just rip the plate off or replace it) yet has nothing to do with them sitting on their fat rear ends watching trail cams and call that “preservation”?!?

    Yet Madison communists can force landowners out of their property
    through eminent domain, extort taxes from citizens to pay for their bike
    trails, yet they have no requirements for registration or use of these
    bike trails?

  • cgp184

    I’m not saying that this incident was handled “perfectly”, but it wouldn’t hurt to have BOTH sides of the story. First of all, since when is wardens and deputies wearing their duty belts, which have a pistol and 2 spare magazines, considered “armed to the teeth like a SWAT team?” Second, the deer was not killed on the property or carried out in a body bag, it was tranquilized, and covered with a blanket to calm it. It was then euthanized off site. There were 9 wardens there because 2 or 3 of them were training new recruits. They also had 1 or 2 go the shelter, ask about the deer, and the response from the shelter (which has a long history of violations and non-compliance with law enforcement) was that there was no deer on the property. The warden(s) then called for the others to respond to help secure the large property with a number of employees on scene.
    Leave it to a Milwaukee TV station investigative “journalist” to spin a story to try and get ratings. Seems like that also happened recently with WTMJ4 making a story out of a non issue MPD case. The deer was brought into a CWD area. The only way to test for CWD that I’m aware of is by necropsy, which means the deer has to be dead.
    Now since this “story” has gone viral, the DNR supervisor is receiving death threats! People care more about what happened to one deer than they do about all the problems our society has. This has caused more uproar than the hundreds of homicides of PEOPLE in Chicago every year. Get a clue people, it was a wild animal that should not have been there. If anyone is to blame, it’s the shelter for not following the law.

  • cgq184isPaidDNRpropagandist

    Thanks for weighing in with the pro-DNR damage control, Warden.

  • Adam Statz

    Every bit of this is absolutely true. It is quickly becoming evident that these same people show no sign of retreating to within Constitutional constraints either. As a result, and thankfully, the need for the 2nd amendment has never been greater in the history of this once great nation.

    Progressives are filthy perverted animals that should be kept in shelters.

  • nocalls

    “…the law requires DNR agents to euthanize wild animals because of their potential to spread disease…” That’s an odd statement. They are not out in the woods euthanizing all the wild animals.

  • SamIamHis

    Me thinks the rule regarding a wild animal taken to a shleter should be looked at. Perhaps the power of the DNR should also be looked at. I have seen much abuse by this “authority” in other areas of WI as well and I have seen it first hand. There was no reason that this DNR posse could not have taken the fawn to a regulated shelter, where those who actually know what they are doing could have quarantined it til they were sure no disease existed. This is what they do and they do it willingly. The animal could have become part of a petting zoo or whatever. Do you think that the folks at the Society of St. Francis are a bunch of law breakers? They are caretakers. Could someone talk them into getting a necessary permit? Could the DNR work with them, perhaps waiving some fees since they are probably not for profit? We give welfare to everyone else! The real trouble with bureacracy is that it can’t think outside the box. Rules is rules and we cannot look at any situation individually.

  • Tabitha C.

    Are you serious? The DNR should not exist to regulate anything. Wolves were reintroduced to Wisconsin. We need a license to fish. Why? Oh yeah, we’re all to stupid to regulate our own behavior. We need to give all of our hard earned money to the gov’t, so they can regulate every aspect of our lives-with force if necessary. Go ahead Gov. Walker, make more laws for the rest of us. Explore Libertarian candidates if you truly value freedom, or you, or your “rights” may be next.

  • Anne D.

    These ridiculous laws, and the DNR, should not exist. We paid them to do this, as well as other senseless acts, like searching hunters and fishermen for silly licenses. Cutting this department would save us all money.

  • Anne D. Chel@new.rr.com

    do you mean guerillas?

  • PoliticalFodder

    These issues are State issues why do you blame progressives and Obama? The laws being put in place were written by the corporations and brought back to the States by ALEC politicians, who work for the corporations. Check out alecexposed.org and compare WI legislation to the ALEC legislation.

  • PoliticalFodder

    Registration is required for bike trails, where do you get your information. Also if your concerned about eminent domain I suggest you check out how properties in TX have been taken by eminent domain by the transnational corporation, Transcanada. They are the company who wants the Keystone pipeline.

  • 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 so can do regular inspections and
    pictures can be taken of the conditions of confinement under which the animal
    lives.

    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 — but you keep thinking
    about it also — 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 lines.

    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

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/219819138168330/

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

  • 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 lives.

    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 lines.

    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

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/219819138168330/

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

  • Greenconsciousness

    Linda Richter said: Looked up about the transmission of CWD. Found this:

    “How is CWD transmitted?

    Experimental evidence indicates that infected animals probably transmit the disease through animal-to-animal contact and/or contamination of feed or water sources with saliva or bodily waste material. There is experimental evidence of environmental contamination of the soil through decomposition of infected deer carcasses as well as from feces or urine from infected deer. The transmission may be enhanced when deer and elk are congregated, such as around man-made feed and water stations.”

    http://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/zoonoses/cwd.htm

    Tuesday at 10:13pm · Like..
    Elizabeth Huntley said: In the WI northwoods, the resident wolves keep deer on the move; they don’t herd up, which contributes to the spread of CWD. That’s why it’s not found in areas with wolf predation; and, wolves take the sick deer. Where no wolves are found, the rates of CWD are very high.

  • mugsy1961

    How is sending in a SWAT team euthanizing anything…it was murder plain and simple. And this is just a way for Walker to try and make headway in his political career… UGH. Giggles didn’t stand a chance. R.I.P. Little One…we’ll see you at the Rainbow Bridge.

  • maxiemom

    I still love the ridiculous excuse “that the law requires DNR agents to euthanize wild animals because of their potential to spread disease.”

    I suppose that should put an end to hunting season, since all that diseased meat would probably make a great many people sick who handle the deer and eat it every year.

    I don’t even know how these officials say that with a straight face.

    I also don’t understand why the media reporting this story hasn’t called them on it.

    There was nothing justified about what they did. Baby deer are rescued and taken to wildlife preserves all the time, as are other animals. The doe was going to be taken to such a shelter the next day.

    Whoever decided to do this should be fired, along with every other piece of trash who carried this raid out.

  • Wildlife care professional

    Finally, a rational argument!!! Did those who are outraged at DNR not see the photos of the fawn wearing a dog collar, with someone at the shelter leading the fawn around on a leash? Please tell me how having taken a fawn from the wild and tuning it into a poodle is in the animal’s best interest! There are too many so-called shelters or sanctuaries that are nothing more than animal hoarders who happen to give their collection a name.

  • Wildlife Care Professional

    While I probably agree that the Wisconsin DNR may be one of the more conservative (read that least progressive) of the wildlife agencies in the US, they have a very REAL problem with Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) on their hands, and a legal mandate to deal with it, even if they sometimes choose somewhat Draconian measures.

    CWD is the exact same disease that causes “Mad Cow Disease” in bovines and “Scrapie” in sheep. And, yes, there is even a human manifestation of this disease’ it’s called new variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease . Chronic Wasting Disease and the other manifestations of this disease are all forms of Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy (TSE). TSE is spread by a mutated protein, called a prion, not by a bacteria or a virus. So antibiotics and antiviral drugs have no effect, and neither does any other known treatment.

    There is no known way to prevent it, other than to avoid moving potentially infected deer from place to place, including fawns, and there is no known period of quarantine that can prove an animal is disease-free! There is no known way to treat CWD, and it is invariably fatal to the affected deer. While there is no proven case of the disease in deer passing to humans–at least not yet–neither is there ANY evidence that it won’t affect humans, as does Mad Cow Disease. One concern is that there seems to be no practical way to disinfect the soil where these animals have defecated, urinated, or died….and I mean NEVER!! The mutant protein, the prions, are not like other cells or germs….things that will actually die! Prions can last for years, even decades, in the soil.

    So, while both, knee-jerk politicians and knee-jerk animal lovers, are looking at this case as if it is only about one cute little fawn. It involves potentially epidemic outbreaks of a fatal disease that is currently posing a very serious threat to every deer, not only in Wisconsin, but across the U.S., as well as every moose and elk…(ALL cervids). These concerns can be glibly dismissed by people who don’t want to have their opinions tainted by actual facts, but DNR doesn’t have the luxury of ignoring this very real disease threat, especially since Wisconsin has the highest number of cases of CWD in the U.S. and Canada.

    These arm-chair critics sit back and throw stones at DNR for euthanizing a fawn, but image the outcry when a person dies from new variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, the human manifestation of TSE, and it is linked by to a deer! All forms of TSE, whether Mad Cow Disease (cows), Chronic Wasting Disease (deer), Scrapie (sheep), or New Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (humans), are horrible, attacking the nervous system of victim, eventually causing total paralysis and death.

    So, DNR gets no prize for public relations, but they don’t deserve to be pilloried either.

  • Dump the DNR!!!

    Nature has a way of balancing out the ill and weak animals. We DO NOT need the DNR except for poachers. The way this was carried out was a communist act that is a total embarrassment to the Governor and the entire state of Wisconsin. I wouldn’t lip off to the arm-chair critics if I were you as our money funds this useless agency. I am for dumping the DNR completely. Save tax dollars and enforce the laws and the Constitution. We have much worse illnesses in hospitals that kill people on a daily basis so don’t wag your tongue trying to scare us with your disease talk. Get a clue and understand the public will NOT tolerate this type of incident ever again.

  • Drone2469

    Walker’s a dufus, but he has my vote for this one act.