During the summer of 2014, the ODNR Wildlife Department, killed a precious young tame deer named Bucky in front of children at a park in Clarington, Ohio. They shot him TWICE to bring him down. The town was heartbroken. This should NEVER happen in a civilized society!
We are moving forward with the goals of Carol Deyo, a life long animal rescuer, surgical veterinary technician and the mommy of Trooper and Patch, two precious rescued deer. Carol spent her last year on earth fighting for the lives of these rescued animals. Throughout that year, her cancer worsened. She passed away knowing that the Saving Trooper Committee will not relent on what has been started.
The ODNR Wildlife would have put a bullet through little fawn Trooper's head. Because of the compassion of Carol and many others this deer is alive today. Yet, many are NOT safe. Ohio desperately needs rehabilitation facilities along with sanctuary for special needs deer (not to exclude ALL animals) as well as human caretaker protection. Life is precious!
Currently, the state of Ohio does not have a plan for certain injured wildlife such as a deer. We are not asking for them to have a plan but to allow willing licensed rehabilitation experts, veterinarians and caretakers to provide the appropriate care that is needed for these animals. The hands of our veterinarians have been tied by the government. They are not permitted to treat certain wildlife such as an injured fawns. If a person calls the ODNR for help, they come out and kill the animal. This puts the public in a bad situation. They are being forced to ignore the hurting animal or call ODNR to destroy the animal’s life. That is cruelty. And, they threaten compassionate caretakers with arrest, jail time and fines. For many, cruelty and negligence is never an option. PLEASE sign our petition for legislative change. If a person finds an injured fawn (or any injured or orphaned animal), there needs to be legal sanctuary OR rehabilitation facilities (privately funded) available in the state. If the individual wishes to raise the animal due to imprinting or injuries preventing a safe return to the wild, they need to obtain a "certificate of health and appropriate care" by a local willing veterinarian. If someone is willing to take responsibility for an animal’s care, they must be given that opportunity. It is not acceptable or humane for a government state department (or anyone) to murder an animal because he/she is handicapped, imprinted or simply too tame for the wild. These are the animals who either require a lifelong caregiver and/or sanctuary. Please see our Facebook site for additional information. The full story and what led to Trooper's Law is at savingtrooper.com.
Below is the proposal written for Trooper's Law. As we continue to discuss the proposal and bill, there will be changes. Once with a legislator, it will be taken to the writers to be put in legal format. Although subject to change, all areas in the proposal are felt to be extremely important. Review of applicable portions of the ORC (Ohio Revised Code) will be ongoing.The goal is to eliminate those areas that conflict with Trooper's Law and clarify areas that are currently vague.
If you live in Ohio, PLEASE call your local Ohio State Representative and Senator and ask them to Support Trooper's Law and make compassion legal! Please ask your veterinarians to write letters to the OVMA (Ohio Veterinary Medical Association) and ask them to support Trooper's Law. Feel free to call the OVMA and Farm Bureau and let them know how important the lives of these animals are.
Trooper's Law, To amend section 1531.081, repealing portions of section 1531.01 and repealing 1531.99. To provide protection for all injured wild animals in Ohio including deer and raccoon and/or provisions for domestic or tame animals who are unable to be returned to the wild due to tameness or chronic disability and to provide protection for the animal's caregiver.
This proposal calls for the following changes and additions which require action by the Ohio state legislature to change state law.
Section 1. That section 1531.081 be amended to read as follows:
Section 1531.081 The division of wildlife does not have authority to regulate domestic or tame deer, which shall either be regulated as agricultural animals by the department of agriculture when pertaining to those deer acquired legally for agriculture purposes or be under the authority of appropriate caregivers and/or rehabilitators.
That the following be enacted as
(1) Reintroduction of deer into the wild after rehabilitation will occur when the caregiver feels it is appropriate and that the animal would be equipped to survive. Any otherwise wild animal who during the rehabilitation process has become too tame to survive in the wild or who is not capable of surviving in the wild due to its injuries shall remain in the custody of the caregiver. If a caregiver is not capable to provide adequate support or wishes to relinquish his/her responsibility for ongoing care of the rehabilitated deer, a request for transfer to an appropriate sanctuary facility must be made.
(2) Legalize the existence of privately funded rehabilitation and sanctuary facilities in the State of Ohio in order to provide services to all animals including deer.
(3) If an deer cannot be immediately released into the wild, but could be safely released after rehabilitation, it would be taken to a qualified rehabilitator. If the animal is not capable of being rehabilitated to the wild, that animal is to remain in the custody of his/ her caregiver.
(4) No government department, persons or state officials are permitted to kill an otherwise wild deer who is under rehabilitation or has been rehabilitated or is in sanctuary. No government department, persons or state officials are permitted to kill a tame or domesticated deer due to human involvement deemed necessary for survival of the animal. No government department, persons or state officials is permitted to kill a tame deer who lives in the wild and has become accustomed to humans. Tame male deer living in the wild who will later develope antlers, although rarely a threat to humans except in situations of abuse or if they feel threatened, may be relocated to a sanctuary for added safety purposes.
(5) No government department, persons or state officials are permitted to kill a handicapped or disabled deer in the State of Ohio. These animals are to remain in the custody of a willing lifelong caregiver or a sanctuary facility who will assume responsibility for all financial obligations related to that animal.
(6) All monetary expenses including veterinary care, adequate food, nutrition, shelter and additional needs are to be met by the caregiver and/or rehabilitator or rehabilitation facility. A fence, 8 foot high or greater, must be provided at deer rehabilitation facilities or sanctuaries.
(7) Veterinarians are to be released to treat all animals both wild and domestic in need of medical care as they feel equipped to properly treat. Veterinarians shall not be forced to commit acts of neglect toward deer, raccoon or various animal species in the state of Ohio. There are to be no attempts made by the State of Ohio to discriminate against any animal based upon species, breed, color, size, sex, disability or function.
(8) Attempts should be made to save the lives of all wild animals including deer. Any act by a state official or law enforcement agent in an attempt to kill a healthy animal or injured animal who otherwise could be saved is unlawful killing. Exceptions exist for animals who have been injured severely due to a collision with a vehicle and are suffering or actively dying. At this time a properly trained official may be permitted to humanely euthanize that animal. Or if an official is not available and the animal is clearly suffering following a collision, mercy may be extended to that animal by the public to euthanize if proper means are available. Leaving an injured animal to die or ignoring their need for assistance is negligence.
(9) The ability of an individual to care for a deer (not at the exclusion of other animals) in rehabilitation is to be demonstrated by having proper shelter, food and medical care as well as disease protection. They will be able to keep the deer if they meet a series of requirements to ensure the health of the deer and the state’s deer population as a whole. This includes adequate enclosure, available shelter and/or protection from adversities in the environment such as storms or temperature extremes, health tests administered by a licensed veterinarian and the ability to obtain and administer proper nutrition.
(10) The regulation and care of domestic or tame deer identified as those not capable of surviving in the wild due to lack of being "wild" and due to a state of being "tame" are not to fall under any degree of authority or management by the ODNR. [ORC 1531.081 Regulation of domestic deer. The division of wildlife does not have authority to regulate domestic deer, which shall be regulated as agricultural animals by the department of agriculture]. Such domestic deer referred to in ORC 1531.081 are to be defined as those domestic deer located on deer farms that are managed and arranged by the department of agriculture. This is not to include domestic rehabilitated tame deer cared for, (not to exclude raccoon or various other species of Ohio), with the original intent of release into the wild who by some circumstance is no longer wild or who remains handicapped.
(11) The term "wild" is as defined by Merriam-Webster 1. living outdoors without taming or domestication by humans, synonymous with savage, feral, untamed, undomesticated or unbroken. Wild animals can be shy or aggressive when confronted by humans.
"Tame" as defined by Merriam-Webster as not wild, not afraid of people, not aggressive; domesticated.
(12) The caregiver or sanctuary facility owner will need to obtain a "certificate of appropriate care" from a willing veterinarian who is committed to oversee the animals health and wellness.