Armed agents raid animal shelter for baby deer

Armed agents raid animal shelter for baby deer

KENOSHA, Wis. —WISN 12 News investigates an operation raising questions about the use of government resources and the state policy that meant a death sentence for a fawn.

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“It was like a SWAT team,” shelter employee Ray Schulze said.

Two weeks ago, Schulze was working in the barn at the Society of St. Francis on the Kenosha-Illinois border when a swarm of squad cars arrived and officers unloaded with a search warrant.

“(There were) nine DNR agents and four deputy sheriffs, and they were all armed to the teeth,” Schulze said.

The focus of their search was a baby fawn brought there by an Illinois family worried she had been abandoned by her mother.

“When it made a little noise, it sounded like it was laughing,” Schulze said.

Schulze videotaped the fawn they named Giggles during the two weeks she was there. The Department of Natural Resources began investigating after two anonymous calls reporting a baby deer at the no-kill shelter.

The warden drafted an affidavit for the search warrant, complete with aerial photos in which he described getting himself into a position where he was able to see the fawn going in and out of the barn.

Agents told staff they came to seize the deer because Wisconsin law forbids the possession of wildlife.

“I said the deer is scheduled to go to the wildlife reserve the next day,” Schulze said.