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Run Bambi, Run

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Message Suzana Megles

What would you think if you read this title: "Officer investigated after deer rescue." Surely, this was a mistake. Why would you investigate a deer rescue? Well, you have to live in Ohio and realize that my state is not an animal-friendly state- at least not in my opinion and probably in the opinion of any animal rights organizations who rate states by compassion to animals. I believe that the legislature is stacked with too many agrarian interest-minded southern Ohio legislators, and obviously they feel threatened by any compassionate laws which they feel will impact on profits.

In the 70's we were asked to ban the cruel leg-hold trap which not only trapped fur-bearing animals, but often times an unsuspecting dog or cat also lost a leg to it. However, the voters said no to the trappers glee. They could continue using this trap which would often find some poor animals trying to release themselves by chewing off their own leg. Someday hopefully, people will realize that fur coats look best on the original owners and those traps will land where they belong - on a scrap pile.

In the 90's- the long protected mourning doves who had graced our skies- free and protected by law for many, many years lost that protection in an election. Vested interests, through their TV spots, warned that if we voted to protect the mourning dove, then the people of Ohio would be denied eating meat if the animal rights people had their way. Logic? None as far as I can see, unless they were referring to the lawful "right" of eating this tiny bird!

Maybe it was the 80's when I remember checking the box on my Ohio tax return to contribute to Wildlife and being very happy to do so. Later I found the money was not used for this purpose at all. I believe I read it was used to grant raises to wildlife personnel. I never checked that box again. Not, that I don't think people deserve raises, but let's be honest on how we portray the soliciting of funds.

Then I was horrified when the Wiles Pig Farm about 5 years ago hung dying pigs as a "humane" means of euthanasia. As for the sickly piglets, they were kicked around like footballs to kill them. When charges were brought against the cruel farm owner and his sons, the Ohio judge presiding was irked because he didn't believe this case merited being tried in court at all. And though the prosecutor won the case, the judge- true to his uncaring self, fined one of the Wiles' brothers a $100 fine! I still cringe when I think of this injustice and the type of judges we have in Ohio - though I truly hope he is not representative of the majority. I also wish that someday he will be removed as judge, but obviously the people who vote for him approve of his lack of sensitivity and compassion to animals.

And now, despite all common sense. Toledo police Sgt. Mark Fry is under investigation for misdemeanor possession and rehabilitation of a white-tailed deer. Unbelievable- we can kill animals lawfully but we cannot rescue them because Ohio bans the rehabilitation of wild deer and coyote according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. Reading this incredible statement, I wanted to shout out to everyone in hearing distance - Welcome to "beautiful" Ohio.

Their rationale for this "law" is that there are concerns re the spread of disease. We do so much harm to people by using pesticides and herbicides on our fruits and veggies. We also inject our food animals with hormones and antibiotics and we are worried about rehabilitating a baby fawn? And just how common what this occurence be?

I think Sgt. Fry and the two other men who delivered and revived this fawn after its pregnant mother was hit by a car should be given a commendation for humane and compassionate treatment to a helpless fawn --not condemnation for violating what seems to me a foolish and uncaring law.

The ranger had euthanized the mother with a gunshot before the campus officer cut open the dead deer's abdomen and found two fawns but only one was alive, and he was revived by Fry breathing into his snout and giving him chest massages.

Sadly Fry's attempt to leave the fawn with the nonprofit Nature's Nursery Center for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation Education didn't work beccause they knew about the Ohio law preventing rehabilitation of wild deer. Can you believe this? What do you do with a baby fawn? Shoot him?

What was Fry to do? He took the fawn home and his wife nursed the newborn deer they named Norman with goat's milk. He later took Norman to a farm but for some reason brought the deer back to his Springfield Township home after authorities visited. He then planned to turn him over but that Norman escaped from his screened-in-porch overnight. I could not help thinking - Run Bambi, run. Of course this has reference to "Bambi" Bamberek who was fleeing from a false murder conviction in Wisconsin. But I hope that this little Bambi runs to a place of safety where the cruel laws of Ohio cannot touch him.

Wildlife officer supervisor Kevin Newsome of the Ohio DNR says that Sgt. Fry violated at least two provisions of Ohio law meant to "protect" wildlife. He must be kidding. That's exactly what Fry was trying to do - protect this fawn and for that "infraction," he is being investigated. Clearly Ohio's law in this regard should be investigated and hopefully changed. Sgt. Fry needs no investigation. He acted out of compassion. Compassion should supercede any law in my opinion.

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I have been concerned about animal suffering ever since
I received my first puppy Peaches in 1975. She made me take a good look at the animal kingdom and I was shocked to see how badly we treat so many animals. At 77, I've been a vegan for the (more...)
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