Compassion Outlawed: All Injured and Orphaned Fawns in Ohio Must Die.

Sarge is known as the dog that loves deer.

Whenever a new fawn is carried through the door, Sarge leaps into action. He frantically sniffs the babe over to determine if there are any injuries. From that moment on, he becomes the fawn’s guardian and refuses to leave its side.

Sarge’s instinct to care for orphaned and injured fawns comes naturally. It’s the same for most people. Who could turn their back on an innocent, helpless babe? But that’s exactly what the state tells us we must do.

All injured and orphaned fawns must die.

Most Ohioans are not aware of this cruel policy set forth by the Ohio Division of Wildlife. The first thing they do is call the game warden when they find a fawn that needs help. This is a death sentence, as wildlife officials will euthanize the babe or place it in the woods to die a slow and painful death.

Hundreds of fawns are killed this way each year.

Veterinarians are forced to euthanize any fawn brought to their attention or risk losing their license to practice. It’s the same for state-certified wildlife rehabilitators. They are forbidden to rehab fawns.

There is absolutely nowhere in the state to take a fawn for care.

My family learned of this cruel policy a few years ago when a game warden showed up and ordered us to kill a fawn we had raised to adulthood. The deer was free to come and go, and was in no way contained. But that didn’t matter.

Ohio claims ownership of all wildlife within its borders, and it has no compassion where deer are concerned.

After refusing to kill the deer, we were threatened with prosecution. Shortly afterward the deer turned up dead, his remains found decomposing in the woods. We suspected he was killed by wildlife officers but there was no way to know.

This happens frequently in Ohio. A deer in Clarington was killed just for being tame, shot in front of young children in a back yard. Stories of ODOW’s cruel tactics are commonplace.

Nearly every other state in the nation has some form of fawn rehabilitation, where fawns are raised and released wild. This is very successful and costs the states nothing.

While Ohioans are banned from helping a fawn, the state’s deer farming industry is thriving. Deer farmers raise wild deer inside fences  as domestic livestock. These deer are commonly used in canned hunts.

Unlike injured wild fawns, deer in farming operations have access to veterinary care.

“There are 600 people in Ohio raising deer, but people just don’t know we exist,” said Curt Waldvogel, a Madison County deer farmer and president of the Whitetail Deer Farmers of Ohio. “We’re not trying to hide, but people don’t know there is this industry out there.”

ODOW claims that fawn rehabilitation was outlawed due to Chronic Wasting Disease, an illness that has never been found in Ohio’s wild deer population. CWD has been found only in Ohio’s deer farming herds.

Every year various deer advocacy groups attempt to get legislation passed to reopen fawn rehabilitation and sanctuary in Ohio, and every year we’ve failed. The ODOW, deer farmers and sport-hunting groups rally against it. They do not want to give up even a fraction of control over the billion dollar white-tail deer industry.

Wildlife rehabs are funded through donations and adding fawn rehabilitation would cost the state nothing.

Despite Ohio’s cruel wildlife laws, Sarge and I will continue to help fawns because there is no other option for these innocent babes. There are others out there doing the same. We all live in fear that the ODOW will show up to kill the animals we have poured our time, resources and hearts into saving.

May God bless any fawn born in the state of Ohio.

20 thoughts on “Compassion Outlawed: All Injured and Orphaned Fawns in Ohio Must Die.”

  1. The mere thought of killing deer is reprehensible to me. Injured deer killed? I hope Sarge can set an example of how love between inter species is a healing and spiritual thing we humans can glean our compassion from. Shame on the Wildlife people who have murder in their hearts.

  2. If people would stop funding them maybe things would change in Ohio. I’m so sick of the wildlife organization. Their laws are terrible. Stop buying the license plates also that fund them.

  3. I think since ODNR claims to own the Ohio deer then they should be held accountable for all deer car accidents. Is there anyone out there willing to help me. I would imagine all insurance companies would support this initiative. If your horse or livestock was involved in causing an accident you as the owner would be held accountable. They are the cause of increase in deer car collisions in the fsll with hunting that scares deer onto roadways and freeways. This agency has too much power and monies.

  4. That’s reprehensible. All lives are sacred and deserve a chance at life. Humans are more a dangerous than an orphaned deer. People make me sick.

    1. I agree with you. Why can’t animal shelters take in orphaned fawns and release them when they can take care of themselves in the wild? This is the first time I’ve ever heard of such a law. It does seem very cruel, especially when there ARE people (and dogs) willing to take them in and HELP THEM. Thank you Sarge and your compassionate human!

  5. This is incorrect! There are a number of rehabbers in Ohio that can take fawns, though they have a limited amount of time to get them back on their feet and hopefully back with mom or another deer. Deer laws are strict due to Chronic Wasting Disease, which is a truly terrible disease found in deer. It has been located in deer farms here in Ohio, not yet in wild deer, but that doesn’t mean it’s not in our wild population yet. This disease is devastating and the purpose of all of this is to protect Ohio’s deer population overall.

    1. By law, a rehabilitator has less than 72 hours to place the fawn back in the woods. This is not rehab. This is a slow, agonizing death for the fawn. Are you a certified Ohio wildlife rehabilitator? If so, why aren’t you fighting for these fawns? What a shame that someone who is suppose to protect wildlife is just OK with this. As far as an orphaned fawn finding a “foster” in the wild, the chances of that are next to none. We have video of a fawn that was released chasing a momma doe. The doe stomped it to death. Why would you support this, unless you work for the state. Please identify yourself.

    2. Rehab would help stop the spread of CWD (if there were to be any) by identifying it early, by the way. Your reasoning on CWD makes no sense.

  6. We raised a fawn a few years ago. At the end of summer a jogger felt the need to report us. The Game warden showed up two days later, no identification on his truck, no uniform with a gun in hand. I almost shot the bastard, he was peering into our kitchen window. Much to his genuine disappointment we had already released him. So he got to kill nothing then.😡

  7. Why don’t Ohio citizens have any “say” in anything?? We are so overtaxed and regulated, it is pathetic! Looters and demonstrators run free, and my compassion is demanded. A helpless fawn, and I am not allowed to help. Something is very wrong with this!

  8. This article is incorrect. I noticed my earlier comment was not shared and that’s too bad. You are spreading incorrect information that will actually hurt fawns because there are rehabbers that can take fawns.

    1. I wrote this article. I know Ohio law regarding fawns. Certified wildlife rehabilitators are NOT authorized to rehabilitate fawns and that is fact. They are ONLY permitted to place the fawn back in the woods within 72 hours. That is not rehab, that is death.

  9. The sad thing that most seem to be missing is this is controlled by big bucks. The reason there is a law is due to corruption. People rearing, hunting and slaughtering deer. They don’t want any wild deer anywhere . They want control and the monopoly over everything. It is so disgusting they they could treat any animal like this, as a commodity to be used and abused. To make a law that promotes the suffering of any animal on any level is sickening. To all those involved you disgust me

  10. Not unlike Ohio’s policies on abortion, no mercy shown to the baby even if it is partially born. What kind of barbarism is that? But you can’t get your cat declawed, even by a qualified vet because then your cat will need pain meds for 2cdays and that would be cruel.

    1. There are numerous reasons a fawn ends up alone. Sometimes a mother is killed on the road, dies of disease, is poached or is separated from the fawn.

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