Target: Robin Jennison, Kansas Secretary of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism
Goal: Make policy changes and retrain officers who executed a deer in front of a family that it had befriended.
The Mcgaughey family has shared a video of an interaction which led to the death of a beloved wild deer that they had spent time with for the past 22 months. A complaint was made about the family keeping the deer after they posted that they were concerned about the animal on Facebook. The family says that the deer was never kept in any formal enclosure. According to the family, they had 45 minutes between being notified by authorities that their interactions with the deer were illegal, and when the animal was shot by wardens who arrived on their property. Killing this deer might have been unnecessary, and shooting it in front of the family was cruel. The wardens responsible should receive empathy training and the department should re-examine this shoot-first policy.
Officials say that the wardens acted within their authority due to the threat that a wild deer can pose. Deer can carry diseases or attack humans. While this may be true, it does not mean that the deer could not have been relocated or that shooting it on the Mcgaughey property was justified. Some creative thinking could have spared this poor deer’s life and the prevented a family from feeling the loss of an animal that had grown close to them.
It is important that public officials carry out their jobs with empathy. The Mcgaughey family was also hit with a fine for keeping the animal as the pet. The family had let the deer in the house when she would knock or bray at the door. It is outrageous that they are being fined for developing a relationship with an animal while hunters are celebrated for shooting them.
It is time that Kansas rethink its policies on euthanizing wild animals. Sign this petition to demand that these officers receive empathy training and to ask the Department of Wildlife in Kansas to change its policies.
Dear Secretary Jennison,
Recently a deer was shot by game wardens after it had become attached to a local family in Ulysses, Kansas. The officers that killed the deer were acting, in their minds, to protect the family from a deer attack or from diseases that the deer potentially had. Despite their intentions, their actions resulted in the death of an innocent animal and the grief of a family.
The deer could have been relocated with a little extra work by the officers. The shooting should not have taken place on the Mcgaughey property. Some creative thinking could have spared this poor deer’s life and the family grief. Please see to it that these officers receive empathy training so that they are better able to cope with emotionally charged situations like this, and see to it that the Department of Wildlife in Kansas changes its policies on euthanizing wild animals.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: SandJLikins