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Police find family feeding an orphan deer in US so they shoot it dead in front of them ‘because it was domesticated’
25 October 2023, 08:11 | Updated: 25 October 2023, 08:16
Police who shot dead a beloved ‘domesticated’ deer in the US have sparked a backlash among the local community.
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A police officer shot dead the deer, named Annie, on October 20 outside the home of Pamela Babb in Lawrence, Van Buren County in Michigan.
Footage on social media shows a police officer, David Loza, wrestling with Annie. After a struggle, a second video shows him shooting the animal dead.
He pins the deer to the ground and fires a single shot into the animal’s head, the deer jolts and goes limp.
Under Michigan law, only licensed rehabilitates can legally possess wildlife. Families are banned from keeping wild animals as pets.
Homeowner Pamela Babb told local outlet WWMT that her family rescued the animal and had raised it since it was a fawn.
She said police were at her property for an unrelated child support matter when officer Loza spotted the animal.
“He reached out and put his hand on her head and was able to touch her and he said she is domesticated and needs to be put down,” said Ms Babb.
WARNING: Video contains strong language
Warning this is hard to watch My Anne girl has been wrongfully shot by the police! Because she was a “pet” but has never...Posted by Nevaeh Sylvester on Friday, October 20, 2023
Nevaeh Sylvester, Babb's granddaughter, added: “Save her, I couldn't, I just wanted to so bad, but there is nothing we could have done. I just wanted her to be safe and she wasn't.
“'She was a piece of my family like a child or sibling, I was very close with her.”
Chief of Pokagon Band Tribal Police Mario RedLegs said in a statement: “The Pokagon Band Tribal Police is currently conducting an investigation regarding a deer being euthanized at the property of a suspect from Lawrence, Michigan, who was taken into custody for a warrant on Friday, October 20.
“The Pokagon Band Tribal Police were assisting Van Buren County Law enforcement and consulted with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
“The officer involved has been placed on Administrative Leave. We appreciate your patience in this matter, and we will provide an update once the investigation is complete.”
Furious residents are demanded justice and have created a Facebook group “Justice for Annie.”
One person commented in the group: “She was killed because the tribal officer said she was a danger! Heartless.”
Melissa Copen wrote: “Just my opinion but nothing.. NOTHING he says will make it right or bring her back.”
Shannon Bowman posted: “Can somebody tell me why he came to the house put the deer in that thing and then shot her? Like what was their story?
“Life is precious for all God’s creatures, that man is heartless, I’ll be praying for his soul.”
Rob Kirsop said: “Totally unnecessary. Very poor judgement from officer Loza. Laws are put in place to ensure safety but they don’t cover every situation. This animal did no harm. The people feeding her did no harm. Loza killed, distressing the deer beforehand and the people who watched. Hope you get justice for Annie”