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Waynesville city administrator explains officer's actions in shooting fawn
WAYNESVILLE, Mo. (June 15, 2010) — City Administrator Bruce Harrill issued a statement Tuesday morning explaining the decision by a Waynesville police officer to shoot a baby deer last week outside Mid-Missouri Credit Union.

The decision to shoot the fawn in the credit union parking lot has sparked significant anger in some parts of the Pulaski County community, along with a statement of regret by Missouri Department of Conversation agents that neither of the two agents in Pulaski County were available to respond. The local agent was off duty and the district supervisor, who also lives in Pulaski County, was at a meeting in West Plains.

Harrill’s statement called the incident “unfortunate” and noted that the city officer involved in the shooting doesn’t like to shoot adult deer, let alone fawns.

“I talked with this officer and this incident was personally upsetting to her as she will not hunt because she does not like to shoot animals, but she had to destroy this deer in the course of her duties,” Harrill said.

The officer’s action was based on a chain-of-command decision “that the deer was sick and/or diseased and needed to be humanely put down,” Harrill said.

“After arriving on the scene and evaluating the condition of the deer, the police officer did shoot the animal twice, as it required more than one shot to dispatch the animal,” Harrill said. “I understand that the decision to destroy this animal was based on an observation of the deer, which was lethargic and had a green/diarrhea discharge. It has been speculated that the mother deer may have been a deer recently hit and killed by a car a few days earlier. In any event, based on the condition of the deer and the statistics on rehabilitation efforts, it is uncertain that this young deer would have survived.”

Harrill said efforts are ongoing to review the city’s animal control practices.

“I understand the concerns of the community and we will continue to make every effort now and in the future to ensure that wild and tame animals are handled in a humane manner,” Harrill said.

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