Walker vows to avoid repeat of Giggles killing

THE ASSOCIATED PRESSand KENOSHA NEWS STAFF
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Gov. Scott Walker has entered the fray when it comes to Giggles, the fawn that state agents took from a no-kill shelter in Bristol and euthanized last month.

Walker on Monday said he asked members of his cabinet to study ways to avoid similar situations in the future.

“I don’t ever want to see something like that again,” Walker said.

The baby deer was brought to the St. Francis Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals shelter by an Illinois family who believed the animal had lost its mother. But on July 15, state Department of Natural Resources officials took the animal from the shelter and killed it, saying state law required that to prevent the spread of disease.

Jennifer Niemeyer, area warden supervisor for the DNR, last week said the deer could not be released because it was being held in an area known to have chronic wasting disease.

“We know this is very sensitive to a lot of people, and we’re empathetic to that, but there are laws about these things,” Niemeyer said. “We were doing our jobs and followed through with enforcing those laws.”

But shelter employees were critical of how the DNR handled the situation, saying the agency sent in what amounted to a swat team to execute a search warrant.

Rather than kill the animal, Cindy Schultz, president of the St. Francis Society, said she would have preferred the DNR allow the shelter to return it to Illinois, where deer rehab is allowed.

Schultz said she was happy to hear of Walker’s Monday comments, which she characterized as “a good start.”

“This united everybody,” Schultz said, of a story that took on a life of its own over the last week. “We had conservatives, liberals, Republicans, Democrats, hunters, animal rights people. These groups never get together, and they all did.”

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