What is with the fresh round of stories about law enforcement (enjoying?) shooting animals? Animals who might not be that injured. Animals shot in front of families. Animals shot for no reason but the thrill of the kill? But then imagine afterward, you being the one who might be under arrest – and getting your car impounded!
When other countries are emulating the exact same actions, that’s a sorry sign.
A few days ago in Chelsea, Quebec, Greg Searle was driving down a highway and witnessed a fawn hit by a vehicle. He carried it to the roadside. While unable or unwilling to walk with hind legs, there were no signs of injury except a couple of scratches, as you can see from the actual photo above.
Searle checked to see if there might be internal injuries and called his wife, Samantha, who has experience with animals and helping with law enforcement – she took her young daughter. His intent was to get rescuers since he could tell it would not soon die – it could keep living with some attention.
He pulled up and without hesitation insisted it was his job to shoot the fawn. The whole Searle family and bystanders pleaded with him – it might not be dying – and pleaded to be able to take it for medical treatment. Greg had a rescue plan and offered to take care of all of it – they had reached some veterinarian help. But to no avail…
“You need to move aside so I can end its suffering,” said the brave officer.
That’s when Samantha got vocal and tried harder to reason while standing over the deer:
How can you be sure it’s going to die? Are you a vet?
Even if it’s your job to end it’s suffering, you have the discretion to give us some time to try to find someone qualified to help it first. I worked as a civilian with the police for two years, and did plenty of ride-alongs, and I know other cops who wouldn’t rush this.
Officer Roy was adamant repeatedly told her to move aside and repeated that it was his job. This is when he made repeated threats to arrest her, emphasizing that she would have a criminal record several times.
If you don’t move, you will end up with a criminal record.
The daughter began crying and hugging her father’s legs while Roy called in for backup. He told Samantha this was her final warning. Greg had Samantha take their daughter home so she wouldn’t have to witness what happened next, which is where the photo leaves off. Greg has had to put animals out of misery, but “couldn’t understand the officer’s haste and inflexibility.”
Passing back over the scene a few minutes later, Officer Roy followed Greg and pulled over his pick-up truck that had been given to him recently by his father. The plates were one day expired. Greg offered to make other arrangements for driving but again to no avail. The officer confiscated the keys and impounded the truck, now still locked away.
Metronews Canada reports:
The force’s spokesman Martin Fournel said the officer couldn’t legally allow Searle and Biron to drive off with the animal. Fournel told the paper police are empowered to end an animal’s suffering and the constable made a judgment call. Fournel also told the Low Down the impounding of Searle’s vehicle was simply the officer doing his job.
There are people in law enforcement who are called heroes for saving injured animals. You can see stories like that for a change on Real Men Are Kind to Animals. Wouldn’t you think Internet heroism would encourage better behavior? A lot of them don’t seem to mind being high-profile animal killers.
Searle’s petition: Improve police protocol for handling injured wildlife & citizens assisting
See his crowdshare fund to help wildlife rescues to reach animals before they get shot