Next time, call this Wakefield, Quebec vet

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by admin on March 31, 2010

The Editor,

I was overwhelmed with joy as I read how two brave young Wakefield, Quebec men risked their lives March 9 to rescue the deer that fell through the ice into the Gatineau River and that Quebec conservation officers came to help them with their follow-up.

Then I was appalled to read the article that appeared the next week (March 17 edition), stating that the officers did not put the deer out of its misery but left her to die in a secluded area of Gatineau Park. The article made it sound as if they were neglectful and uncompassionate. That was the part that really upset me.

I called Michel Bergeron, Gatineau wildlife protection services director, to get his side of the story. He said the officers thought the deer may have been in shock and might have had a chance to survive. Its external injuries were minor. After they dried her off (to reduce the chance of hypothermia), they left her in a “comfortable” place in the Park. So the officers were not uncaring and negligent as the article left me thinking.

Mr. Bergeron told the Low Down that it was thought the deer had been chased into the water by two dogs running loose. A deer would never venture onto ice on its own. People should not let their dogs run loose unattended.

I asked Mr. Bergeron to please call me at work or at home if any incident involving a wild animal reoccurs, where conservation officers think the animal has a chance to live. Veterinary care (even if only it is an assessment and maybe involves a few injections, bandaging, topical medications, etc.) could increase its survival chances.

Mark Froimovitch

Wakefield, Quebec