Police slit throat of severely injured young deer in Medicine Hat neighbourhood – CTV News

Police slit throat of severely injured young deer in Medicine Hat neighbourhood - CTV News
MHPS looking for help to identify robbery suspect
Officials with the Medicine Hat Police Service say they support the actions of their officers following a Friday morning incident where an injured fawn was killed with a knife.

Medicine Hat resident Denis Bagarić was driving to work when he spotted an injured deer walking across the road and towards some homes. "The animal went and sheltered itself in a corner, right beside a persons door."

Alberta police force defends 2 officers who killed an injured deer with a knife

According to police, MHPS officers responded to the 500 block of 3rd Street Northwest after Alberta Fish and Wildlife was notified of an injured deer in the area but its members were unable to attend the scene. Police located a severely harmed deer suffering from injuries that were suspected to be the result of an encounter with a vehicle. The deer had two fractured legs and a severed leg.

MHPS officials say the officers determined the animal was mortally wounded and a decision was made to kill the deer. Given the fact the animal was located near several homes, police elected to kill the animal with a knife instead of a firearm.

“If a vet could euthanize the animal using a drug or tranquilizer of some sort, it would’ve been better than a police cruiser, tire iron or tactical knife,” she said. “While the vehicle didn’t work out particularly well, quite frankly, I think it would’ve been worse to use a baton, tire iron or a knife.”

Bagarić says he saw officers approach the animal and he questioned their plans. "The cop was putting on his gloves and I said Youre not going to put the animal down, are you?," Bagarić told CTV Calgary. "He said well, the animal is missing its legs so were going to put it down."

Police attempted to notify residents in the immediate vicinity of what was occurring and a barrier was put in place to shield citizens from witnessing the death

Determining the deer to be mortally wounded, officers “concluded that the safest way to end the animal’s suffering would be to use a knife,” the service said, adding that a firearm wasn’t an option due to the proximity to houses.

"I thought he was going to pick up the deer and take it to a field or let a vet deal with him, or some sh**, but to whip out a knife and start stabbing it? I think thats disgusting."

“Prior to proceeding, the officers attempted to contact surrounding residents to advise them of the occurrence, and placed a barrier to obscure the view from the public, as they understood it would be traumatic to any witnesses.”

Bagarić recorded the officers killing the deer and shared the video on social media. The post garnered stark criticism of the actions of police.

"Theres so many different ways to do it," said Bagarić. "To slit its throat in between two houses in a residential area?"

"The MHPS is aware of a video that is circulating on social media of this incident and understand that it is disturbing. The MHPS supports the actions of the involved officers, who took the matter very seriously and attempted to mitigate the trauma to the injured deer and the public as much as possible."

“There’s just got to be a better way,” he said. “There could’ve been so many better ways of doing that like taking it to a field, or bringing a vet down.

The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team, the provincial body that oversees the conduct of police services, says it has not been directed to investigate this incident with the Medicine Hat Police Service.

Sue Hughson, ASIRTs executive director, told CTV News in an email that the situation reflected a similar incident in Lethbridge that took place earlier this year.

"Past a certain point, there are generally only a series of very bad options to euthanize an injured animal and none of them are easy or pleasant, without the assistance of a veterinary professional or an easily-accessed [Fish and Wildlife] officer."

A screen grab from a video shared on Denis Bagarić shows the area Medicine Hat police officers killed a mortally wounded deer on Sept. 13, 2019.

The agency was called to investigate in that instance and, ultimately, there were no charges laid against the officer involved.

The Medicine Hat Police Service is standing by two of its officers after they had to slit the throat of a fawn seriously wounded Friday morning.

An injured fawn was killed by the Medicine Hat Police Service on Friday, September 13 (image: Denis Bagarić)

Bagarić said he hopes that veterinarians, or someone else, could come in and euthanize wounded wildlife in the future.

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The Medicine Hat Police Service is defending two of their officers after controversy over how they dealt with an injured deer.

ASIRT executive director Susan Hughson referred to a 15-minute video that went viral after the incident.

Police said that two officers were called out to a residential area of the community on Friday, where they found a severely injured deer.

The animal was missing a leg and had two other badly fractured legs. Police said that the deer was likely hit by a car.

The responding officers determined they couldn’t shoot the deer because they were too close to homes, so they decided that using s knife was the safest way to quickly euthanize the animal.

However, a Medicine Hat resident saw the scene while driving to work. He said he couldn’t believe the way that the officers choose to deal with the situation.

The resident took video of the officers and posted it online. Police are aware of the video, and said they agree it is disturbing, but stand by the officers.

““The MHPS supports the actions of the involved officers, who took the matter very seriously and attempted to mitigate the trauma to the injured deer and the public as much as possible,” the police service said in a statement.

“I thought he was going to pick up the deer and take it to a field or let a vet deal with him,” he said. “But to whip out a knife and start stabbing it? I think that’s disgusting.”