A family brought Giggles to the Society of St. Francis, a Wisconsin no-kill animal shelter near the Illinois border, because they believed the fawn had been abandoned by her mother. Roy Schulze, an employee, set up a stall with a food dish and a suspended milk bottle for the animal. He also videotaped it for sentimental reasons. He named her after the sound she would make. Giggles was scheduled to be transported to an Illinois wildlife reserve that rehabilitates fawns so they can re-enter the wild when they are older.
Giggles died in Wisconsin.
Roy was working in the barn when they arrived: squad cars filled with nine Department of Natural Resources officers and four deputy sheriffs. When he spoke to WISN news, he said of the armed group, “It was like a SWAT team.” They were “all armed to the teeth.”
Their warrants looked like a military planning operation too. It included aerial photographs of the farm and a description of how agents had snuck up to the border of the property to spy out the farm. They spotted the fawn that way. This was information they could have gained simply by calling the shelter and chatting with Roy. As far as I know DNR didn’t requisition a drone, but the unnecessary expense and work is still amazing.
Rather than asking Roy about the location of the fawn, the gunmen showed warrants and herded all the staff to an outside location. Then they dispersed to search the property. Roy still clung to hope:
“‘I was thinking in my mind they were going to take the deer and take it to a wildlife shelter, and here they come carrying the baby deer over their shoulder. She was in a body bag,’ Schulze said. ‘I said, “Why did you do that?” He said, “That’s our policy,” and I said, “That’s one hell of a policy.”’”
The print article doesn’t include it, but on the video news story Roy admits he cried. He still has nightmares.
The local news crew spoke by phone to “Supervisor Jennifer Niemeyer.” This is the exchange that tells you everything you need to know about the cult of violence that has now infiltrated the minds or our badged guardians:
“‘Could you have made a phone call before showing up, I mean, that’s a lot of resources,’ WISN 12 News investigative reporter Colleen Henry asked. ‘If a sheriff’s department is going in to do a search warrant on a drug bust, they don’t call them and ask them to voluntarily surrender their marijuana or whatever drug that they have before they show up,’ Niemeyer said.”
So there you have it. Because we have a rationale for violently raiding homes without warning for the drug war (a process that kills many innocents, incidentally), we have now been taught how to deal with every single case.
WISN 12 News, needing to keep a reputation as a “neutral” reporting service, didn’t ask why equating the Society of St. Francis with a suspected Meth Lab was supposed to justify the DNR’s tactics.
But the logic is insane. Shelter president Cindy Schultz says she is suing the DNR for taking Giggles without a court hearing. I hope she wins. And I hope many others find a way to de-SWAT-ify our nation’s swarming army of wannabe drug warriors.
Living in terror of unpredictable armed raids is not the American way.