Deer wearing collar and marked ‘pet’ draws concern

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The Missouri Department of Conservation has drawn attention to a deer most likely taken out of the wild as a fawn and kept as a pet. Area residents had been surprised when spotting the two year old deer with a collar around its neck, and the word “pet” having been painted on the side of its body.

It was the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office who posted the photo on their Facebook page explaining that an officer had been dispatched to DeSoto, a rural area in Missouri, to investigate the incident which had quickly gone viral online.

The photo shows the deer looking directly into the camera as it walks around grazing on the soft grasses in the open field. A multi colored collar was around its neck, and the word PET painted in capital letters painted across its body.

The Missouri Department of Conservation wants to emphasize that wild animals should not be considered pets, and deer should not be moved or relocated from their natural habitats. Any orphaned baby deer should be reported to the Conservation Office, however it is well known that mothers often leave their fawns alone for awhile and later return.

The incident was reported on September 27; the deer was gone by the time authorities arrived.

Wild animals should not be considered pets, and particularly deer should not be moved from their habitat as the (MDC) works on Chronic Wasting disease.

Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office

Chronic Wasting Disease affects deer, elk, reindeer, sika deer and moose and is a rare neurodegenerative disorder. Beside the chance of carrying and/or transmitting disease, sometimes “pet” deer can become aggressive during mating season.

If the conservation officers are able to capture the deer, they will remove the animal’s collar, remove the word “PET” and try to return the animal to the wild.

Please everyone; we are well aware of the heartlessness of hunting season, but this isn’t the way to keep wild animals wild.

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