Cruel and inhumane treatment; law must change

Wednesday, June 29, 2011, as I sat under the gazebo watching my son practice his routine on the trampoline, a young buck, probably not more than a year old,  came wandering down the driveway nibbling at the tall grass as he came closer. He stopped for a few minutes to observe the activity as if amazed by the sight before him.

Young Buck

This young buck is standing just 10 feet from where he will die, 2 days later.

He was an enchanting creature with velvety antlers  that seemed to  enjoy the sound of my voice, as I spoke to him in soothing tones.   This was not his first visit, his mother brought him by when he was just a wee fawn. I can still remember their last visit together. It was a touching moment and I didn’t understand what was happening at the time.

One  afternoon,  around 4 p.m.,  I sat alone on the deck, as if entranced, while four older fawns haltingly approached our yard. They were nosing around in the grass and eating bird seed, of all things. They played around a little and moved along. As the fawns were leaving, 4 mothers followed not far behind, they were chatting each other up and sparring a little, all while keeping a watchful eye on the fawns.

That was the last time they visited as a large group. It was as if the mothers were showing them the rounds, so they could care for themselves once they were out on their own. Sure enough, a few days later, a couple of fawns wandered through the yard and my lovely young buck would make the rounds every 2 or 3 days.

Velvet AntlersYesterday, the graceful buck was struck broadside by a passing motorist on the road, fracturing his left front shoulder and rear leg. My son and I were out for a walk, when he noticed the deer down a steep incline, on the side of the mountain overlooking our house. Under a great deal of brush –  he wasn’t moving.

He went to get his father (Shawn)  and I walked to the fireman’s house next door. I figured if anyone knew what to do, he would. He came down later to see what was wrong, but wasn’t able to help and left.

Shawn found the deer, amazingly enough, behind our house. It was obvious his leg and shoulder were broken, he was bleeding from his mouth and in undeniable distress. Shawn described him as  though he were a trout flopping around the boat, gasping for air.  Another neighbor, a former police officer from San Leandro, advised us to call animal control; so we did.

Fortunately, or unfortunately, as the case may be, I had the number handy. My cat disappeared only Wednesday evening and I had called to report her absence the day before. It was after hours at animal control. The recorded message told us to call the Sheriff’s dispatch, which  I did.

California Department of Fish and Game

Dispatch informed us their officers were busy (4th of July weekend traffic stops), but  she would send someone out as soon as possible. Two hours and 30 minutes  later I called back and was apprised that an officer was in route and should arrive momentarily. Over 3 hours had passed from the time we discovered the deer until the Sheriff actually put  him down.

While I waited, I tried to comfort the suffering buck. I spoke to him as I always have, trying to help calm him. I sang to him, prayed for him and cried for him while we waited.

I mentioned yesterday,  in  Ohio Modern Day Heroes that I used to have a farm, we would kill and butcher most of the animals ourselves. Our animals led a happy life, with good healthy food, music, freedom to wander, kids to play with (if they wanted to) and when it was time to put them down, we did everything in our power to do the deed as quickly and painlessly as possible. We loved our animals. They brought us great joy and happiness: they were giving their lives for us and we respected them for that. That is the natural way of life. But it broke my heart to stand and watch this magnificent creature die a slow and agonizing death, while I could do little more than stand helplessly by and watch.

The Sheriff informed us of what he was going to do – he had to put the deer out of its misery, which all agreed was for the best, and he informed us that it was a holiday weekend; he could shoot the deer but he was going to leave it IN OUR YARD. (If you have never smelled a rotting carcass, consider yourself blessed beyond measure.) We were fine with that. I’ve always believed in using every part of an animal and not to waste anything. My son even  taught himself how to tan hides, a long and complicated process.

We were also informed by the Sheriff that he couldn’t give us permission to keep it. I’m not exactly sure  what  he thought we were going to do with it. I knew one thing for sure, he did not  give his life for nothing. We covered him in a sheet, moved him to another location and  started watching video’s on how to dress out a deer. Neither of us had ever cleaned a deer but we  didn’t have much choice did we?  After all, it was 9:00 p.m., the deer had been shot, IN OUR YARD and left to decay.

My patient husband spent the next five hours cleaning the buck and preparing it for  processing. We called Dee’s Meats in Galt,  after hearing our story, the woman  from Dee’s told us to bring it in, they were open until noon. Perfect! We cleaned up and finally made it to bed around  2:00 a.m.; we were all back up at  8:30 a.m.,  with just enough time to load up the SUV and  make the long drive to Galt.  We arrived just in time — we thought —  as we  pulled into the parking lot at  11:50 a.m., only to be told they  could be closed down for processing our  deer  because we needed a tag from the California Department of Fish and Game (DFG).

I was really getting worried now, the temperature in Galt was a sticky 102 °F, or more. Working as quickly as possible Shawn and I both began dialing our cell phones, trying to talk to someone — anyone — at the Department of Fish and Game, to no avail. It was Saturday afternoon on a busy holiday weekend. There were police everywhere, but we couldn’t reach one single human being at the DFG. How could that be? Aren’t they supposed to be on duty, especially when people  head to the mountains, streams, lakes and rivers  in droves?

English: A white-tailed deer

Finally, we were given directions to  the house of a DFG  employee, who lived nearby. As luck (or not) would have it, he was home. The first thing he did was inform Shawn that he could charge him with taking a deer illegally, and that transporting it was yet another broken law. What? You’ve got to be kidding me! What kind of place is this? Who could be so cruel as to threaten to charge a man who had gone to such efforts; missing out on hours of work and sleep, to ensure that this deer was honored in his death.

I don’t blame this young DFG  employee. He was just doing his job, right? He was nice enough but just as quickly informed my husband that he couldn’t let us keep the deer. He continued that if a motorist hits a deer, he’s not allowed to keep it. They take that deer and donate it to the zoo or an animal refuge, like PAWS. Now, don’t misunderstand me, I love animals but this was our deer. He came here to our house to die or for comfort. He was shot here (by the Sheriff) and left IN OUR YARD. We didn’t keep the antlers because I couldn’t stand to look at them, knowing where they came from and their owner was dead but the meat would have provided for our family many nourishing meals. Aren’t people supposed to eat, too?

Why was no one available to help when this animal was suffering? We would have put the deer down ourselves, to keep him from suffering but we knew we would go to jail or at the very least be fined. We tried to do the right thing, but someone wasn’t on the job. This should not have happened and I don’t ever want to experience anything of this nature again. It’s  far too painful and completely unnecessary. I don’t want to live where people pay lip service about caring for animals and yet, a  living breathing animal is allowed to suffer for hours and die a painful death.

These asinine  laws must change. I can’t even claim that California cares more about its animals than it does people. It’s apparent that only caged animals deserve dignity, respect and care. I hate seeing animals in cages, it’s just plain cruel and any law that allows any animal to lie in pain is wrong. Please write your legislators and share my story if you care about the deer,  mountain lions, bears, cougars, etc…

Gee, I’m happy that the zoo animals will eat tonight but what about my family? Who will feed us? My husband works all night every Friday night, he took five hours out of his schedule and instead of sleeping, he cleaned a deer that was LEFT IN OUR YARD. We spent $60 in gas to drive to Galt to have the deer processed. That, California, is food that came out of my son’s mouth. Do we have to leave California to be treated fairly?

Update: It’s come to our attention that there’s a local organization, Rose Wolf Wildlife, that may have been able to assist us immediately with helping out this poor young buck. The next time this happens (and we’re sure it will), we’ll definitely give them a call.

 

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Political Posturing

I wrote an opinion  piece last night, in response to the Amazon Sales Tax debacle that hit the news late yesterday in California. As I sat here it occurred to me that grandma never got riled up much, unless it was after her bedtime beer, when she would get a little silly.

Grandma knew that things have a way of working themselves out. She would say things like, “It will all come out in the wash.” and one of my personal favorites, “Necessity is the mother of invention.”

Vegetable garden

Image by Downing Street via Flickr

Look around you at friends and neighbors. The folks who  are doing well right now, have found a need and they are filling it. People are switching careers, starting new businesses and it is because of,  the true pioneering spirit that built this nation.

More people are growing their own fruits and vegetables than ever before. Cooks are sharing recipes on their blogs and Facebook, along with money-saving  tips and financial strategies that work in these uncertain times.

As politicians continue to line their own pockets,  squeezing every dime possible from  the collective taxpayer  wallet, taxpayers invent new ways to cope and fight back. The skills possessed by our ancestors has not been lost. There are still plenty of us old-timers around who know how to cook (from scratch) and how to can food, sew and mend clothing, raise livestock, hunt, farm and many other things.  Many families will even prosper, in spite of facing fear and trepidation due to our failing economy.

I can still hear my dad taunting me with, “No guts, no glory!”

I mentioned in my previous piece that Amazon closed our account and California thinks that driving business out of the state will boost their sales tax revenues. Well, I want California to tighten its belt.  I want illegal immigrants sent home, where they belong instead of draining my social security benefits. (You know the ones I’ve paid my entire life but will never collect.)

My husband had a terrific idea, which I fully support. We’ve moved our amazon account to our kids, who live in Michigan — a state that was hit early and hard when the depression steam rolled this county. We frequently bought items for the grandchildren on Amazon with our affiliate revenue, the only difference is now their parents will receive the money directly and they can pay the taxes on it.

It’s a win, win situation and everyone’s happy — well almost everyone. I can’t image that the Governor of California or the California Franchise Tax Board will be too thrilled with my solution but I really don’t care what they like.

If you ask me… No one did but, in my opinion we should all stay home more, buy more things online. It will help cut our dependence on fossil fuels, it will help people lead happier more productive lives. Let’s face it, traffic is a nightmare these days. Instead of building more freeways and buying more cars, let’s stay home a little more. Many people already work a 4-day week. I think that is terrific. It saves you money, it’s good for the environment and the employer benefits by having a happier employee.

Wouldn’t it be terrific if everyone could condense their work-week or even work from home one or two days a week? There are many things we can to cut back.

Oh, and Amazon, pst. I have a secret, you aren’t the only online game in town. I happen to know of other online stores with terrific deals and free shipping. So, you’ll be seeing a little less of me right away and my business could disappear completely and we send a great deal of business your way.

Until next time…

Happy Fourth of July!

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Weathering the Storms of Life

Have you heard the latest news on Gun Ownership in the United States?

Household Gun Ownership Hits New Low–Fewer Than One Out of Three American Households Has a Gun

Gun-Free Households are a Substantial Majority, Gun-Owning Households a Shrinking Minority

Washington, DCHousehold gun ownership in the United States has dropped to its lowest level since it peaked in 1977 according to a report issued today by the Violence Policy Center (VPC) analyzing new data from the General Social Survey (GSS) conducted by the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago. The GSS has tracked household and personal gun ownership since the early 1970s and, except for the U.S. Census, is the most frequently analyzed source of information in the social sciences.

If this is true – and I don’t believe it is, simply because general distrust of our government has widely increased – wouldn’t it be just a little more conceivable that gun-owners have simply stopped registering their weapons? How do they account for guns sold in those states that have banned the federal registry of their guns? It would be impossible to keep any sort of accurate count in those states.

I know that the schools have done their best to make children afraid of guns and weapons with their idiotic “zero tolerance” policies that have expelled students for using a butter knife. It seems our so-called “tolerant” society isn’t all that tolerant.

What concerns me is what might happen when a major catastrophe hits, when  local government  services break down –  and they always do. Not only won’t you be able to protect your family against looters, but you won’t be able to protect the family cat or dog from a mountain lion either. Mountain lion sightings have become more and more common in populated areas due in part to their growing numbers combined with a shrinking habitat, as more and more houses are built.

All I can say is you better move near a river because you won’t be able to provide meat for your family either. Those without a gun will be at a definite disadvantage in their ability to feed themselves. We have plenty of wild  deer, squirrel and turkey in our neighborhood. If necessary, we could kill, dress and prepare food from the local wildlife in order to sustain ourselves.

When disaster strikes, will you be prepared?