Family’s Pet Deer Shot & Killed In Front of Them

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Outrage is the only word that describes what a rural Ulysses (western Kansas) family is feeling after game wardens shot and killed a deer, directly in front of them, that they considered to be a pet. Kim Mcgaughey told NBC that the mule deer was “very much a big pet” and that there was “no reason for her to be killed.”

Faline the deer, named after Bambi’s friend from the Disney movie, was allowed inside the Mcgaughey’s house and often took walks with the family, but the game wardens advised them that, in Kansas, it’s illegal to keep a wild animal as a pet. The Witchita Eagle also reported that wildlife officials were concerned that the deer could also hurt people or spread disease.

Family’s Pet Deer Shot & Killed In Front of Them

Photo: Wikimedia

The family advised that although it was their neighbors who in fact found the deer, Mcgaughey herself felt an “instant connection” upon meeting her. Daughter, Taryn Mcgaughey, also had pictures of the deer standing on the couch in their home and being hugged by family, as well as her 8-year-old son playing with the pet. When the deer disappeared for a few days, Kim Mcgaughey turned to Facebook to post in hopes that friends or family had seen it. That’s when game wardens became involved and she was issued a ticket for “unlawful possession of wildlife without a permit.”

Family’s Pet Deer Shot & Killed In Front of Them

Photo: Flickr/Mike Tidd

Three game wardens met at the family’s home and made the decision that it wouldn’t be safe to capture the deer and there was some concern that the animal could be carrying chronic wasting disease (CWD). As the wardens herded the animal towards the site it would be euthanized, Taryn Mcgaughey filmed the process. Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism secretary, Robin Jennison, has commented that he is confident the wardens were within their bounds and noted, “All of our people have a real heart for wildlife,” he said. “I can’t imagine any of our employees enjoying something like this.”


NBC Los Angeles