Warwick Valley Humane Society helps rescue deer with broken leg

| 15 Feb 2012 | 10:28

Warwick — A yearling doe is recovering with a broken leg at the Warwick Valley Humane Society’s Animal Shelter. On Sunday morning, Nov. 20, Suzyn Barron, president of the Humane Society, was heading to the shelter for a board meeting when she received a call from Animal Control Officer Rebecca Hanlon. She told Barron that a resident on Fairview Avenue had reported there was an adult deer with a broken rear leg stuck in a deep basement window well against the house. Barron met Hanlon at the house. “If the deer’s rear leg wasn’t broken,” Barron recalled, “she could have just jumped out. I knew we needed some sedative along with people from the Fire Department to help us.” Wildlife rehabber Tim Adams, who has extensive knowledge of deer, also came out to help. He slid a large piece of plywood between the deer and the window knowing that if the doe became agitated she most likely would kick out the window and suffer more injuries. He then slid into the window well beside the doe and, to calm her, gently slipped a ski mask over the deer’s head. Dr. Pam Shultz of Orchard Grove Animal Hospital soon arrived to inject a sedative. In a few minutes the doe was loose limbed and appeared to be calm and relaxed. With a combination of muscle power and expertise, volunteers from the Warwick Fire Department raised the animal to ground level. The mask was then removed and her eyes were checked for awareness. “Those of us who work around animals know that when an animal is in distress,” said Barron, “we work quietly so as not to spook them.” Someone, however, called out and the doe went into panic mode and took off. The rescuers tracked her through a few backyards until she ended up in a woodsy area and collapsed. Later, the doe’s rear leg was examined and discovered to be infected and broken in at least three places. “So instead of carrying her the length of a driveway,” explained Barron, “we now had to carry her at least five driveway lengths to the shelter truck for transport plus further examination and a decision.” Barron and her staff soon decided to give the deer a chance. The veterinarian administered a strong, long-lasting antibiotic. Their last obstacle, however, was quickly getting a pen readied in the Dr. Joseph W. Adams Rescue and Recovery Center, which sits on the rear of the shelter property away from the main kennels. Westtown Contractor David Cutler, who recently re-built the shelter’s collapsed kennel roof, had also erected a stationary roof over the center. And for her Silver Girl Scout Award, Sinead Brosnan had arranged for a new concrete pad. The center was a level, dry and quiet area away from the noise and busy activity at the shelter’s main building. The shelter’s newest resident, the injured doe, is safe for the time being and will hopefully be soon released back into the wild. “However,” Barron admitted, “we are unsure at this time if there is anything we can do medically, other than administer antibiotics, to help heal her leg.