News that BC woman is permitted to keep pet deer brings mixed feelings
On the one hand, I was quite happy to read on CTV.ca that the government of British Columbia has softened its stance against Janet Schwartz keeping the deer she found orphaned as a fawn and has kept as a pet for ten years. For once, someone has shown some common sense and has placed the welfare of the animal over the standing laws of the province.
What good would it have done to release this animal to the wild when it’s obvious it has been so domesticated it would most likely not survive?
On the other hand, who will pay for the consultative relationship between Ms. Schwartz and the provincial veterinarian and conservation office staff? I do hope it won’t be the taxpayer.
Although I understand the love of a pet, there is a line to be drawn here. The deterrent to anyone taking a wild animal in the future could be the likelihood of having to pay the costs of such consultation and assistance from the federal government. This is a perfect opportunity to set an example illustrating that there is a price to pay for making a pet of a wild animal.
Where’s the deterrent if the taxpayer pays?
When the owner is not in a position to pay, the next best course of action (although definitely not a deterrent) would be to obtain the sponsorship and assistance of an animal welfare or conservation organization to assist with the management, care and costs. Although this would be much less of a deterrent, it would at the very least ensure the health and well-being of the animal.