Bucky and Snowball
150 words to the Oregonian -
To The Editor:
In defending its treatment of “Bucky and “Snowball” the deer, the
Department of Fish & Wildlife has said that deer “belong to everybody in
the state of Oregon, not just a few people.” If this is indeed the case,
why then does the department encourage hunters to slaughter them and take
them from the ninety-three percent of Oregonians who do not hunt?
The answer is that the department profits from the destruction of
wildlife through the sale of hunting permits and the collection of excise
taxes affixed to the price of weapons, ammunition and hunting equipment.
The agency entrusted to protect wildlife is actually in the business of
exploiting and destroying wildlife.
Hopefully Bucky and Snowball will be returned to the Molalla family
that has loved and cared for them for their entire lives, because to Fish
and Wildlife, their lives are worth only the cost of a hunting license.
Joe Miele, Vice-President
The Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting
New Paltz, NY 12561
Snowball, the deer, won't be returned to the wild
Posted by The Oregonian September 19, 2007 06:21AM
Categories: Breaking News, Clackamas County
Doug Beghtel Francesca Mantei and her Molalla family hope state
wildlife officials will return two deer they have kept as pets, Snowball
and her yearling buck, Bucky.
Under no conditions will Snowball the deer be returned to the wild, the
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and announced today.
Wildlife officials were still waiting for lab results that could help
determine the fate of the mottled 6-year-old doe and her yearling buck,
Bucky, both seized Sept. 12 from a Molalla family that kept them as pets.
"Going back into the wild for the doe is not an option," said Rick
Hargrave, a spokesman for the state wildlife agency. "It's got some
degenerative abnormalities that would preclude it from surviving in the
Bucky, he said, was a better candidate for release, the agency's
preferred alternative, because he was exhibiting an "aversion to human
contact" and the type of "flight behaviors that they'd use in the wild."
Officials also are considering placing the deer at a licensed wildlife
refuge or returning Snowball to Jim Filipetti and his family. Filipetti's
attorney met with state officials Tuesday and was still seeking a
Pet Deer Seized From Oregon Family
Posted on Friday, September 14th, 2007 at 8:00 am in News for Cats, Dogs &
Owners, National Dog, Cat & Pet Info, Portland, Other Pets.
By Emily Huh
Itchmo comes to you when called.
An Oregon family pleaded and begged with police and wildlife officers
for eight hours on Wednesday to keep their two pet deer, Snowball and
But the family lost their fight to keep their pets, and now they are
utterly heartbroken. Authorities took Snowball, a 6-year-old doe, and
Bucky, her yearling buck, away from their home.
The animals will be evaluated by veterinarians. They will either be
transferred to a licensed wildlife facility, released into the wild or
Under Oregon state law, it is illegal to keep most wildlife in
captivity without a permit.
Wildlife officials said there were health and disease concerns with
keeping deer as pets. They added that the deer “belong to everybody in the
state of Oregon, not just a few people.”
Six years ago, while Jim Filipetti was driving with his children, he
saw a white fawn with brown spots lying on the roadside. She was weak and
had deformed back legs and hooves that curved inward. This deformity
caused her pain and injuries when she tried to walk.
Filipetti took the fawn and brought her to a veterinarian. The
veterinarian fit her deformed legs with tiny casts to straighten them. The
family put carpet scraps on the floors to prevent Snowball from sliding.
She even nibbled at their Christmas tree. Snowball was part of the family.
Snowball lived in the house for almost a year. She slept at the
family’s bed and learned from Tasha, the family cocker spaniel. She pawed
at people with her hoof when she wanted some attention.
After awhile, the family then moved Snowball to the yard. She mated
with a blind buck, Mr. Magoo, who also lived with the family for some time
before he died.
Bucky, her offspring, was born, and the two shared their yard with
pot-bellied pigs and roosters.
But in March, authorities received an anonymous tip that the family was
keeping deer on their property. State troopers inspected the property in
In some incidences, the state allows licenses to residents to care for
deer or elk, but the state limits the number of licenses to 16, and there
are none available. Also, animals must be legally required which the
family did not do.
Both deer are friendly, but Snowball acts more like a dog than a deer.
Authorities do not think that Snowball could survive on her own in the
wild, so they are looking for a zoo or wildlife refuge for her to go to.
If they cannot find a place for her, she would most likely be euthanized.
It seems that Bucky is suitable for relocation in the wild.
There has been public outcry over the authorities seizing the deer from
the family. Many Oregon residents said that Snowball and Bucky should be
returned to the family especially if the state may euthanize the deer.
They said the family took care of the deer and treated them like pets, and
they should be granted permission to keep them.
UPDATE: The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Director Roy Elicker
put out a statement this morning saying that the deer will not be
euthanized. They are looking at all types of options and one of those
options may be returning the deer back to the family. But they reiterated
that euthanasia would not be an option.
An Itchmo reader, Lynn, contacted the Oregon Department of Fish and
Wildlife, and this is the email response that she received:
We have received your comments regarding the two black-tailed deer that
were being held illegally at a private residence in Molalla. We are
working to find a solution that recognizes the families’ attachment to the
animals, but is in the best interest of the two deer and all of Oregon’s
Director Roy Elicker has publicly stated that the two deer will not be
euthanized. State veterinarians are now caring for the deer. They are
assessing their health and determining whether they have any diseases that
may be harmful to them or to other wildlife. Those results are expected
sometime this week.
The veterinarians are also evaluating the ability of the deer to
survive in the wild. In all cases, the preferred solution is to return the
deer to their native habitat.
Oregon law recognizes that wildlife should remain wild by prohibiting
private possession of wild animals. This protects the public, other
wildlife and the animals themselves.
The buck in this case has reached sexual maturity, is aggressive and
poses a potential threat to the family and the public. Wild animals that
are raised around people lose their natural fear of humans. The majority
of the wildlife attacks on humans are by deer and other animals that no
longer fear humans.
Private possession of wildlife also puts Oregon’s other wildlife at
risk. Chronic Wasting Disease and other diseases can be traced to
situations where animals are kept in captivity. Fortunately, Oregon has
not had any cases of this disease which is fatal to deer and elk.
Deer hair loss is another devastating disease that has had significant
impacts on Black-tail deer populations. We are taking every possible
precaution to prevent the introduction of diseases which could potentially
devastate our wild deer and elk populations. Prohibiting private
possession of wildlife is one way to prevent this from happening.
The law does allow for the licensing of facilities that are equipped to
properly provide long-term care for captive wild animals. These facilities
have ample room for the animals to roam and to graze on natural
vegetation. They provide adequate and proper feed. Their staff is properly
trained and equipped to respond to any situation that may arise. This
ensures that deer, elk and other animals held at these facilities receive
In closing, we are exploring all of the options available under Oregon
law. We are committed to finding a solution that provides proper care for
these two deer, protects public health and all of Oregon’s wildlife.
Source: The Oregonian
Photo: Oregon Live