Save Pete the Moose

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Originally Posted: 28 November 2009

Save Pete the Moose


Tell the state of Vermont that Pete needs to be left with his rescuer, David Lawrence, or sent to a sanctuary...not killed.


Sign an online petition

And/Or better yet, make direct contact:

Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department
10 South
103 South Main Street
Waterbury VT 05671-0501
phone (802) 241-3700
fax (802) 241-3295


David Lawrence rescued a baby Moose who had been attacked by dogs and separated from his mother.

Pete the moose cannot legally be kept on the farm where he was raised.
David Lawrence got a call last spring about a baby moose that had been attacked by dogs and separated from his mother. Lawrence, a longtime farmer, named the moose Pete, and nursed him back to health, feeding him every day.

"He doesn't know if I'm a moose or if he's a person. We have a unique relationship and he loves me and I love Pete," said Lawrence.

A unique relationship that is, by definition, illegal.

"It's illegal to possess wildlife in the state of Vermont without a permit," says Wayne Laroche, commissioner of Vermont's Department of Fish and Wildlife.

But that's just the beginning -- Lawrence is raising Pete on a hunting reserve in Albany, Vt. It's a fenced-in area where people pay to shoot at herds of elk.

Officials fear that confined herds like these are breeding grounds for chronic wasting disease, a condition that can wipe out wildlife. And they worry that Pete, raised inside, could be a carrier.

"Once a disease enters a wildlife population, it's virtually impossible to ever eradicate it," said Laroche. "So you take that risk -- even if it's a small risk today -- you expand that risk out over the next 100 or 200 years. The losses that we could incur could be tremendous."

The state says Pete cannot stay on the farm or go into the wild. So Lawrence and his supporters are looking for a zoo or sanctuary to take him in, but so far, none will.

If no solution is reached by January, he could be killed.

"They don't need to kill Pete. Leave Pete alone. He ain't hurting anybody," Lawrence said.

Lawrence is no stranger to killing animals -- he used to hunt them in the wild.

"I shot my first deer when I was 13. I shot the last deer seven years ago," he said. "I just don't get anything out of it anymore, it makes me sad."

At 74, he says he won't be around much longer and just wants to find a place where Pete will be able to live out the rest of his natural life.

Thank you for everything you do for animals!