West Kelowna vet says he’s been threatened after baby deer euthanized

A West Kelowna veterinarian who tried to save a baby deer from euthanasia is dealing with the fallout of what he says was a very difficult situation.

“They threatened [my staff], they threatened my business,” said Rose Valley Veterinary Hospital veterinarian Moshe Oz, describing calls he’s received from angry residents.

“I tried to do everything I can.”

On Friday night, Oz was forced to euthanize an injured baby deer named Gilbert. Oz hoped that a permanent facility could be found for Gilbert in the short time he had, but he was unable to.

“It was a difficult day for all of us,” he said. “God knows I tried to do everything I can.”

Originally, Oz was given two days to find a facility to house Gilbert by the B.C. government. He was then granted a 24-hour extension to find a home for Gilbert, but the fawn expired on Friday night.

Wild animals are not allowed to be transported outside of a 200-kilometre radius of where they are found, according to the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development.

After Gilbert was euthanized, the ministry said in a statement that the deer’s injuries, even with surgical intervention and the use of a prosthetic leg, were irreparable.

“Removing the deer’s leg, even if fitted with a device to help it walk, would significantly hinder its quality of life and would create significant health issues in the long term,” the ministry said.

“Ministry staff contacted the vet to determine the best approach to help the injured deer. Together, it was determined the most humane course of action is to euthanize the deer.”

Oz said that although he was saddened by the decision, “we live in a state that has laws, we have to do it, we have to listen to it and we have to obey.”

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