“Worst injuries ever” says wildlife rescuer

Rescuers have been left stunned and shocked after dealing with two severely injured dog attacked baby deer in 3 days. Volunteer rescuers from East Sussex Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service (WRAS) were called out to Earls Down (between Battle and Heathfield) on Tuesday after a retriever caught a fallow deer fawn and again on Thursday to a fawn which was caught in stock fencing and then attacked by a Labradoodle dog just south of Dallington (again between Battle and Heathfield). In the past month they have also had 3 other incidents to deal with too.

"On Tuesday we rushed to the aid of the first deer and had to walk across several fields and then a short search for the deer which was hidden in bracken. But sadly the poor creature had passed away shortly before we arrived. The second on Thursday was still alive and the deer had been carried back to the farm buildings. She was in such pain and discomfort plus trying to stand up and get away but she couldn't. Both deer had the worst injuries I have ever seen in dog attacked baby deer before," said WRAS founder Trevor Weeks MBE.

Both deer had horrendous wounds around their hips and thigh. "In youngsters we will consider amputation but it wouldn't be possible in either of these cases due to the extent of the damage. The second baby just south of Dallington was given emergency medication on site and our vet authorised us to sedate the deer due to the severity before being transported to the nearest veterinary practice – Heathfield Vets – where they kindly put the young animal to sleep" added Trevor.

"Words can't describe how sickening these incidents have been. It was clear that both dog owners were genuinely upset and concerned afterwards. One lady was surprised that her dog could cause so much damage. WRAS would urge people during June, July, August and September to be careful when in areas where they know there are deer, fawns will frequently be left hidden in bracken, long grass, and shrub land so please either avoid these areas, keep your dog under control or if not obedient enough keep them on a long lead. I take my hat off to the people who called us as they did everything right in dealing with the aftermath and were extremely helpful, but it is unfortunate that all these cases have ended so badly" said Trevor.

"This year has been a bad year for baby deer, we have had 9 babies and all of them have been fatalities. Such baby deer trauma cases are very expensive, they frequently costs us over £1000 to treat and rehabilitate back to the wild, and they are so labour intensive and the veterinary operations and treatment are long winded and expensive. We hope that our on-going educational work will help reduce down such incidents from happening," added Trevor.

WRAS's funds are limited and the average cost of a single call-out is approximately £75, if anyone is able to help WRAS to reduce down and stop the suffering of wildlife, which unlike its domestic cousins does not have pet insurance or owners to look after them, then please make a donation to East Sussex WRAS. Donations can be made online or by phoning 01825 873003, or by post to East Sussex WRAS, PO Box 2148, Seaford, East Sussex, BN25 9DE.

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Press Contact: Trevor Weeks - East Sussex WRAS: 01825 873003 or 07931 523958

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