SPICEWOOD, Texas (KXAN) — Why is there a deer running around Spicewood with a collar on? It’s a question resident Fifi Compton and fellow neighbors want an answer, and a resolution, to.
A lifelong animal lover, Compton first noticed the deer on her property off Hwy. 71 and Hazy Hills Drive in July. The fawn, no more than three to four months old, appeared to be wearing a small dog’s collar. As the fawn has grown, however, Compton said the collar continues to get tighter, with neighbors concerned for the safety and well-being of the animal.
“My whole life has always been about animal welfare and just, I just have such a heart for them,” she said. “It’s important to me, just saving any of their lives.”
Compton contacted the Austin Wildlife Rescue, with officials telling KXAN Sunday that the center only rehabilitates orphaned, sick and injured wild animals.
Representatives from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department told KXAN Monday its wardens limit responses to those that pose a threat to the community.
“Texas Game Wardens normally only respond to nuisance wildlife calls if the animal is immobile or a danger to the community,” officials said. “We encourage everyone to keep wildlife wild and enjoy them from afar.”
Taking matters into her own hands, Compton launched a fundraiser on Saturday to hire a licensed deer rehabilitator to safely contain the deer and remove the collar before releasing it to the wild. Game wardens, sheriffs, deputies, veterinarians and animal control officers do not handle specific cases such as this one, she said.
Without intervention, rehabilitators told Compton the deer will suffocate as it continues to grow.
To date, the fundraiser has collected $770 out of a goal of $1,500. Compton said she has received varying information from professional rehabilitators on the costs of service; if the assistance is performed free of charge, she said she will refund all the money raised to its donors.
“It hasn’t even had a chance to live,” she said. “It’s so beautiful, it just didn’t deserve it.”