October 15, 2019
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Jeff and Jacqui Parker returned to their Clifford Street home in Port Dover on Monday afternoon to what sounds like a crime scene.There was a broken window, torn drapes, destroyed blinds, furniture knocked over, and blood over the floor and walls.The intruder was a female deer in good condition.Just after 2 p.m., an alert citizen parked across the street at Len’s Mill Store alerted police after spotting the doe breaking into the house through the living room window while the Parkers were away.The family and OPP soon arrived on scene and carefully entered the house.“It was standing there looking at us,” Jacqui Parker explained. “It stayed there for about an hour and a half, didn’t show an inclination to move.”They soon enlisted in the services of Chantal Theijn, founder of Hobbitstee Wildlife Rescue in Jarvis.Theijn came up with a game plan, which included closing blinds to prevent the deer from seeing an alternative getaway. Two officers formed a wall at the front door and, while holding a laundry rack, Theijn guided the animal out the patio door at the rear of the residence.“It worked out well,” said Theijn. “The deer was actually remarkably calm, it makes me wonder if somebody in the area is feeding deer because it didn’t seem to be too put out by my presence within the room.”“One of the OPP officers said ‘she’s talking to it, she’s a deer whisperer’,” Parker laughed. “It must’ve worked.”Officers were able to track the animal as it safely made its way across Highway 6 and into a wooded area near Concession 2.“It’s very dangerous to scare a deer, they can literally scare themselves to death … so it was just really nice this deer managed to handle this in as stress-free a manner as possible, which will certainly benefit the recovery,” said Theijn.When the news hit social media, some guessed the doe was seeking a reprieve from dropping temperatures, but Theijn debunked that theory.“It’s more or less a deer finding itself in an unusual location and getting spooked,” said Theijn, adding these situations take place a couple times per year locally. “Deer are pretty much unaffected by this kind of weather. Right now, because it hasn’t been cold for an extended period of time, there’s plenty of food for them.”Theijn said the alert citizen making the call did the right thing by notifying OPP and residents finding themselves in a similar predicament should do the same.“Do not make these efforts yourself,” she continued. “Adult deer can injure you in horrible, horrible ways. Those nimbly little legs are extremely strong, those feet are very sharp and the injuries you can get as a result are dangerous. This is really a situation you have to understand how these animals move and what makes them move.”The Parkers spent the rest of the day sweeping up shards of glass and cleaning their furniture – a nuisance to be sure, but they were glad everything worked out. The family thanked both the OPP and Theijn for their efforts, as well as the citizen who notified police.“I was happy not to see any severe injuries,” Parker said. “With the amount of blood we saw, we didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t want it to have to be put down.”“The cats were traumatized but they showed up later, they were OK.”jrobinson@postmedia.com

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