UPDATE: Deer being rehabilitated by Riner hunter put down Tuesday
The deer a Riner hunter found over the weekend and tried to rehabilitate was put down Tuesday.
Brandon Parsons said he got a call from an officer with the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries in the morning.
He wanted to have the deer checked out by a VDGIF vet.
VDGIF said the vet feared the deer was paralyzed and would never walk. There was also a concern of rabies, which can only be tested after the animal is dead.
Despite an agreement Parsons believed he had with the officer that the deer could live for seven days to see if it would get better, they decided to kill the deer.
VDGIF and the Health Department took the deer before Parsons could get home.
"What they've done today, it's frustrating," he said. "It bothers me that they didn't even give me the chance to get home to tell him goodbye, to be a part of when they put him down. That hurts, man, that's disrespectful."
Parsons said he had 317 contacts in Virginia and 40 zoos that wanted to take the deer, which he named Bucky.
He said four local shelters offered to take Bucky and pick him up Wednesday morning.
DGIF wildlife veterinarian and a public health veterinarian both diagnosed this deer of displaying clinical signs of rabies. According to public health requirements and the concern for public safety, the deer was taken, properly euthanized, and is being tested today to determine if it does have rabies. The deer had to be euthanized to complete the rabies testing. Since this animal had been in contact with people, human health could be compromised, and the Virginia Department of Health will handle potential impacts to human health should the deer test positive for rabies. Human mortality from rabies, if not treated, is virtually 100 percent.