CHEEKTOWAGA – A unique rescue operation was conducted Monday night after a fawn fell into an 8-foot utility pit on town property just off Losson Road.
The deer was discovered by a passing ATV operator just after 6:30 pm in a utility pit near a NYSEG power station on the 500 block of Losson Road.
The incident was an unusual one for Cheektowaga Police Sergent Caleb Harte.
“I thought through the options of getting the fire department involved to see if we could lift it out or are we just going to have to shoot it right there and dispatch the deer down in the hole because we couldn’t really tell if it was injured or not,” said Mr. Harte.
Cheektowaga Public Safety Dispatchers hit the phones calling in a crew from NYSEG to gain access to the property and tried to reach someone from the Erie County SPCA who passed on the number of Fuzzy Scherer of Fuzzy Fawn Wildlife Rescue in Williamsville.
“In this situation, the deer appeared to be uninjured and there was nothing wrong with it after it fell down into that pit, so we wanted to make sure we had a peaceful resolution to it, and we exhausted all options before we had to look to the other alternative,” added Mr. Harte.
Fuzzy Scherer tells Cheektowaga Chronicle that she got a call from a Cheektowaga dispatcher around 7:30 pm.
“I don’t even know what kind of hole it was, it was just a big hole with pipes in it,” said Ms. Scherer.
After she shot the fawn with a tranquilizer gun, she and Police Officer Garrett Slawatycki climbed down a ladder provided by the two-man NYSEG crew. She made sure the fawn was fully sedated before the deer was extricated.
“Once she was comfortable and relaxed we wrapped her up in a blanket. With the officer that went down with me, we hosted her up, and the men up on top pulled her up from there,” added Ms. Scherer.
The fawn was given additional medications for dehydration as a precaution, and a reversal drug was administered to wake her back up.
“Hopefully a happy ending. Sometime deer will get stressed and you just never know what could happen, but she was really healthy and in good shape, but nobody knows how long she was there,” said Ms. Scherer.
Believe it not, Ms. Scherer says this is a common occurrence, and the animal is hardly ever injured.
“In the winter time they’re on frozen ponds, lakes, creeks, they’re in ravines, they’re in ditches, in the mud and ice. Adult deer get stuck in a lot of situations. If someone finds one and they call, I’ll go get them out of there,” said Ms. Scherer.
The hole had an orange snow fence surrounding it to mark its existence according to Mr. Harte, but the fence wasn’t strong enough to keep the fawn out. After the rescue, the police officers and NYSEG took steps to remediate the hazard.
“We were able to cover up the hole with a piece of metal that NYSEG brought off their truck. We were able to cover it up so no other animals or anyone else would end up down there,” said Mr. Harte.