Local Protest Planned Against Deer Killings
STATESVILLE, NC- More than 31,000 people have signed a petition to try and put a stop to the killing of tame deer in the Charlotte area.
A local protest is scheduled for Tuesday in support of a man, who says he watched four deer being killed on his property.
"All I saw was lifeless deer being drug in tarps up the hill and thrown in the back of a truck," said Jill Collins, a Statesville resident.
John Rideout and his girlfriend Jill Collins spent the last five years raising these four deer in Mooresville, most of which they found injured. The deer were like family.
In March, four officers from the North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission showed up and euthanized four deer on his property. Rideout was issued a warrant for “possession of wildlife without a permit”.
"What has given wildlife such an authority to just come out and murder animals without probable cause. There's no jury, there's not trial, there's no evidence of them being sick," said John Rideout.
Sergeant Jeremy Harrill with the NCWRC says Rideout was raising the deer illegally and because they were taken care of for so many years, they couldn't survive in the wild.
"It's really unfortunate because the only course of action that we have in this situation where they were adult animals is to euthanasia them," said Harrill.
Rideout will fight charges here in Statesville at the Iredell County Hall of Justice on Tuesday, June 26.
Protestors connected to the online petition, “Stop North Carolina Wildlife Commission from Killing Tame Deer and Fawns”, plan to protest outside of the court on Tuesday.
Protestors will join him. Organizers of the protest say they want Rideout's charges dropped.