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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Oh, deer: How a deer carcass occupied one Hillyard woman’s day

UPDATED: Thu., Aug. 2, 2018

A dead deer lays on the south side of Frederick Avenue at Julia Street, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2018, in Spokane, Wash. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
A dead deer lays on the south side of Frederick Avenue at Julia Street, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2018, in Spokane, Wash. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)

The carcass of a deer killed by a police officer drew some concerns from Hillyard residents as it lay uncollected along the side of Fredrick Avenue for most of Thursday.

Audre Kneff called the city in the morning to report an injured deer near her home. The deer was unable to walk – presumably because it had been hit by a car the night before, Kneff said.

“I went out to put some birdseed out for the birds, and I heard CRACK,” Kneff said. A police officer had arrived and shot the deer, she said. “It scared me, because I didn’t know he was there.”

It’s not uncommon for officers to put down injured deer, Spokane police Cpl. Ron Van Tassel said. Disposal of the body falls to other city entities.

The officer left after moving the deer to the side of the road, telling Kneff somebody would come to remove it.

But somebody else didn’t come.

So Kneff started calling people. She called the city help line. She called Fish and Wildlife. She called the city engineers. She called SCRAPS. She called TV stations. She called the newspaper. She called City Councilman Mike Fagan’s office.

“I think it was 9:30 when he shot the deer,” Kneff said. “It’s almost 85 degrees. The dead deer has been there all day long.”

Her maddening pursuit continued, she said, until somebody said there would be a person to clean up the carcass at 4 p.m.

“The front legs are hanging over the curb,” Kneff said.

She continued to wait.

At 5 p.m., Critter Control arrived and removed the deer.

“I thought maybe they were coming out with their knives and forks,” Kneff said. “They were waiting for it to cook out there.”

The city pays Critter Control to take care of those issues, one city help line receptionist said.

Critter Control had its people working a job in Idaho, which is why it took all day to get to the Hillyard site, the help line receptionist said.

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