West Kelowna  

Injured fawn put down

UPDATE: 6:45 p.m.

Gilbert the fawn has been put down.

On its Facebook page, Rose Valley Veterinary Hospital said at 5 p.m. Friday afternoon, Gilbert was euthanized, as required by law.

The injured fawn has been in the care of the vet hospital since it was found at the side of the road with a broken leg Tuesday.

They had until 5 p.m. Friday to find a sanctuary for the fawn. That deadline passed with no resolution.

"When the wounded deer was brought to Rose Valley Vet this week Dr. Oz knew he would be faced with an uphill battle with layers of red tape. Despite all this, Dr. Oz chose to risk his license to fight for the chance to save Gilbert's life," the Facebook post stated.

"The past week has been a roller coaster, doing all we can to stabilize the young deer and provide him with the best care possible while trying to find him a suitable home. Unfortunately, we have exhausted all possible avenues. Our hands were tied and Gilbert has crossed the rainbow bridge."

Dr. Oz thanked Warren Peace Bunny Sanctuary for their time, the provincial government, especially MLA Ben Stewart for their tireless work and everyone who sent their love and support.

"Your efforts will not be in vain. Gilbert's legacy will be our driving force as we continue to work towards laws that support the humane rehabilitation of injured wildlife or, ideally, a licensed sanctuary here in the Okanagan.

"Nobody is more heartbroken than Dr. Oz and the staff at Rose Valley," the post concluded.

UPDATE: 12:30 p.m.

Gilbert the fawn has until 5 p.m. today to find a home – otherwise, it's the end of the line.

Dr. Moshe Oz at Rose Valley Veterinary Hospital says that is the deadline to secure a sanctuary for the fawn.

In the meantime, Gilbert is getting "lots of medicine, lots of love," says Oz.

He says he's still waiting hopefully for a call that would save the fawn's life, but so far there are no leads.

Part of the difficulty is because injured wild animals cannot by law be transported more than 200 kilometres from where they were found. This is to prevent the spread of disease.

Oz says he understands the limitations, but the situation points to a need for a wild animal sanctuary in the Okanagan.

If 5 o'clock rolls around without an answer, he won't have to hand the animal over to conservation officers, however.

"I'll have to do it myself," he said. "But it won't be easy, especially with those big, beautiful eyes blinking up at me."

ORIGINAL: 11:40 a.m.

Gilbert the fawn's fate may be decided today.

The injured fawn with a broken leg has been in care at Rose Valley Veterinary Hospital since being found on the side of a road in the North Okanagan on Tuesday.

Normally, injured wildlife are put down by conservation officers, but veterinarian Moshe Oz launched an appeal to save the baby deer and perform surgery on it. However, to do so, a permanent sanctuary must be found for the animal, as it would be unable to go back into the wild.

Forty-eight hours was given to find a home for Gilbert, and MLA Ben Stewart stepped in to secure a 24-hour extension.

As of this morning, Warren Peace Bunny Sanctuary reported Gilbert was "having a good day, enjoying breakfast and belly rubs. Tummy scratches are his favourite, and he stretches out while his little tail goes a mile a minute."

The sanctuary has been monitoring the fawn's condition, but is unable to take it in, as it doesn't have the space.

Without a licensed sanctuary to call home, Gilbert's fate is not looking good, however.

“He has a fractured front leg, and we have two options. It's either to put him down, which is the practical and common decision to make, or try to do something not commonly done and try to save its life,” Oz said Wednesday.

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