Every Police Officer or Deputy Sheriff must deal with animal complaints and their problems, at times.  I was a police officer in a very wealthy suburb of New York City in Westchester County. The community was not farmland but, bear sightings, raccoon, and deer were everywhere.

I would always notice the ‘three stages of wildlife tolerance’ in the newly arrived residents.  They would stop me as I patrolled the area and tell me how they “moved up from New York City and that they loved it here.”  That’s STAGE ONE.

STAGE TWO was usually a dire request when they would again stop me as I was on patrol lamenting, “I can’t plant anything here.  Between the rabbits, deer, woodchucks and squirrels, they eat everything!”  I would recommend hanging old CDs from a tree, buying a statue of an owl and perhaps fencing in the area where they are planting their garden.

STAGE THREE was always these new residents asked, “Please kill them!  You have my permission! Kill the deer, squirrels, woodchucks and rabbits, as well.”

I would reply that that is not legal at this time and I would give them the dates for hunting season, bow and arrow only (no firearms). Generally a discussion would ensue as to why they could not shoot these animals on THEIR PROPERTY, etc.

My retort would be, “Yes, this is your property. But your property is in New York State and there are county-by-county Environmental Conservation Laws which must be observed.  The newly arrived residents were not happy.



Early one Saturday morning at approximately 1:30AM, I was directed to go to a car/deer accident on a local highway.  Upon arrival, I found that the Range Rover SUV involved had sustained no damage, the deer which had been hit was suffering with broken legs.

The driver’s three small children were extremely distraught thinking that their father had killed Bambi.  I walked towards him and he had his driver’s license, registration and insurance card ready for me.  As he was a Brooklyn resident, this was not a commonplace occurrence in his borough. Being the fifth largest city in the United States, Brooklyn didn’t have a lot of deer running on the streets.


Since the driver didn’t need or want an accident report, I told him he could leave and I would take care of the injured animal.  His response was, “Let me give you a hand.”  I looked at him and asked “what do you mean?”  He then said, “I’ll help you put it in your car to take it to the local veterinarian.”

I corrected him when I informed him that, “No.  We don’t do that since a deer with a broken leg is very much like a horse with a broken leg.  We dispatch them.”

He then asked what I meant by ‘DISPATCH.’  I knew this was going to be a problem but I had to tell him, “We shoot the animal, putting it out of its misery. The town highway department is sent the next day to recover the carcass off the roadway or side of the roadway.”

His reaction to me was one of annoyance, “Well hell, if I knew you were going to shoot it, I wouldn’t have called you!”  As nicely as I could, I told him to please leave the scene. I waited until they were out of sight and ear shot, and dispatched the animal.  I took no pleasure in this, but it was our S.O.P. It was what we did along with every other police department in our area.  If there were deer in Brooklyn, I am quite sure the NYPD would do the same.



One warm Saturday afternoon, I received a call from our Traffic Management Channel to go to a residence where a, “wild animal was in the house and growling.”  I immediately started to ponder what could have happened:

  • Had a bear came in through the dog door of the kitchen?
  • Had a raccoon climbed into an open window?
  • Perhaps a Bobcat made its way into a screened-in deck and couldn’t exit?

Whatever it was, I said to myself that this was going to be interesting, at the very least.

Upon arrival, a mother and her two small children were looking out a second story window. They were terrified, screaming that they could hear it “growling.”  The mother said that the front door was open. She gave me permission to shoot the intruder.

As I walked into the front foyer there was a Picasso on one wall, a Modigliani on another and what appeared to be a Jackson Pollack painting on a far wall. Shooting whatever it was is not an option.  (As I said, this was a wealthy area.)

What did I find?  A bird had come in through an open window and was frantically trying to fly out.  Its wings were fluttering against the window drapes and the residents mistook that sound as “growling,”   I opened a window nearest to where this bird was and it flew away.

Armed with my dangerous sense of humor, I was tempted to tell them it was a Pterodactyl or a Pterion (think JURASSIC PARK), but I told them the truth and they were relieved.  I got hugs from the children and a two-handed handshake from their mother.  Three days later, my chief also received a “good guy letter” from the woman and her children.



Another incident happened because many people leave their garage doors open all day and all night.  This one resident kept bird seed in the garage which is essentially like ‘ringing the dinner bell’ for some animals.

Following a brief investigation, I discovered that two raccoons had entered the garage and were seated on an overhead 2×6 beam which was ten feet above the cars.  Once again I was told, “You can shoot them.  It’s no problem.”

One glance at the vehicles in the garage told me that shooting them was NOT an option.  Parked below were a BMW 745, a Mercedes 600SL and a top-of-the-line Lexus and they won’t look good with bullet holes in them.

I asked the woman of the house if she had a long pole.  She handed me a piece of wood about fifteen feet long. I used it to nudge them off their perch on the beams.

I don’t know if you know this but raccoons can be nasty little bastards.

They started growling at me and with Cap Stun spray at the ready, they eventually fell to the cement floor making quite a THUD as they hit.  Thankfully, they ran into a wooded area which ended the incident.

I respectfully suggested to the homeowner that they keep their garage door closed whenever they could or else this was going to be a daily occurrence now that the raccoons knew there was food inside.



Sometimes, we cops deal with animals that travel on four legs and have a tail. We come in contact with them when they are hungry, seeking shelter or protecting their young. Those are basic needs that are shared by every creature across the animal spectrum.

In other situations, we deal with creatures who behave like their four-legged counterparts but, who should know better. They have allowed their brains to become clouded with poor judgement and bad decisions which sadly, can bring their time on this earth to an end.

All we can ask is to find some joy when dealing with those animals who cannot do better while we summon the intestinal fortitude and grace to deal with those who should.  Hopefully, we can maintain a Positive Mental Attitude long the way.

At the bottom line, it’s all about saving just ONE life.



Anthony enjoys hearing from his readers – EMAIL

Thank you for allowing us to share this article with you.

Please leave a comment about this article below.

Our editor can be contacted with any questions or input here:  Email Editor



Remember to ‘Follow’ us

on Twitter.



Thank you for supporting CopBlue.