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Family's pet deer shot, left for dead

November 25, 2000

Family's pet deer shot, left for dead



By RICHARD F. BELISLE / Staff Writer


DOWNSVILLE - Bucky, a candy bar-loving pet deer who chummed around the neighborhood with a family dog, was shot last week and left for dead, his owner said Saturday.

"He was suffering so we put him down," said Roger Burkholder, whose family adopted the orphaned fawn in the summer of 1999 on the family farm off Md. 63.

"We saw him down by that fence. He got his head caught in the fence. We fed him and tamed him," Burkholder said.

The deer became friends with Goldie, the family's yellow lab, and the two soon began to pal around together.

"When you saw the dog you knew the deer was right behind it. They went all around the neighborhood together," said Millard Householder, a neighbor of Burkholder.

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"He and the dog used to come up on my porch and eat the cat food, but I never minded it," Householder said. "One of the neighbors has a video tape of the deer."

"The deer loved candy bars," Householder said. "He had a bright orange collar around his neck that you could see from far off."

Burkholder said he put an orange collar on the deer for last year's hunting season because he roamed all over area farms.

"He got through the hunting season last year, so I put a new collar on him for this year," he said.

The dog and deer would go off together for days at a time, make their rounds then show up back at the farm, Burkholder said.

"He always followed the dog. The dog was the leader. The deer always slept here," he said, pointing to a pile of leaves under a large tree in the front yard.

"It's a shame that somebody did this," he said.

Burkholder said the family is having the deer's head mounted as a memento.

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