Dan Rattiner's Stories

Spay Project: East Hampton to Get Rid of Deer Humanely and Not Soon

So now East Hampton is moving ahead with a plan to solve the deer problem by spaying the females. There are an estimated 3,500 deer in town. So 1,750 are girls, more or less.

Spaying is surely the most civilized way to thin the herd, though of course it takes longer. (The lifespan of a deer is three years.) Recently, the Village of East Hampton set aside $30,000 for the project. Last week, the Village Preservation Society of East Hampton pledged an additional $100,000. The plan is to hire a reputable deer management company called White Buffalo, Inc., headquartered in Moodus, Connecticut. They charge $1,000 to spay one deer in the wild.
As you can see if you do the math, the results will be the spaying of only 130 females. But it’s a start.

On the other hand, according to the East Hampton Star, many veterinarians in the area are up in arms about this. Who is to see to it that this White Buffalo outfit from Moodus does this in a humane way? And how can White Buffalo charge just $1,000 to spay a deer when all the regular vets think it costs a whole lot more? It got me thinking this could be trouble.

The last time I saw the words White and Buffalo together was on the back of a motorcycle jacket. But East Hampton is not listening to reason, at least so far. Unless somebody comes along with a bid lower than the White Buffalo’s, I think they are going to go with them.

Which is why I am now going to make an offer. I will charge only $899.99 per deer. And I think I can make money doing it. I am on the up and up. So here below is my bid, with everything explained, down to the last detail.

First of all, I’ve done my homework. I read several online articles describing the step-by-step procedures of spaying a cat. One such article, on uncyclopedia.wikia.com, even shows you how to do it in your own home. Why pay those high-priced vets? You need a knife, rubber gloves, some string, a scissors, some gauze, bright lights, a table, a rag and some chloroform. I do not intend to go into the details about how this is done here. It’s really yucky. But like I said, I read up on this, and I know how.

I am aware that a deer is a larger animal than a cat, and the spaying must be done in the wild. It’s a difference. But really, it’s not that much. Girls are girls. And the deer or the cat, as the case may be, can afterwards go off and run around and enjoy living the rest of her life with her friends. There won’t be a baby. But that’s a good thing. Babies slow you down, as anybody who has had them will tell you.

So here it is, all on the up and up, the entire procedure for the Mayor to read so he can decide if my offer for spaying deer at $899.99 a pop should be chosen. I hope I’m not too late. By the way, if they hire Deer Gone Later, LLC, my service, they will know that all the employees I hire—about 40 of them—will be from the East End, and not from off in some faraway boondock like Moodus. Shop local. Think local.

First we find a deer, which is not too hard, since they are pretty much all over the place. I have several teams of docents, or as I call them, doecents, who go out every day in groups of five, beating the bushes with brooms to scare up a female. The females are the ones without the antlers. When they find one, they grab her and wrangle her cowboy fashion, piling on, until they take her to the ground.

The docent team then calls Mobile One, as I call it—our four-wheel drive Jeep mobile headquarters—on the walkie-talkie, and this team of eight workers with rakes, sheets, lawnmowers, ground tarpaulin, clotheslines and clothespins, weapons and medical equipment spring into action. They roar off through the woods to the place where the doecents are pinning the deer down and keeping her quiet with soothing words of comfort and good cheer, and the treat they love, carrots.

On arrival, the eight members of Mobile One jump out of the jeep. Two of them hang the sheets on the clothesline as drapes in a nearby open area, one rakes up the leaves, another mows the lawn, still another lays down a tarpaulin, and the last one runs over to where the deer is and helps out in gently carrying that deer over to the ground tarpaulin.

Everything has to be sterile, of course. But first things first. First thing is the rag and chloroform over the nose and mouth to gently send the deer over to dreamland. By this time, four of our men are deployed at the four points on the compass to keep others (people, other animals, birds, snakes etc.) away. They are armed with pistols. Then we begin.

I might note that one thing we will not be doing, which I think others do, is require that the deer not eat or drink for 12 hours before. We think this is unnecessary. And it’s also cruel. The deer really can’t imagine why they’d have to do that. It makes them cross. We’d rather do this quickly and humanely. So no 12-hour prep.

I personally will do the spaying, given that I now possess the expert knowledge of how it’s done. I’m not going to go into detail. This is a family newspaper. I’ll just say the deer is unconscious and doesn’t feel anything at all. And when I’m done, she’s all stitched up.

This brings us to the matter of the two-week recovery period. I take the deer to the pen I’ve set up in my backyard. I’ve got deer treats, more carrots and water for when she wakes up. I’ve got people who will pet the deer and talk to her and let her know she will be all right. It’s a very important thing to keep the deer from having any bad thoughts, so she doesn’t try jumping out of the pen (up 9 feet) resulting in split stiches or getting any infections during these crucial
two weeks.

In the medicine cabinets in my house I have all the necessary things to deal with complications that might arise. I have aspirin, Tylenol, Benadryl, Imodium, skin lotions and a wide variety of anti-bacterial prescription drugs that I started on, got better and so never stayed the course. I also have, among my 40 employees, a beautiful young blonde woman who plays the harp for the does while they are in recovery, or in the rehab that sometimes follows (for an extra charge.)

And then, when the great day comes, we trot the deer over to the woods near to where we got her, and as we let her go off to be welcomed warmly by family and friends, we read aloud a bulletin to all the other deer in the woods over a loudspeaker. The bulletin urges all unspayed females in the herd to turn away from any males who wish to inseminate them. Just ignore them. Life is beautiful. Live yours. What do you care what comes after?
We read this bulletin aloud because, as everybody knows, deer can’t read. After that, we submit our bill.

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