WAS A FELONY COMMITED WHEN GAME WARDEN OFFICER JARROD POOLE SHOT THE PET DEER DIXIE
Photo of Dixie Provided by Radio Station WSHF Tuscumbia, Alabama
Before I write this article so all will know, I have never met Jarrod Poole, or even heard his name mentioned until this incident. So! I write this without any past negative feelings toward this Game Warden in regards to his actions that took the life of a beloved community pet deer and left her two fawns probably facing death.
The article is addressing a question that has been brought up regarding Dixie's death as to whether this Game Warden can be charged with Aggraved Animal Cruelty.
First in order to address this, you first must know what the law actually says:
a) A person commits the crime of aggravated cruelty to animals if the person intentionally or knowingly violates Section 13A-11-14, and the act of cruelty or neglect involved the infliction of torture to the animal.
(b) The word torture as used in this section shall mean 1. the act of doing physical injury to an animal by the infliction of inhumane treatment or 2. gross physical abuse meant to cause the animal intensive or prolonged pain or serious physical injury, or by causing the death of the animal.
(c) For purposes of this section and Section 13A-11-14, the terms torture and cruelty do not include the following:
Here it list the when you can kill an animal legally
(1) Actions taken
1. If there is a reasonable fear of imminent attack or conduct which is otherwise permitted. However, this is only allowed if the event is occurring at the time of the shooting of the animal. To shoot an animal long after the event occurred is not permitted and is a felony.
Here they list when it is permitted:
1a. under the agricultural or animal husbandry laws, customs, or practices of this state or the United States, including, but not limited to, catfish, cattle, goats, horses, pigs, hogs, poultry, sheep, pen-raised game, rodeo stock, and other farm animals.
Comment: We know from witness, officers and a facebook statement that Dixie was not in an attack mode. In fact Dixie had been licking one fo the officer's arm, and the Tuscumbia Officers and Colbert County Deputies had been petting her. At no time did she make any aggressive moves toward those officers at the time she was shot by Jarrod Poole.
Jarrod Poole himself in his facebook statement indicates she was not in an attack mode, that only occurred earlier because she thought her fawns were in danger. At no time in his statement does he mention that he made calls to any of the places listed by the State of Alabama Department of Conservation and Resouces to see if they would take the deer.
Nowhere in his statement does he mention any attempt to contact Colbert County Animal Control Officer Anthony Wilbanks who is certified in tranquilzing animals. Officer Anthony Wilbanks stated if he had been notified he could have been there in 20 minutes as he had the weapon and darts in his truck. He goes on to state, no the darts he has do not need to refrigerated, and if you gave her too much she would only sleep longer than normal.
No where does he mention that he discussed what he was going to have to do with the people who loved her and had taken care of her over the years. He didn't ask for options.
No where in his statement does he mention calling his supervisor to discuss what other options were available and what he may have to do and or is intending to do. After all, this was not a cookie cutter situation reqarding any wild animal, this was unique and it was going to take thinking out of the box to bring this to a conclusion where the neighborhood was safe and so was Dixie with her fawns.
It appears none of that was done. According to the information received after he told the officers what he was going to do, one deputy said to him, you know this is a community pet deer? His response was: It's on me.
He then proceeded to trick her with a bottle of rocks to make her think he had food. He himself says, she came to him not in a threatening manner but of in a manner of what do you have for me. Then according to him, he allowed her to follow him with the bottle of rocks. He then got to a point where he threw down the bottle. She then stood right close to him, still looking down at the bottle of rocks. At no time, during this event does he mention she made any threatening moves toward him. He then calmly shot her in the head and that is the last thing she saw.
(2) Conduct which is permitted under the fishing, hunting, and trapping laws, customs, or practices of this state or the United States.
(3) Conduct that is permitted under the laws, customs, or practices of this state or the United States related to the training, conditioning, and use of animals for rodeos, equine activities, livestock shows, field trials, and similar activities, or the use of dogs for hunting, service work, or similar activities.
Here is the big question:
Practices of the state...meaning is this a common practice or policy that is used by the state Department of Conservation and Resources for whom he works to shoot an animal regardless of a situation.
If so the next question is: Do a State of Alabama Department of Conservation and Resources Policy "SUPERCEDE" established law?
The Answer is yes and no... Yes! if written into the law, a Department policy has been given exemption to that law.
No! If that Department has not been given an exemption, then the person who committed that act is subject to the law as written.
We have been informed that many complaints were received at the Department's headquarters. The result of those complaints is an Internal Investigation regarding this incident, and it is on going at this time by the State of Alabama Conservation and Resources.
It is going to be interesting to see if the Department makes a public statement after their conclusion of this Investigation and how they came about their decision.
Commentary: In Officer Jarrod Poole's statement he says he wants his life back. I concure with him, but also Dixie would be saying the same thing. When he stated it was on him, he has now found out what that actually means. He has no backing from the Law Enforcement Agencies he was with as they were and are still highly upset at the way he handled this situation.
If this is the standard policy of the State of Alabama Department of Conservation and Resouces to treat every incident with a strict cookie cutter policy then they need to change this.
One thing is certain, Dixie is dead and probably her two fawns are going to be if not found. The Department whom many thought was there to protect animals has been forever tarnished in many eyes as a Department to be the last you call if you need help with wildlife.
Sadly, regardless of the outcome of the Internal Investigation, Jarrod Poole will be always known from now on as the Game Warden who killed the beloved pet deer "Dixie".
justice for Dixie and het baby fawns
this was a horrible act of authority, it was very unprofessional on the wardens actions, justice needs to be served weather it be animal or a person just like last year when a young man killed a possum here in the area ,he got locked up and was charged as i recall also so its no different its all about authority .
Dixie’ life mattered!!!!!
This read has made me even madder, to think there was no threat to anyone & this defenseless mother deer lost her life for no reason. TRICKED to her demise. Even if she hadn’t had babies.... THIS WAS A SENSELESS DEATH & there should be a very stiff penalty for it.
He should have called someone to remove it to a safe place if it had to be done.