Animal advocates call for end to hunting on lands next to rescue centers
Animal advocates are demanding new legislation after a deer was shot just steps away from the facility in Hampton Bays that released it back into the wild.
Evelyn Alexander Wildlife Rescue Center rehabilitates around 3,000 animals a year - including deer that head into the forest.
Ginnie Fratti, founder of the rescue center, says a couple of days into the hunting season, they heard a loud bang and found a deer they had released back into the wild in January 2022 that was shot by a hunter.
"I ran and tried to save her, and the hunter was standing right there - not even 10 feet from our building structures," Fratti said.
The hunter was so close because there is a hunting area right near the Evelyn Alexander Rescue Center.
Fratti has sounded the alarm several times about the dangers of a set up like this.
She says it's not only an animal rights issue but also a safety issue with people walking near nature trails on a path that hunters follow right to their building.
"Having a wildlife hospital next to a hunting area is like having a children's playground next to a porn shop," Fratti said.
A bill that could put an end to what Fratti says is a major safety hazard is on Gov. Kathy Hochul's desk.
It would prohibit hunting of wild deer on lands adjacent to the rescue center.
Hochul has until Dec. 17 to sign the bill into law.
Fratti said their facility was in the area first in 2000, and hunters started hunting at the property next door four years later.