An apparently domesticated deer wandering along a Jurupa Valley road was captured today by a sheriff's deputy and taken to a shelter, where the exhausted and dehydrated animal was recuperating.
The deer was spotted just before noon by a deputy patrolling Limonite Avenue, near Lucretia Avenue, according to Riverside County Department of Animal Services spokesman John Welsh.
"The deputy was able to tie the very domesticated deer to his cruiser until Riverside County Animal Services Officer Will Luna arrived," Welsh said.
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"Luna retrieved the deer and transported her to the Western Riverside County Animal Shelter in Jurupa Valley."
The deer arrived at the shelter panting heavily and barely able to walk.
She was placed in a secure barn stall, where Luna and another officer supplied her with a bucket of water and some hay.
According to Welsh, shelter staff contacted the California Department of Fish & Wildlife, and arrangements were made for a game warden to retrieve the animal.
"It's likely she will be taken to a sanctuary to live out the rest of her life," Welsh said.
He emphasized that capturing and keeping a deer as a pet is illegal in California.