In December 2015, 19-year-old Andrew Foots came across an orphaned fawn in Victoria, Australia. The young man decided to rescue the baby deer, naming him Rudolph. Giving him food, water, and love in the warmth of their home, Foots and his family planned to care for Rudolph until he was well enough to be taken in by a wildlife rescue. They brought the deer to a veterinarian so he could be evaluated and they could learn how to best rehabilitate the animal. However, when officers from the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport, and Resources (DEDJTR) found out about the foster deer, they showed up at the family’s door with a court order from the local magistrate, demanding that Rudolph be turned in to city officials in order to be killed! They then took the tiny deer away.
The family hired a lawyer to help save Rudolph from this fate. Working with Edgar’s Mission Farm Sanctuary, they found a home for Rudolph at the Jirrahlinga Koala and Wildlife Sanctuary. Here, Rudolph would have the opportunity to grow up with other rescued animals and hopefully be released back into the wild one day. Finding a home for Rudolph at a wildlife sanctuary seemed to be the perfect solution to the problem, yet the Magistrate signed the poor animal’s death warrant anyway. The Foot family appealed the decision, and on February 23, the Supreme Court ruled in Rudolph’s favor!
Rudolph will no longer be in the hands of authorities who were literally waiting to bring the ax down on him. Instead, this little deer will be able to live free from harm, and enjoy all the Reindeer games he chooses at the wildlife center.
“We sincerely thank everyone who took the time to write letters, sign petitions and support a fighting fund for Rudolph – your efforts were not in vain,” Edgar’s Mission wrote on its Facebook page.
In the coming days, Rudolph will be transported to Jirrahlinga Koala and Wildlife Sanctuary at Barwon Heads, where he will be able to live out his days with many new animal friends. He may not have a red, shiny nose, but as the deer who won in Supreme Court, Rudolph – you’ll go down in history!
All image source: Edgar’s Mission