Mark Freeley was out for a walk with his two dogs Sarah and Storm. Sarah is a rescued border collie. Storm is a 6-year-old, English Golden Retriever. The three went out for a walk on Long Island Sound. They were just walking along minding their own business when suddenly Storm started heading toward the water. He seemed to have a clear mission and purpose.
As Mark Freeley watched he finally saw what had gotten Storm’s attention. A brown, floating object in the water. Mark whipped out his phone to take a video once he realized what the brown object was, a baby deer!
Storm swam over the baby deer and grabbed it by the neck. Once Storm had a secure hold on the fawn’s neck he swam with it back to shore. Once ashore the baby deer took a few shaky steps and made his way to lay down a short way away from the water.
Storm followed the baby deer closely and lay down beside the deer to help warm it. After a few moments Storm began to nudge and pull on the baby deer. Making sure that the fawn was okay.
Mark Freeley called in some experts from a wildlife rescue that he was familiar with. The rescue sent two of their people to help, Frank Florida and Erica Kutzing. Frank and Erica came quickly to the scene.
When they arrived the poor terrified fawn bolted for the water of Port Jefferson Harbor, yet again. This time the little fawn went out farther than where he was when Storm saved him the first time. Storm tried to get to the baby deer but this time he wasn’t able too. Frank Florida and Mark Freeley rolled up their pants and went in after the fawn.
The two managed to get a rope around the baby deer and started to pull him in. It was a hard task because the fawn did not understand what was going on so he kicked and wriggled. In the process of pulling the little fawn to shore Frank Florida’s knee blew out, but he kept working to save the fawn.
Once they got the baby deer to shore Erica Kutzing took over. She took the 3-month-old fawn and carried it to their van. They were able to calm the fawn and examine it more closely. The poor fawn was covered in ticks and had an eye injury.
Frank Florida and Erica Kutzing took the fawn to an animal rescue in the area, Save The Animals Rescue Foundation in Middle Island, NY. The owner of the rescue was able to examine the fawn further and found that, in addition to the ticks and eye injury, the fawn also had subcutaneous emphysema. This is a condition in which air bubbles become trapped under the skin, making the skin appear similar to bubble wrap. This condition is typically caused by trauma.
The rescue kept the baby whitetail deer until it had recovered from its injuries and trauma. After some time they were able to release the baby deer back into the wild. The rescue concluded that the fawn must have fallen off a cliff into the water.
When asked later about the incident Mark Freeley said that he didn’t think that it was Storm’s natural retrieving instincts that made him save the deer. In fact, Storm doesn’t even like to retrieve a ball when Mark attempts to play fetch with him. What made Storm save the deer? No one knows but Mark believes that Storm saw an animal in need and went to help. That is Storm’s gracious and gentle nature. The sweet and gentle nature of most Golden Retrievers.
Video Credit: CBS News