A debate is raging in Canada over how best to put injured animals out of their misery following video footage of an Alberta police officer repeatedly running over a "shrieking" deer. It took nearly 15 minutes for the young animal to die Saturday in Lethbridge, where it had been hit by a car, reports Global News. "I watch a lot of animal cruelty videos, unfortunately for my job, and this is among the worst that I've ever seen," an animal rights lawyer tells the CBC. Camille Labchuk says it's a crime to cause an animal "horrific pain and suffering," as was witnessed in this case. "You can hear the deer shrieking and screaming and crying out," she says. Officers are more often known to end an injured animal's life using a firearm, while a wildlife expert tells Global News that a "quick kill" is also done by cutting an animal's carotid and jugular arteries.
A police rep refused to comment, citing an investigation by the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team. The cellphone video as well as the events leading up to the start of filming will be reviewed in the agency's first animal-related investigation, which comes amid "considerable public interest." ASIRT says calls have flooded government agencies, including Alberta's Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and Fish and Wildlife department, causing "strain on both the resources of these agencies and their staff, who very much care about the treatment of animals." Per the CBC, there are also reports of death threats against the officer, while more than 29,000 have now signed a petition demanding he be fired. Protesters plan to gather outside police headquarters on Sunday. (This train should deter deer.)