Deer Struck on I-66 Ramp Left Dead in EFC Yard

by ARLnow.com August 16, 2011 at 12:08 pm 5,290 104 Comments

This morning, just before 8:30, a small deer was struck by a vehicle on a ramp from Sycamore Street to I-66, in East Falls Church. The gravely injured deer apparently stumbled down to the corner of Sycamore Street and 19th Street, where it collapsed and died in a grassy yard next to the southbound Sycamore Street sidewalk.

Three and a half hours later, the deer is still there and visible to passersby.

Arlington Police, called to the scene after the deer was struck, left shortly after confirming the deer was dead and placing a call to the county’s animal control contractor. But we hear that the Animal Welfare League of Arlington, which performs animal control and sheltering services to the county under a contract worth more than $1.2 million as of FY 2010, has told police that it may take a while to pick up the deer since there’s only one animal control officer working today.

ARLnow.com has been told in the past that animal control is often short-staffed in Arlington. A message on the League’s answering machine said its main offices were closed today.

  • CrystalMikey

    Maybe they (AWL) are having their company picnic.

    • YTK

      Mmmm… Picnic? Venison BBQ??

  • RosslynBoom

    slow day huh…

  • Magic Hobo

    The League is closed to the public on Tuesdays, because that’s when they take all the animals to the vet and take care of all the housekeeping that’s difficult to do when they’re open.

    They are open for emergencies, animal control, pre-scheduled adoption interviews and wotnot.

    If you listen veryvery carefully to the phone message, there is a way to get through to a human, I think.

    If there is only one ACO on duty today, I am sure they’ll get to it when they can. It’s dead, how much “controlling” could it possibly need?

  • YoungLiver

    Leslie Knope wouldn’t stand for this…

  • Or

    Venison, yum.

  • CW

    That’s sad.

    It will be sadder if it goes to waste.

    How “small” are we talking? Like “fit in a roasting pan whole” small, or “worth breaking down into delicious, tender cuts” small?

    • PikerShorts

      SAT question:

      Fawn is to venison as lamb is to mutton.

      True or false?

      • I know I know!

        False. Venison is any wild game meat, not just deer.

        • Joe

          Reference please?

          I think the analogy is false, but I’m pretty sure that Venison is strictly for Deer. I found some references to Venison previously referring to any wild game.

        • ZoningVictim

          The archaic definition is ” the flesh of any game animal used for food”, but in modern usage, it means deer meat.

          • drax

            Only because hardly anyone ever eats any other kind of game these days.

      • YTK


    • JamesE

      Someplace in the area needs to serve venison burgers.

      • PikerShorts

        Ted’s has a damn good bison burger. Medium rare only.

    • Loocy

      I’m sure they won’t mind if you go over there and pick it up. Is it still edible if it has been at room temp for four hours? It’s not that hot out.

      • CW

        I can’t make it out that way anytime soon, but if anyone is interested…


        We are…

        • BallstonNOTBoston

          PENN STATE!!!

          • RosslynBoom

            decent, but not great football.

      • bb

        If it were a good clean kill (think broken neck), maybe. The problem is any ruptured organs and internal stuff… you don’t want to eat that.

        • vulture

          Speak for yourself.

          • Loocy

            Well go get it then.

          • vulture

            I’m circling as we speak.

      • Burger

        I have a couple of friends that use to live in the rural parts of several Midwest states and all had hit deer lists. People would call the county they lived in and be put on a list to pick up and deer carcasses to gut them and use the meat. So whenever a person saw a deer carcass they would call the police and report the mile marker and road. The police would look at the “list”
        and tell the person at the top of the list to “comin get it.”

  • Nunya

    they killed bambi!!!

  • Sam

    They are always closed on Tuesdays. They are open every other day of the week.

    $1.2 Million isn’t a lot to run an organization this size.

    Salaries alone for an operation that has to have staffing 24 hours a day, 7 days a week would take up most of that budget. Utilities – which I’m sure are pretty high since they have to maintain a pretty big freezer for the bodies of the animals, and keep the building temperatures level for the kennels, take up another big chunk.

    So, not surprising there is only one animal control officer on duty – can’t afford to have that many.

    • CW

      “Most” of the budget? Let’s say 51%…round down to 50%, that’s 600 grand. 24/7/365. 365*24 = 8760 hours. “Normal” work hours = 40 hrs/week * 52 weeks = 2080 per year. 8760/2080 = 4.21. 600,000 / 4.21 = $142,517. Say you have to have 2 people on staff at all times for that, a dispatcher and an officer. That’s still over $70k each.

      • Sam

        Uh, you do realize that there are a lot more people who are needed to maintain a facility/organization of that size don’t you?

        Do the dogs/cats feed themselves? Clean up after themselves? Do all the paperwork? Answer the phones? Check in the strays/surrenders etc? Coordinate the adoption events, veterinary visits, adoptions, etc.?

        Just wondering if you just forgot about all of that….

        • CW

          Fair enough. Don’t they rely a lot on volunteers as well?

          • Sam

            Yes, they do, but there has to be full-time staff to do the daily work, and even to coordinate the volunteers –

            The way I see it is that if you only have 10 people on staff with average salaries of $50,000 per year, you’re eating up a lot of the budget before you even get to feeding the animals, paying the utilities, paying the vet bills, etc.

            Not every service or product they use they can get for free, and with the numbers of dogs and cats that go through that facilty, there has to be a heck of a lot of food purchased too. I have a dog and even a big bag of the cheapest food adds up at the end of the year.

          • AnimalLover

            If anyone wants to dress that deer and bring me the meat, I know how to make good fresh cat food.

      • Josh S

        Not to mention taxes and any benefits would also need to be accounted for. Advertised salaries are going to be a lot less.

    • charlie

      so they are open 24/7 but closed today. wouldn’t that be 24/6.

      this is unacceptable response time. sure, there are tons of deer and many calls. seems a bit more priority would be helpful.

      • Sam

        The adminstrative offices are closed. Shelter still takes in animals and animal control still works – but for general questions, you’ll have to wait a day.

        And, since the animal is dead, it’s not a priority. Priority goes to living animals who are injured, or running loose.

  • Tabby

    Poor animal.

  • Steve85

    You want to write up an article about this. Wow ur lame. First of all who cares about a deer. Second, who wants to see evidenvce of the deer lying there.

    • PikerShorts

      If you don’t like it start your own local news blog with Steve85-worthy stories.

      • Josh S

        That would be something to see…..

      • Steve85

        Yoo what’s up pikershorts. Do u have beef with me or something.

    • Maria

      Maybe you could write another article about how horrible it was to have those horses grazing next to 395 the other day. You seemed pretty upset about that.

  • Arlwhenever

    They were working the County Fair last weekend so maybe taking some comp time off.

  • Daniel

    Why can’t the homeowner take care of it?

    • CW

      Probably at work, pays tax dollars that are supposed to be used to deal with this sort of thing, and likely doesn’t want to come into contact with a festering, carcass after a long day at work, I would imagine.

      • Tabby

        Seriously. Wha

    • charlie

      it appears to be located in a county park, which someone might think is their backyard.

    • ConstantCritic

      And do what – put it in a trash can and wheel it to the curb?

  • Tom M.

    The mother deer was struck and killed at the same location about a week ago. The carcass remained in the median strip in near-100 degree heat for two or three days.

    • Tabby

      Oh Christ.

    • Lou

      I remember hearing about that.

    • charlie

      i’ve seen the mother. she was beautiful.

      so the little baby deer was just looking for its mother. how sad.

      maybe we should ban bikes from the bike trail so the deer can use it to get under Sycamore/Roosevelt Street.

      this is sad.

    • Four days. Had to smell it every time I walked to & from Metro. Ugh.

  • Joe

    Ah ha ha ha ha ha!!! Ladies and gentlemen, your Animal Welfare League of Arlington!!! Following through on their contract with the County–bwahaha!!! No surprise whatsoever.

    • Sam

      Your comment is foolish and shows a lack of understanding of running an organization of this kind.

      • Glebe Roader

        Sam, your statement, “your comment is foolish and shows a lack of understanding …” could be used to describe MOST of the comments made by those who are “Experts at Everything.”

  • Hope

    My grandpa would say if you don’t like it, clean it up yourself. On that thought, what happened to people helping their neighbors? Seriously, grab a shovel and help.

    The AWL does a lot in Arlington and one person on call on the day they are closed is busy, busy chasing animals everywhere and picking up dead birds to check for West Nile in the area too, which is probably more of a priority for public health.

    • Daniel


  • steve86

    There’s deer here? We need to exterminate them all. Horses and deer don’t belong in this urban area.

    • Steve85

      Whoever steve86 is a jabroni. But the animals don’t need to be in urban areas. Get them outta here.

      • steve86

        Yes, exterminate all animals in the area! Birds, dogs, coons, rabbits…death to them all! Cut down all those lame trees too!

        • Steve85

          They can start by exterminating you first. Then they can cut the tree down and put you there in its place.

          • Tabby

            Wow, that’s taking a little internet tiff to a whole new crazy level.

      • well, duh

        Well, why are you wasting time here instead of going out to inform all the animals that they are not welcome in this urban area? If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.

  • O.C

    I just called Fox-5 News, and the producer sounded VERY interested in this. He said they are prepping a series on animal control efforts in the area, and had already heard things about AWLA. So stay tuned!

    • Steve85

      Why did you call Fox 5 for. They are liars on there. Lol. You should had called Ghostbusters b4 you called them if you wanted something. Your brain must be “OC”… Original Crispy. LMAO

  • Josh S

    ARLnow –

    The appropriate thing to do now would be to immediately follow up with a a rainbow unicorn post…..

  • John Stephens

    Two words: Population control. There are more white tail deer in North America today than in 1800. FACT.

    As for animal control taking a few hours to get it on a lightly traveled sidewalk, big deal. Dead deer sit on I-66 for weeks until they is almost nothing left.

    • True

      This is why I support hunting, even though I’m not a hunter myself. It’s more humane for an animal to be shot than to be killed by a car and left to die.

      • car hunter

        But I hunt game by running them down with my car. I can’t afford a gun.

        • Theakston

          enter the raffle on Friday

          • car hunter

            But I can’t afford a motorcycle either. Guess I’ll honor the tragic deaths of 9/11 victims with a small, quiet, contemplative ceremony instead of beer, BBQ and raffles. Lame, I know.

  • Unreal

    What will it take for the County to dump whoever the animal control contractor is and get someone responsive? Coincidentally, I just tried calling AWLA this morning to talk about the problem with unleashed dogs–and I got a voice recording. Amazing.

    • Sam

      Call the police to talk about unleashed dogs. They are one of the enforcement entities required to enforce leash laws – read the county code.

    • O.C

      Duh. Of COURSE you’re going to get a recording. Last thing AWLA needs is to actually do something about an unleashed dog–and find out the owners are heavy donors to AWLA. Whoops!!!

      And, don’t ask the police to deal with this. The whole point of offloading animal control to a contractor is so they don’t have to deal with this–code or no code.

      • Sam

        Not that it matters because you apparently have an axe to grind with the AWLA – but animal control is not all about unleashed dogs.

        AWLA is responsible for animal control of all kinds of animals. It is responsible for managing a shelter for animals without homes, dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, ferrets, etc. They also have to deal with wildlife issues. Other counties have their police departments managing animal control and the shelter – Fairfax County is an example.

        And finally, they have to deal with numnuts like you.

        You can only do something about an unleashed dog when you are in the presence of the actual event. Or, if a stray is picked up on more than one occassion, they can also do something then….

        I guess common sense escapes those like you – these officers can not be everywhere and just like today – they’ll be picking up a carcass of an animal – and you’ll be ticked off they missed seeing that off-leash dog at exactly the same time. I suppose you can ask for new officers with special super powers who can be in more than one place at a time.

        • O.C

          Sam, you obviously work for AWLA, or someone close to you does, or you’re a donor. Fact is, contracting with AWLA = no enforcement of the leash law. They are compromised. Period.

          • Sam

            Actually, none of the above. I just pay attention to the facts instead of making up fantasy in my head to support my opinions.

          • O.C

            Sam, did it ever occur to you and your colleagues that when you put out the AWLA Annual Report, the lack of reference to leash law citations is glaring. There’s all sorts of talk about stray animals, patrolling parks, and other activities. But not one word about citations in the document that goes out to donors.

            Why do you and your colleagues do that?

          • Sam

            Again – absolutely no vested interest in AWLA. I do not work there, volunteer or donate. I just recognize reality and don’t live in a fantasy world solely focused on one issue.

            If you have a fact, with dates, times, and specific “donors” who violate leash laws, perhaps you should take it up with the County Board, a lawyer perhaps, or just stop making accusations that are so global in nature and inflammatory that make them sound so silly.

            If you want more animal control officers patrolling the streets, tell the Board – since you apparently read the Annual Report, you should see exactly how much is spent on maintaining facilities and salaries – clearly 1.2M barely covers it or they wouldn’t need donations or volunteers. So, here’s an idea – ask them to fund more money, find themselves a new contractor, or better yet – move it to the police department like other counties do if enforcement is all you’re after –

            Do something instead of posting accusations….or is that just too hard for you?

          • Maria

            Shame on you! This is the internet. No facts or logic allowed.

          • fact vs. fantasy

            Sam – have you personally ever tried calling either the police or AWLA to report a leash law violation? Both times I tried calling the police (to report the same losers in the same area at the same time on different days near the dead deer carcass from this morning), they said that AWLA handles that and that there was nothing they could do unless they witnessed the violation. AWLA says (when they answer the phone) that they are understaffed (actual quote is “we only have one animal control officer on duty today”) and they will “see what they can do.”

          • Sam

            Hmmm, think I said that the violation has to be witnessed and there are too few animal control officers….

          • Sam

            I guess I should follow up with this – the police probably have a little more to do than enforcing leash laws – but it is part of their responsibiity as referenced in the county code. You can always quote that if you’d like – then, as I mentioned earlier, if you don’t like the responses – take it up with the County Board. They give anyone and everyone a few minutes to speak at every meeting.

  • Chris

    Yep, I saw three or four cops there (can’t remember the exact number) for the deer. The number of VA cops at my apartment that got robbed up the street = zero (at least when I left).

    Oh well.

    • Loocy

      Someone twittered that the deer was still alive, and they were going to put it down for humane reasons. But apparently it died before they got there so they didn’t need to shoot.

      • TC

        … good thing it died first… last time they tried that it took the officer three shots…

  • Or

    Those who post on here every single day almost every 10 to 20 minutes, do you have jobs? Just wondering.

    • charlie

      jobs vs. work. be clear.

      and maybe we do or don’t. why?

      • Or

        It’s just interesting to me how many people out there have very well paying “jobs” but really only work a fraction of the day. They spend the rest of the day commenting on sites like this and doing other non-productive things. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing I’m just saying people have become privileged and lazy these days.

        • charlie

          i wouldn’t assume everyone has a job. and if they do it may not be 9-5. Mine isn’t. And I don’t work M-F either.

          • Pablo Escobar

            Ah you are a worker of the night as well? Pablo understands this.

          • charlie

            i am a worker of off hours. not the night.

  • SaveDaveMcKenna

    Call the VFW. A lot of them in more rural areas have volunteers who make gloves and hats out of the hides.

  • ConstantCritic

    won’t somebody PLEASE think of the children?!

  • irret

    why did a driver on a ramp strike and kill the deer in the first place? you are supposed to be driving slowly at on and off ramps. so, why could they not have avoided the animal in the first place.

    secondly what a bunch of selfish, ignorant and crude comments regarding this story. the animal deserved its life just as you deserve yours. grow up and respect life all life not just human life. i find most of your comments to be juvenile an insensitive.

    basically some idiot hit the animal with their vehicle and left it die without even checking on it. pathetic.

    • Lou

      No chance that the deer ran into the path of the car, right?

    • brian

      Do you honestly think the deer was just standing there on the ramp?

      come on! get a clue!

      • DCChughes

        Actually, it very probably was, or at least at the edge of the ramp. That’s what deer do and why deer strikes are so common–they stand at the edge of the roadway either grazing or looking for an opportunity to cross. Typically, they don’t just bolt out of cover to cross roads without caution (unless being pursued) and if you look for them, you’ll see them first. Apparently you have never seen how deer behave around roads. And this was a very young fawn (based on the brightness of the spots), possibly looking for its mother. It would be even more hesitant to cross than other deer.

    • Theakston

      yes but you’re supposed to walk your deer across the intersections

  • Shaking_Head

    Despite the government being unable to pick up dead deer in a timely manner (like that really matters – it doesn’t), there are those that would trust the same governments (local up to federal) to run everything in our lives.

    Perhaps the deer is the lucky one here.

    Insensitive comment complete.

    • brian

      You must not have smelled a rotten decaying deer carcass in your life.

      It’s not lovely. Worse than following a trash truck.

  • chris

    now if AWL and Advanced towing could just figure out a plan…..

  • Cyrus

    Couldn’t resist

  • K

    I reported a deer about this size a few weeks ago on I 66 to AWL. I saw it two days in a row stuck between the shoulder and the wall next to the bike path and was concerned it could wander into traffic and cause an accident. I called AWL and was very rudely told that there was nothing they could do about it and that they don’t deal with wildlife. I think that’s ridiculous and feel that this incident just proves that.

    • YTK

      Hey K– then you call the Wildlife League of Virginia– very simple


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