BC SPCA Powell River and District Branch manager Brandy Craig has been fired by the non-profit society and is being investigated by BC Conservation Officer Service.
Craig said her employment was terminated on Monday, June 12, for a June 2 incident where she harboured two young deer and misrepresented the facts to a conservation officer.
"I'm not denying that I lied,” said Craig. “I should not have, but I panicked and I was scared. I thought conservation were going to kill the deer.”
BC SPCA general manager of community relations Lorie Chortyk confirmed that Craig is no longer employed by the organization in Powell River, but would not comment further due to the confidential nature of personnel files.
Craig said she and her daughter rescued two fawns from the Black Point area after the animals’ mother was struck and killed by a vehicle on Highway 101 on May 31. She took the fawns back to her home temporarily while arranging for them to be delivered to a rehabilitation centre in the Lower Mainland.
"In my mind, I wasn't working under the SPCA umbrella when I rescued the fawns,” she said.
Craig brought the fawns into the SPCA on June 2 because she thought it was the day they would be picked up at Powell River Airport, which is next to SPCA’s Duncan Street location. The SPCA is only able to hold wild animals for 24 hours before releasing them.
Knowing the deadline posed a problem because of Powell River’s isolation, she said she acted on her own and regrets bringing the fawns to the shelter that day.
Craig said BC Conservation Officer Service officer Andrew Anaka came into the shelter to ask whether deer were inside. At first she said no, but later admitted to their presence.
Craig said she told Anaka the fawns were waiting for transport to a rehabilitation centre. At that point Craig said she was taken outside, read her rights and the fawns were seized.
Craig said with the number of black bears killed last summer she was worried the fawns would also be killed.
Anaka said he was unable to comment on the incident, but did confirm that Craig is being investigated for failing to provide information to a conservation officer.
He said he attended the SPCA shelter after receiving a call from the public that the SPCA was harbouring wildlife. He added that after the fawns were seized they were transported to a rehabilitation centre.