Va. city starts 2nd year of deer-spay program

WASHINGTON — To some, they’re furry, cute, wonderful wildlife visitors. To others they’re a nuisance — destroying landscapes and a menace on the roads. The city of Fairfax is taking action against white-tailed deer.

Fairfax has opened the second of a five-year program to spay does. The surgery, which costs about $1,000 per deer, is financed by private donations.

The deer population has exploded in the D.C. area and across the nation. Pennsylvania State University researchers estimates there were just 500,000 deer in the United States in 1900. Today, there are estimated to be more than 15 million.

Veterinarian Jeff Newman told NewsChannel 8 that spaying deer probably wouldn’t be effective in rural areas, but could be a good option in more targeted areas such as Fairfax City.

Crews tranquilize the does and bring them in for surgery in a police department garage transformed into an operating room. Eighteen does were sterilized last year, and the goal is to spay as many or more this year.

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