Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


July 12, 2012

Bambi moment for local real estate agent

Takes fawn into home for night, returns it to mother

An apparently sick fawn has given a whole new meaning to "open house" for an Andover real estate agent.

Realtor Peggy Patenaude of Prudential Howe & Doherty Realtors on Bartlet Street, was recently getting ready for an open house at a home on Forest Street in North Andover. Her husband, Joe Osbaldeston, was retreiving the open house sign from the home's garage.

Upon entering the garage, Osbaldeston noticed something frail and freckly.

"He thought it was a yard ornament," Patenaude said.

A closer look revealed it was a motionless fawn that seemed barely alive.

"It must of gotten in the garage when the lawn was being mowed and the garage door was (the fawn) must have been in there for two days. The lawn was mowed Friday and the open house was the following Sunday," Patenaude said. "There is a lot of woods in the area and that's where it came from."

Mass. Wildlife advises people to avoid intervening with baby animals seen on their lawn, as the animal is probably fine and a parent may be nearby.

River Road Veterinary Hospital in Andover recommends that people call Tufts University Veterinary School (508-839-5395) if they happen upon an abandoned fawn. Cecilia Murch of Tufts University Veterinary School said fawns are stressed animals. She said humans should leave fawns alone as their mothers often leave them for stretches of time.

"The fawn looks abandoned but really isn't. Keep an eye on the fawn for a few hours," Murch said. "If the fawn is still alone and looks injured, then it's time for an animal rehabilitator and time to call us."

In the North Andover case, the fawn was believed to have been stuck in a garage.

Patenaude guessed the fawn was less than a week old and simply couldn't get up on its legs. So, Osbaldeston brought the baby deer to their North Andover home. They nursed it all night. The weak fawn spent the night curled up in their living room as the couple used an eye dropper to feed it baby formula, said Patenaude.

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