Smith County Sheriff's Sgt. Gary Hinshaw logs a lot of miles in his patrol unit and deals with many animals hit by vehicles, but Wednesday afternoon the veteran peace officer got to help an injured baby deer.
Hinshaw said he was driving down Paluxy Drive near Farm-to-Market Road 346, when he came upon what he thought was a bad accident.
"There were people pointing down into the woods saying "go, go, go," so I thought a car was upside down in the ditch I couldn't see. I got out and heard this screaming and it sounded just like a woman screaming. I thought, 'man this is going to be bad,'" he said.
What Hinshaw heard was not an injured person, but instead a baby deer that was hit by a passing motorist and was crying out in pain.
"I got down there and saw the deer and this gentleman (Robert Quates) holding the deer in his arms. I thought what in the world. The man (Quates) told me when he first picked up the deer, its heart was racing and it was going nuts, but we have it calmed down some now," he said at the scene.
Quates said he was on his way to work at Lock & Load when he saw the injured deer on the side of the road.
"I got out, and some others scared it down to the tree line, so instead of letting it crawl around suffering, because its leg was just dangling, I went down there and picked it up. I have been holding it until we could figure out what were going to do with it," he said. "I just couldn't leave it down there by itself."
Hinshaw said the deer's mother was very upset and was stomping around at the edge of the woods looking for her offspring.
"It's sad that we had to take her baby, but it wouldn't have made it out there without treatment," he said.
Hinshaw and Quates made their way back to the road and into Hinshaw's patrol unit where they waited until Smith County Animal Control Officer Juan Dockens could arrive on scene.
Dockens assessed the animal and decided he wanted the deer in the cab of his truck, instead of a cage in the back.
He took two of his extra uniform shirts in his truck and wrapped the young animal to keep it still.
The deer was transported to the Henderson Animal Care Clinic in Henderson for treatment.
Hinshaw said the clinic was one of the only places in the entire area that would take injured deer.
Henderson Animal Care Clinic personnel said Dr. Mary Evelyn Points was taking X-Rays of the injured leg shortly before 5 p.m. Wednesday.
"The deer does have a broken leg, but they are still doing their assessment at this time," one clinic employee said.
The employee said two more veterinarians were working on an injured peacock that was hit by a car near Kilgore.
Hinshaw chuckled when asked what he thought of the experience. "Well it made me feel really good, and I am glad to have been a part of this."
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Smith County Sheriff's Sgt. Gary Hinshaw and Robert Quates came to the aid of a young deer Wednesday after the animal was struck by a car on Paluxy Drive near Farm-to-Market Road 346. (Staff Photo By Kenneth Dean)