The barking of Heidi Martin-Parrish’s two Shih Tzus a little after midnight Tuesday was the first indication that something wasn’t right.
She had just let Rox and Charlie Brown out prior to heading to bed and they hadn’t returned. So she went to see what was going on. That’s when she heard the splashing — like she’d never heard before — coming from her backyard pool.
“I knew it wasn’t something human,” said Martin-Parrish, who gathered her dogs and made sure they were safely inside.
She then grabbed a candle and peeked over the edge of the pool to see what splashing. The noise scared her before she could see the animal, and she retreated back to the house.
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After initial confusion on whom to call, she eventually called 911 about 1:10 a.m. Dispatchers sent police and an animal control officer to the home near 98th Street and Wornall Road.
When police arrived, they shined their flashlights into the pool and saw it was a deer.
The animal control officer, who was delayed by another call, told the police officers by phone to put down carpets or rugs to give the deer traction to get out, according to Chris Hernandez, director of communications for Kansas City. That didn’t work.
After the animal control officer arrived about 2:20 a.m., the officers worked in the dark for about 40 minutes trying to coax the deer out. That didn’t work either.
“It appeared that the deer was too frightened because so many people were there,” Hernandez said in an email. “The deer was refusing to move up (to the pool’s shallow end) and was trying to hide in the water.”
About 3 a.m., the officers decided to pull back and see if the deer would climb out by itself.
The deer still wouldn’t come out.
Firefighters arrived next. They used ladders and lassos to pull the deer free about 8:30 a.m.
“This was truly a team effort by animal control, police and freighters,” Hernandez said.
He said wildlife calls are fairly common for animal control, which handles 20,000 calls a year. Animal control officers respond to calls any time of day. During business hours, people should call the 3-1-1 Action Center. After business hours, people should call police.
Martin-Parrish, who said she had drained most of the water so the pool could be cleaned Wednesday, was relieved to see the deer rescued.
“I’m so happy she’s OK,” Martin-Parrish said. “I’m glad this was a happy ending.”