A stray dog and an orphaned deer find each other and become friends

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In Kansas City’s Elmwood Cemetery, an unlikely pair came together for companionship; a dog and a deer.  The dog, a stray who has been living at the cemetery for several weeks, seems to have grown close to the deer who is named Ella, and they were constantly together.  Their story became known in the local community and people offered to help but staff were reluctant to put out food for fear of attracting more dogs that might not be as nice to Ella.

With winter closing in, many worried that the dog might not survive the cold weather.  People tried to approach him, but he was skittish and backed away.  A humane trap was brought in by Wayside Waifs, a not-for-profit humane society and animal welfare organization, and was baited with dog treats.  On Saturday morning the dog was caught and brought to a veterinarian for care before being put up for adoption.

But Ella, who was born at the cemetery in May 2011, looked lost after her pal was taken away.  She lost her mother to a car when she was very young and has been “adopted” by cemetery staff.  She has become a familiar face at the cemetery and is very social, showing up at weddings and funerals and tagging along on tours.

“It breaks my heart that they have to be separated, but they must,” Mathews said in an email to friends of Elmwood. “Am I sorry they found each other? Absolutely not! I believe they became friends to teach us a lesson, however we each might interpret it.”  The dog, which Weilert named EpiTaph, or ET for short, will spend some time getting healthy and being socialized before being put up for adoption.  With any luck, he will be adopted by someone who lives nearby and will be able to visit his old friend Ella from time to time.

8 thoughts on “A stray dog and an orphaned deer find each other and become friends”

  1. What a great story. All positive. “It is better to have loved and lost…” With so many caring people in their lives these two will be fine.

  2. It will really be sad if the dog does not get adopted before his 72 hours are up…I heard every shelter has to kill a dog.if it oes not get adopted out in 72 hrs to make room for more dogs to get more money to keep getting animals in… I ask what business are you in the saving of animals or death row….a gas chamber or euthinized then cremated …. I would od feed the dog and kept them safe.. I know a dog who live in the cemetary and the staff there feed him daily…sad, sad, sad,…..I pray for the safety of both… 🙁

  3. Can’t they put the deer in a sanctuary so she won’t be alone and maybe have some deer friends so she will be less lonely ?

  4. Anonymous, maybe the church is right next to the cemetery and maybe there is historical people buried at the cemetery and they give tours ? We have some like that where I live and they have tours especially around Halloween.

  5. I am wondering why the cemetery staff does not adopt him. He could be taken care of by everyone who works there.


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