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Solution for Williamsville Cemetery fence

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Williamsville Cemetery photo
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New deer shields for Williamsville Cemetery fence

By Eileen Buckley

Williamsville, NY – A compromise has been reached between animal activists and operators of the Williamsville Cemetery.

An iron fence that surrounds the cemetery on Main Street has been a deadly situation over the years for the growing deer population. Deer have been impaled on the spikes of the fence, outraging animal rights members.

But Thursday, Forest Lawn Cemetery and Animals Allies of Western New York announced a solution.

Morgan Dunbar is with the animal rights group. She said they will begin to buy a black steel deer shields, designed by International Chimney. The deer shield will provide a smooth, rounded surface that is virtually invisible from outside the cemetery.

"This issue has really created a consciousness of compassion, not just in Williamsville, but across Western New York and beyond. The plight of the deer living inside and around the will cemetery, I think that it is really served to remind the public that these beautiful individuals are deserving of basic protects," said Dunbar.

Joel Thomas, wildlife administrator for the SPCA Serving Erie County, praised the shield.

"To me, this looks like an adequate solution. Realizing that nothing will ever be 100%, I think this is a real-world idea. The brackets are placed so as to deter deer from jumping from that direction and they are attractive enough that they virtually disappear into the profile of the fence," said Thomas.

All sides agreed to cap the fence spikes to protect the deer while keeping the historic preservation of the cemetery. Eventually the deer shields will be placed over the 44-hundred stanchions that surround the cemetery.

The cost to manufacture each deer safety shield is $10. The parties involved are counting on the benevolence of the community, concerned neighbors and nearby businesses to donate the funds to pay for the project.

Donations can be made to the Protect The Deer Fund of the Forest Lawn Heritage Foundation online at www.williamsvillecemetery.com.