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Deer at Missouri Cemetery Loses Dog She Befriended

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – The unlikely companionship that developed at a Kansas City cemetery between two misfits a stray dog and a motherless doe has ended.

The doe, named Ella, and the dog have been at each other’s sides in Kansas City’s 43-acre Elmwood Cemetery for the past few months.

Cemetery officials said that although it appeared the two had a bond, they were concerned that the dog wouldn’t make it through the winter, The Kansas City Star reported.

Some suggested that the cemetery set up a dog house or feed the dog, but cemetery officials were reluctant to give the dog shelter and food out of concern that it would attract other less friendly strays that wouldn’t be as nice to Ella. The deer was born at Elmwood Cemetery around Memorial Day 2011 and then lost her mother to traffic. Ella has become a mascot for the cemetery and often shows up for funerals.

On Friday, a team from Wayside Waifs, a local no-kill animal shelter, set up a humane trap with treats for the dog and were notified the next day that the dog had been captured. When people from the shelter arrived to get him, Ella was right by the trap that held her pal.

And she was close by when the dog was whisked away.

“Ella was standing right by the van when the dog departed, looking kind of forlorn,” said John Weilert, president of the Elmwood Cemetery Society.

Weilert said Wayside Waifs would work with the dog to get it ready for adoption. Before saying goodbye, Weilert named the dog ET, short for EpiTaph.

“It breaks my heart that they have to be separated, but they must,” Elmwood trustee Bruce 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.”

© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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