So often Ella watched mourners and helped to heal hearts at the cemetery. Now Ella was gone. On August 4, she was found shot to death.
Ella was born at the cemetery in 2011, on Memorial Day weekend. Her story went viral when she started hanging out with a stray dog, and the two bonded. The dog was adopted, but Ella remained in the place where she had been born. Her mother had been killed by a vehicle just outside the cemetery.
A gray granite memorial was donated by Frisbie Monuments. On it is an image of Ella and her stray dog friend. The memorial reads “But ask the animals and they will teach you.”
The deer had been cremated, and a group of children sang as they carried the urn with her ashes to her burial spot.
The Kansas City Star reports that 8 -year-old Atticus Straley said Ella used to walk right up to him and would nuzzle him with her nose. “She was really a special friend. I consider her family,” he said. “I loved her very much, and I always will.”
Many people had their own Ella stories. Some would go to the cemetery just to watch her. And some still look around, expecting to see the little deer there.
Phoenix M. Vankirk, 19, of Kansas City received a ticket last month for taking a deer out of season. It is punishable by a fine of $1,000 and one year in jail.
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