EAST SETAUKET, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — There was a dangerous rescue on Saturday in Suffolk County.

A deer got its antlers caught in a lacrosse net in an East Setauket backyard. Neighbor Rose Velez was next door during the afternoon, when she heard the buck struggling.

“When I looked at it I saw that it was in distress, because its neck was tilted back in the net,” Velez told CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez. “But I can tell by the lack of movement that it wasn’t in a good place. So I was like this guy needs help.”

Rescuers had to work to free a male deer that had gotten its antlers stuck in a lacrosse net on Long Island. (Photo: Strong Island Animal Rescue)

Velez called Strong Island Animal Rescue. Frankie Floridia and his partner rushed over.

“We went up to the deer. As soon as we were able to grab it, we pulled the net over the fence. She anchored him down and I went and got to cutting,” Floridia said.

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The frightened animal kicked and flailed, but Floridia was able to cut him loose and save his life during a brief moment of calm.

“So when his adrenaline goes up he’s at risk for heart attack. He’s at risk of being over-stressed and not making it. So you got to act quickly,” Floridia said.

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Floridia said he’s had to rescue many deer from precarious situations, too often from sports nets. He said homeowners who own the nets can help prevent that.

“When it comes dusk and you’re not using them, take them down,” he said. “If you’re not going to be home for a few days, take them down. All it’s going to do is destroy your nets and cause the animal distress or death.”

Sanchez spoke with the homeowner who had the net in her back yard. She said she had never heard warnings of the dangers these nets posed to animals, adding she felt awful about what happened and immediately took them down and tossed them out.

An unnecessary extreme, but rescuers like Floridia say they appreciate any efforts to keep wildlife safe from harm and running free.

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