Jeff and Jennifer Counceller thought were doing the right thing when they saved the life of an injured baby deer they found near their home in Indiana. But because they didn't have a permit, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is prosecuting them and they could face up to 60 days in prison. The DNR should drop these charges now.
When they found the fawn on a neighbor’s porch in 2010, she was badly injured with puncture wounds that were infected and had maggots in them. Jennifer, a registered nurse and wound caretaker for the couple’s dogs and horses took the deer home and named it Dani and began nursing the deer back to health.
When they called the DNR they were told to return the deer to the wild and let nature take it’s course. That would have been a death sentence for the deer. Instead, they tried to find Dani a home at animal rescue operations, petting zoos and deer farms, but no one would take her. The Counceller's decided to keep caring for the deer until it was strong enough to make it on it’s own in the wild.
This past summer the DNR started an investigation into the situation and a DNR official recommended they get a permit to rehabilitate Dani. The DNR then denied the permit application and then said the deer would have to killed.
Just before DNR officials arrived at the Counceller's house to kill Dani she escaped through a gate that was left open. Now, the DNR has assigned a special prosecutor to the case and they're charging both Jeff and Jennifer with illegal possession of a white-tailed deer.
Jeff is a police officer and Jennifer is a nurse - these are good people who were just trying to the right thing by saving an injured animal. They don't deserve to go to jail and the DNR should drop all charges against them.
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