In Michigan in May 2008, a pregnant deer gave birth to two fawns, as she lay dying after being hit by a car in Genesee County. One of those baby animals did not survive, but while the other clung to life, her rescuers called the police & asked whether they could try to save the motherless fawn. They were told that, although the
newborn probably wouldn't last 15 minutes, they were welcome to try. Last week, the family that rescued that defenseless little fawn celebrated Lilly the doe's 5th birthday.
These past 5 years with her human family is the only life Lilly has ever known. An officer of the law permitted that family to take that newborn into their care on the very day she was born, essentially invalidating that deer's classification as a "wild"
animal. So any laws pertaining to wildlife cannot therefore apply so easily to Lilly, because she is not, nor has she ever been, wild.
Lilly is very much the domesticated pet. She lives peacefully with her family's other pets, naps on a futon, watches television, plays frisbee with the kids--and yes, Lilly's potty-trained! Even the neighbors enjoy having Lilly next door. But sadly, this docile
creature's life is now in jeopardy because a guest of one of those neighbors saw Lilly & reported her presence to the DNR. Now, the DNR is telling Lilly's family that they must surrender Lilly to be rehabilitated back into the wild. If she cannot make that
transition, she will have to be exterminated.
According to the Michigan DNR's by-laws: "It also is illegal to rehabilitate a deer unless the origin of the deer is confirmed to be from outside Alcona, Alpena, Crawford, Montmorency, Oscoda, Otsego and Presque Isle counties". Confusing, especially since the concept of "rehabilitation" does not clearly apply to animals
domesticated since birth, like Lilly. Regardless of how the law is interpreted, there are documented & verified instances in which the DNR has made exceptions & relaxed their protocol for orphaned deer. So, to not consider doing so in Lilly's very special case would be hypocritical, at best. Sometimes, common sense & compassion place us between "the law" and "what is right", & we're morally obligated to know the difference.
So with this petition, I ask these questions: How can this beloved pet truly be "rehabilitated" into a wild environment it has never known, in which it most certainly cannot survive? And what purpose would it serve to break the hearts of this family by removing one of its members? They saved Lilly's life & made it a special one & Lilly repays the favor every day.
Please sign my petition, & help me save this beautiful animal's life a second time.