Michigan Family Allowed to Keep Pet Deer Rescued After Mother's Death

Some good news for a family in Michigan who, after a battle with the state's Department of Natural Resources, will be able to keep their pet deer, which they rescued five years ago.

The family rescued and adopted the deer shortly after its mother was hit by a car outside the family's home. Immediately after being hit, the deer went into labor and delivered twins, only one of whom survived. The family asked the police officer on the scene if they could keep the baby deer to nurse it back to health. "Go ahead. She won't last 15 minutes but give it a try,” he responded.

The rehabilitation worked, and the deer, which they named Lilly, became part of their family. Lilly reportedly enjoys playing frisbee and watching Animal Planet, and she sleeps on a futon inside the house next to the family's cats. Sure.

Michigan Family Allowed to Keep Pet Deer Rescued After Mother's Death

But when word got around to Michigan's Department of Natural Resources, because of the snitching friend of a neighbor, reportedly, the family found themselves in legal trouble; the state organization ordered the family to give up the deer because they were not licensed wildlife rehabilitators.

The family said that would be like “losing a child” and told the Daily Mail that Lilly would be “heartbroken” if she were taken away from them. “We're all she's ever known."

Thankfully, after a minor media uproar and an online petition that gathered over 10,000 signatures, the family reached an agreement with the department.

“Lilly’s caretakers have applied for an Exhibition Class Permit and they will continue to provide Lilly with the love, care, and environment she needs to thrive,” their lawyer told ABC News. The family also agreed to put a suitable fence around their yard and to test Lily annually for various diseases.

The family, who didn't want to be indentified, released a statement after the agreement was reached:

As you can imagine the last several weeks have been an emotional roller coaster for us and now that the agreement has been signed we would like to recapture the regular routine of our lives.

Hopefully, that plan includes helping other deer in need. They could start with this guy.

[ABC News/Image via LillytheDeer]

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