A couple from Connersville, Ind. is fighting misdemeanor charges against them after they took care of an injured fawn.
Jeff Counceller, a police officer, and his wife, Jennifer, said they found the deer on a front porch in 2010. They said the fawn, who they later named Dani, had puncture wounds due to being infested by maggots.
The couple brought the deer back to their 17-acre farm, despite the Department of Natural Resources’ request for the couple to return the deer back into the wild. However, the couple continued to care for the fawn and was charged in early January with illegal possession of a white-tailed deer.
The couple said returning the deer into the wild before it was healthy would have killed it. The Councellers also stated they did not know it was illegal to keep the deer. The couple applied for a rescue permit, but it was denied.
Dani disappeared last summer on the day DNR officials planned to euthanize it.
A Facebook page called “Drop Charges Against Connersville Police Officer” was created in support of the couple. The page had more than 29,000 likes by Wednesday afternoon.
The news even reached Gov. Mike Pence, who stated it appears DNR acted in accordance with Indiana law.
“As most of you are aware, Indiana law prohibits the possession of wild animals, and the DNR is tasked under the law by the General Assembly to enforce those measures,” said Gov. Pence.
The governor said he looking into the matter.
“We all admire compassion for an injured animal,” said Gov. Pence. “Hoosiers cherish our animals whether they’re our pets, our livestock or whether they’re wild animals. But this is a state of laws and as governor of the State of Indiana, my focus is going to be to make sure that our laws are fairly and impartially enforced.”
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