Charges against deer-rescuing couple officially dismissed

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The charges brought against a Connersville couple who rescued an injured deer were officially dropped Friday.

Jeff Counceller and his wife, Jennifer, had faced charges of illegally possessing a white-tailed deer.

According to court documents, the Department of Natural Resources requested the charges be dismissed “given the time that has elapsed, the costs associated with the prosecution, and the apparent absence of any immediate harm from this single incident.”

The Councellers found the deer on a front porch in 2010.  They said the fawn, who they later named Dani, had puncture wounds that were 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.

Despite the request to drop the charges, the DNR said, “We believe the statute at issue here accurately reflects the Indiana General Assembly’s concern about the health and other risks associated with bringing wild animals into captivity.”

The DNR also said it believed the officers involved acted properly.


  • guest

    I wander if the fact that he is a cop is why the charges were dismissed????? Would they dismiss the charges if they were against a plain person like you or I?????? At least this will be on the books for future reference.

  • Rick

    "I wander if the fact that he is a cop is why the charges were dismissed?????" Personally I WONDER if you don't need to go back to school. The charges were dismissed because MANY people saw fit to stand up to this arcane law and the DNR for being way out of line. It was obvious that the couple knew what they were to to rehabilitate the deer since it had flourished, and to charge them, pretty much after the fact was ludicrous.

  • sandy sheppard

    it doesn't matter why, I'm pleased that the charges against the Councellers were dropped. I wonder whether the time will come when people are forbidden to help other people…told to "let nature take its course."

  • TCTucker

    People not licensed to take care of wildlife should not keep WILD animals period! They have no idea what the are doing. I really hope 'Dani' doesn't wander into a town. You all know what the Police do to wild animals that are somewhere they aren't supposed to be???

  • Guest

    They dropped the case because of the bad publicity. They got off free and clear. Doesn’t dismiss the fact they broke the law. Must be nice to be a cop, know the laws, break the laws, and don’t get charged for breaking the laws. Way to be an example there Mr. Counsellor. Did your uncle get you out of this one too????

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