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.

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