A Michigan couple is fighting to keep their pet deer.
According to local news station WNEM’s Erik Horn, whose story is now going viral, the family adopted the deer five years ago after her mother was killed by a car.
The anonymous Genesee County couple decided to take the baby fawn into their home, and nursed her back to health with goat’s milk, according to The Daily Mail.
After two weeks, the fawn was healthy again. But instead of releasing her back into the wild, the couple kept her and named her Lilly.
Lilly has been a part of the family ever since, sleeping on a futon, playing in the backyard, and napping with the couple’s three cats and two dogs.
The neighbours have reportedly never had a problem with Lilly. But recently, a neighbour’s guest saw the doe in the backyard, and reported her to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR), who are now threatening to take Lilly away since it is illegal in Michigan to raise a fawn as a pet.
The DNR says Lilly can be rehabilitated back into the wild, or put down for good, according to WNEM. For a domesticated deer who has only known life in a human home, neither is a great option.
The couple has hired an attorney to help them either try to keep Lilly or give her to a local petting zoo where they can still visit her.
“She’s going to be heartbroken,” one of Lilly’s owners told MailOnline. “We’re all she’s ever known.”
You can see the local news report here:
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