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Fri Feb 1, 2013, 11:43 AM

Oh, Deer: Indiana Considers Case of Dani's Caretakers

The case of Dani the orphan deer and the couple who took her in reached the highest levels of Indiana's government on Thursday. The saga got its start in 2010, when Jeff Counceller, a police officer in Connersville, was on a call and came upon an injured baby whitetail deer. He said the animal had been bitten several times and was near death. He and his wife, Jennifer, called the fawn Dani and started caring for her, feeding her first with an eye dropper and then a bottle.

(snip)

The problem: It can be a crime to possess a whitetail deer. Now the deer and the Councellers, who have been charged with a misdemeanor of illegal possession of a whitetail deer, have captured the attention of the state capital, where debate is growing over whether to praise or punish the couple.

(snip)

Mr. Counceller said he knew the deer would eventually go back into the wild, and the couple began spending less time with Dani to prepare it. But before the deer left their care in June 2012, conservation officers became aware of it and opened an investigation. According to court documents, the officers let the couple know the deer would have to be killed because of its extensive contact with humans. Before that happened, Dani was released from a pen Mr. Counceller had built and didn't return. Charges were brought against the couple in recent months, and Mr. and Mrs. Counceller each face 60 days in jail and a $500 fine if convicted.. But the Councellers have found a groundswell of supporters on the Internet, including a petition calling on prosecutors to drop the charges.

More..

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323926104578276391662346374.html

(You may need to copy and paste the title onto google to open)




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Reply Oh, Deer: Indiana Considers Case of Dani's Caretakers (Original post)
question everything Feb 2013 OP
joeybee12 Feb 2013 #1
DogPawsBiscuitsNGrav Feb 2013 #2
dballance Feb 2013 #3
hamsterjill Feb 2013 #5
dballance Feb 2013 #6
nobodyspecial Feb 2013 #4
hamsterjill Feb 2013 #7
question everything Feb 2013 #8

Response to question everything (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 11:50 AM

1. On the next episode of power hungry bureaucrats gone wild...

FFS, this couple knew how to handle the deer properly and care for it...the department needs to drop this one before they look like even bigger assholes than they already do.

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Response to question everything (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 12:01 PM

2. A police officer finally does something kind for an animal and he's in trouble for it.

 

I'm going to write, call and do whatever I can. This so is wrong.

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Response to DogPawsBiscuitsNGrav (Reply #2)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 12:47 PM

3. Not to Sound Cruel and Inhumane but there is Nothing "Wrong" About This

The police officer did right, then did wrong.

He did a good thing getting the deer out of immediate harm's way. But he did the wrong thing by keeping it like he'd keep a stray puppy. He's a law enforcement officer and he broke the law.

What he should have done, and what I think most people would do, is after getting home call the wildlife resources department in his state or maybe even the humane society to find out what the proper course of action would be. Under no circumstances should private citizens take on the raising of a wild animal like a deer. Doing this turns them into an animal dependent on humans. I know the article said they were spending less time with the deer to try to ready it for re-entry into the wild. I can't speak to how successful that re-integration into the wild would be. I'd defer to wildlife management professionals.

The law the officer broke is there to protect animals like this white-tailed deer. They are wild animals and should not be in the possession of private citizens and becoming dependent on humans. That's the sort of reason for the law. I would not be surprised at all if the reason the deer was slated to be euthanized is because the chances of it surviving once it would be turned loose into the wild are probably pretty slim. Euthanizing it may be a more human thing for it than it having to slowly starve to death.


But sorry, it's not "wrong" to prosecute the couple for breaking a law. I think the fact there is a cute little deer involved is clouding people's judgement about the basic fact they broke the law.

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Response to dballance (Reply #3)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 12:56 PM

5. Sorry, but I don't agree.

The officer and his wife did the compassionate, RIGHT thing.

P.S. I grew up on a large ranch and it was commonplace to have pet deer, normally fawns that were saved when some idiot shot the mother. There are people who have the knowledge and experience to take care of them. It should not be a crime to help a living, breathing being.

The laws should be there to protect the wildlife, but the laws should never be so narrow that specific circumstances cannot be exceptions to the laws. To simply drag this deer away from the people who nurtured her back to health and euthanize her would have been a travesty.



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Response to hamsterjill (Reply #5)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 01:17 PM

6. I Believe Your Experience and This Situation are a Bit Different

You said you grew up on a large ranch and it was commonplace to have pet deer. That's all well and good. You obviously committed to taking care of the deer as pets for their whole lives. This would be the proper thing to do since raising them by humans domesticates them and makes them dependent on humans. It usually makes them unable to fend for themselves in the wild.

In this particular case the couple intended to put the deer back in the wild. As I said in my post it is uncertain how successful putting that deer back into the wild might be. That's a decision for the wildlife professionals who have the education and experience to make that decision. Not to a private couple who, I admit, thought they were doing the right thing and were certainly pure in their motives in my opinion.

However, pure motives do not mitigate the fact they broke the law. I'm disturbed by your statement "laws should never be so narrow that specific circumstances cannot be exceptions to the laws." The couple should be charged with violation of the law because they violated it. The law enforcement officers who arrested them and the DA who charged them did their jobs. Now it's up to the courts. The judge is free to dismiss the case if he agrees with you and the others who feel this couple should be given leniency. If there is a jury trial the jury has the ability to do what's known as "jury nullification." They can acquit the couple even if it's clear they were guilty. These are the two ways your desire for "exceptions" can be done.

I'm not sure how you envisioned "exceptions" to laws working. That seems to be a slippery slope to me. Who makes the exceptions? Which laws are too narrow and require exceptions.

Also, as I said in my post the wildlife resources professionals probably know more than you and I about how likely that deer would be to survive if it were returned to the wild. Returning it to the wild to allow it to starve to death or quickly be killed by a predator because it was raised by humans and not its mother so it never developed skills to survive in the wild would be a travesty.

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Response to question everything (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 12:52 PM

4. I think the issue is not the care provided initially

but the fact that the night before the deer would be taken, it "accidentally" gets out of the pen. Agree with the law or not, a law enforcement officer doesn't have the discretion to break it.

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Response to question everything (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 02:46 PM

7. DNR to request that charges be dismissed in Connersville deer case

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Response to question everything (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 08:33 PM

8. Couple Won't Face Charges For Adopting Dani the Deer

Criminal charges were dismissed Friday against an Indiana couple who gained national attention after being prosecuted for taking in an injured baby deer they named Dani.

(snip)

The decision to drop the charges came after Indiana Gov. Mike Pence asked the state Department of Natural Resources to re-evaluate the case. On Friday, prosecutors said the department requested dismissal, but declined to comment further.

The couple said they were glad the charges had been dropped and remained surprised at the attention their case drew. Ms. Counceller said she now hopes state legislators will re-examine the law under which she and her husband were charged to ensure an act of compassion isn't treated as a crime in the future. As for Dani, Ms Counceller said the deer seems to be adapting to life in the wild. She recently saw her drinking from a nearby pond with other deer.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324906004578292480058388820.html

Glad that it ended this way. Be well deer Dani.

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