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Michigan Family Fights for Pet Deer

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A Genesee County Michigan family is being told by the Department of Natural Resources of the State of Michigan that they could no longer keep their pet deer “Lilly”. Lilly has been a part of the family for the past five years when her mother was killed outside the family’s home. Now Lilly has become part of the family. She stays inside the house, sleeps on a futon, watches T.V. and plays frisbee. The family has hired a lawyer and intend on fighting for their pet.

The law in Michigan is clear. You can obtain a wildlife permit to have a wild animal as a pet, but the animal must have been born or bred in captivity. In the case above, the animal was obviously born in the wild, albeit Lilly was born after her mother was hit right outside the family’s home. The basis of these laws are that if a wild animal is taken in to be kept in captivity, the animal will likely become stressed and diseased and the disease can be passed on to other animals or humans. So if the letter of the law is followed, the family will lose. An exception could be made, but if they are held strictly to the law, they will lose Lilly.

There was a similar case in New York in February 2013 with Petey the pet pig. New York City officials stuck to the law and would not allow the family to keep the pig. The family moved so that they were able to keep Petey the Pig.

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