Coming soon to a doctor near you

What’s happening in Indiana?

An Indiana police officer and his wife who nursed an injured baby deer back to health plan to fight state charges stemming from their rescue efforts. Jeff Counceller, a police officer in the eastern Indiana city of Connersville, found the deer in 2010 curled up on a front porch with maggot-infested puncture wounds. He and his wife, Jennifer, kept the deer in an enclosure on their 17-acre farm and named her Dani, The Indianapolis Star reports. Indiana’s Department of Natural Resources told the Councellers to return the ailing deer to the wild, but they took it home and nursed it back to health. The couple were charged earlier this month with illegal possession of a white-tailed deer, a misdemeanor that carries up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine. Jeff Counceller said returning it to the wild at the time “would have been a death sentence.” The family told the Star they intended to return the deer to the wild once it was strong enough to survive on its own. The Councellers tried to find a home for the deer at animal rescue operations, petting zoos and deer farms, but no one would take her. They say they didn’t know it was illegal to keep the deer. The deer vanished last summer on the day when the DNR planned to euthanize the animal after the couple’s request for a rescue permit was denied.

Good thing they didn’t try to remodel the deer’s pen. Good thing they didn’t try to fund their rescue through a lemonade stand, or try to teach the deer to throw a frisbee.

2 Responses to “Coming soon to a doctor near you”

  1. feeblemind Says:

    Does anyone else here see the irony of a policeman being tripped up by an obscure law?

    One wonders if the intent of the law was for situations like this or if it was written to fine hunters who had bagged deer without a license/permit? The incident described in the article sounds like mission creep on the part of the bureaucracy.

    In any event I would speculate that some parasitic bureaucratic microbe was enraged that he was being defied and thus ordered the deer to be euthanized. For whatever reason it reminds me of the nasty woman (wicked witch) in the opening of the Wizard of Oz that wanted Toto destroyed.

    In the 80s I recall someone finding a litter of kits(?) (baby foxes) in a culvert by the highway. Their mother had been run over and killed nearby. The game and parks commission was called and they said to, “let nature take its course” which of course meant leave the babies to starve to death, so the attitude displayed by the bureaucrats in the article must be fairly widespread.

    This also reminds me of an incident in Nebraska in the early mid 70s. A deer wandered into a small town and ended up being tamed and spoiled by the town’s people. Farmer’s brought her silage to eat. She was very popular. Then Game & Parks got wind of her and decided she must be relocated so they sent an employee out to tranquilize her. However, instead of tranquilizing her, he accidentally killed her. The folks in town were outraged but to no avail.

    I am always struck by the fact that The State considers wildlife as ‘theirs’ to ‘manage’, while profiting from hunting licenses and permits. However if it were to come to paying land owners for providing the habitat or being liable for damage when one of The State’s animals is hit on a highway, all of a sudden they are just wildlife belonging to no one.

  2. MarkD Says:

    Government, preventing us from doing the things they won’t do.

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