Lilly the Deer

Michigan Family Wins Right to Keep Pet Deer

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources will allow a Michigan family to keep a deer they have raised since it was a fawn. The family, whose identity has not been made public, rescued the deer five years ago when it was orphaned after its mother was hit by a car in front of their Genesee County home. The decision is a reversal of the DNR’s earlier ruling which would have sent the deer, named Lilly, to a zoo and ignited outrage across the Internet. A petition garnered over 16,000 signatures and an Indiegogo campaign raised thousands of dollars to help the family with legal fees.

DNR director Keith Creagh said in a statement, “This is an extraordinary situation in which, in violation of Michigan law, a wild animal was, unfortunately kept for a very long period of time in a home enivronment.” Under the ruling, the family will have to apply for an Exhibition Class Permit with an annual fee of $450 and do annual disease testing on the animal.

They will also be required to install and maintain a suitable high fence around their yard, though from the videos of Lilly floating around the Internet, it seems she is most happy lounging on the living room couch.

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