The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has charged a former veterinary technician with two counts of possessing wild animals after she nursed two deer and four raccoons back to health and let them stay on her farm.
Carol Deyo is charged with fourth-degree misdemeanors that are punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a $250 fine for each count. Her trial is set to begin at the end of August.
“I’ll go to jail,” Deyo said. “I’ll pay the fines. Just don’t destroy these animals.”
If she is convicted, the animals are likely to die because all they have known is human care.
Deyo got her first deer after a lawn mower sliced off a hidden fawn’s right hind leg and cut open its stomach.
“Our first inclination was to put him down,” Deyo said. “But we couldn’t pull the trigger. He had a will to live. You could see it. He was licking our hands, sucking our fingers.”
She named the deer Trooper.
Fifteen months later, two men brought Deyo another fawn they had discovered under a car.
“He was severely dehydrated and started seizing when he got here,” she said. “It was obvious he’d been hit.”
Someone anonymously reported Deyo and a Division of Wildlife officer showed up at her door in November.
“The law is crystal clear, and this is a clear violation. Period,” said Mount Vernon Law Director Chip McConville. “If we start letting people take animals out of the wild, it would set a terrible precedent.”
Deyo is trying to drum up support for her cause with a Facebook page, SavingTrooper, and a petition intended for Congressman Bob Gibbs, The Columbus Dispatch reported.
“I cringe when these stories do come up because the law gets a black eye,” said Ohio Wildlife Rehabilitation Association president Becky Crow. “But the law is in place for a good reason.”