Family nurses deer to health, face fears of euthanasia by state - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Family nurses deer to health, face fears of euthanasia by state agents

(PHOTO: Provided) (PHOTO: Provided)
(PHOTO: Provided) (PHOTO: Provided)

For a young child, the love of a family pet - even the most unique - can last a lifetime. 

A Ripley family is learning a tough lesson about bringing home strays. 

The Abney's have raised a white tailed deer for the past six months, but fear they will lose their pet after the owner said ODNR threatened to shoot it. 

The family said "Sugar" comes and goes as he pleases ever since they first found him alone and starving. 

"We watched for a few hours and then brought him some milk and eventually he started coming home because he knew that's where we were going and that's where the food and water came from," said Nathan Abney. 

The Abney's thought they had adopted their four-legged friend until they said state wildlife agents visited their home. 

"They said you can't really have him as a pet because when he gets older he's gonna try and hoof you and buck you and stuff but he never has--he is always calm... he never tried to hit us or anything," says Nathan. 

According to Ohio Revised code, no person at any time of the year shall take in any manner or possess any number or quantity of wild animals, except wild animals that the rules permit to be taken, hunted, killed, or had in possession.

"I started crying and they said we're going to shoot it in front of you guys," claimed Hunter Abney. 

The Abney's said all they can do now is wait, since state agents allegedly didn't say when they'd be back. 

For more information about the family and their petition to save their pet's life visit

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