A Michigan family said wildlife officials want to take away the pet deer they rescued as a newborn when her mother was hit by a car.
The family, who asked not to be named, said Lilly the deer's mother was struck by a car while pregnant in Genesee County, Mich., and gave birth to Lilly as she was dying by the side of the road five years ago, ABC News reported Tuesday.
The newborn deer was in "rough shape, but she was alive," the deer's owner said. "I asked the officer if he had any problem if we could try to save her and he said, 'Go ahead, she won't last 15 minutes, but give it a try.' Five years later, she's a member of our family and we love her to pieces."
The owner said the Michigan Department of Natural Resources contacted them after a neighbor's friend complained to authorities. The department said it is illegal to possess a wild animal in the state.
"It would be like taking a child away ... She sleeps on a futon, she watches TV," the owner said. The deer also plays with the family's dogs and "plays Frisbee with the boys," the owner said.
The family said they are concerned officials would euthanize Lilly because she never lived in the wild.
"It would be very, very devastating," Lilly's owner said. "I think there's exceptions to the rules. Sometimes love should be enough."