DNR Has A Change Of Heart In Dani The Deer Case

By Emma Koch

February 1, 2013 Updated Feb 1, 2013 at 4:11 PM EDT

CONNERSVILLE, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) -- Connersville couple, Jeff and Jennifer Counceller's were facing 60 days behind bars harboring a wild animal, until Government Mike Pence stepped in and convienced the DNR to dimiss the charges.

Jeff Counceller, a Connersville police officer first encountered "Dani" the deer when Jeff was responded to a call for a wounded fawn on a porch two years ago.

"I was gonna put her back in the woods, but I seen the injuries and I knew they were life threatening so I called Jennifer," explained Jeff Counceller.

His wife, Jennifer Counceller, is a nurse and thought she could help, so the couple nursed Dani back to health. They built a pen for Dani and bottle fed her until she could grow stronger. But, before they could release her into the wild, a Department of Natural Resources officer told them they needed a rescue permit to keep Dani.

The Counceller's were turned down when they requested a rescue permit and the DNR informed the couple that they would have to put the baby deer down.

"She was a threat to society. Is what they said," stated Jeff Counceller.

But the day Dani was scheduled to be euthanized, someone had removed the bungee cord that held the door of her pen closed and she had escaped. There is still no information on her whereabouts.

The Counceller's were charged with harboring a wild animal and were facing a potential 60 days behind bars.

After a huge social media push from the community asking Governor Mike Pence to clear the couple, Pence has stated that he feels the DNR "acted appropriately" where the law is concerned.

According to a release from the DNR, Pence requested a full briefing and after reviewing the matter, asked the DNR to reevaluate the case. As a result of Governor Pence's request, the DNR has re-examined the case and is seeking dismissal of the charges.

It will now be up to a special prosecutor to determine if the charges will actually be dropped.

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