Jeff and Jennifer Counceller of Connersville said they found the fawn injured on their neighbor's porch more than two years ago and brought the animal to their home where they treated her wounds and nursed her back to health, ABC News reported Tuesday.
The couple said a conservation officer from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources came by their home during the summer and told them the state wanted to euthanize the deer, which they had dubbed Little Orphan Dani. The officer said Dani could be dangerous and a threat to humans.
"I was devastated. I spent a year and several months nursing her into adulthood, getting to the point where she was able to go out on her own," Counceller said.
The Councellers said Dani escaped from their home the day she was scheduled to be euthanized.
State officials are now attempting to press charges against the couple for unlawful possession of a deer, a misdemeanor bearing a maximum penalty of 60 days in jail and $2,000 in fines.
"No matter what the law is, we did what was right for the animal," Jennifer Counceller said.