June 21 (UPI) -- A fawn has made itself at home in a New Jersey family's backyard pool to escape the summer heat.
Resident Brittney Benincasa first spotted the deer climbing out of the pool outside her Freehold Township home on June 14.
"I went to the sink to wash my hands, and through the window, I saw it climbing out of pool and on to the pavement," she said. "She shook off and laid in my landscaping for like 45 minutes, then she got up again and walked back towards the pool, leaning over the edge. I had no idea that she could even swim."
Benincasa said she feared the deer had escaped drowning when she first saw the wet deer near her pool and observed that she "didn't look happy."
She hesitated to call animal services, instead opening up the surrounding gates to give it the opportunity to walk out on its own.
When the deer approached the pool again Benincasa eventually decided to make the unusual call to animal control when she witnessed an unexpected event.
"What I thought was going to be a fall into the pool, was actually a step down into it," she said. "Then she just started to pace back and forth near the jets, because she clearly liked the massage, that was very obvious...And then she just stepped down again and started to swim laps around the pool, like she belonged there. Like she owned the place."
The deer continued to return to the pool every day to enjoy the cool water and the massaging jets.
Benincasa believes the deer is attracted to her pool because its dark bottom resembles a pond and she uses salt-based chemicals as opposed to chlorine.
"The salt I use is a food-grade salt, it's not even as salty as the ocean," she said.
She said the deer's daily visits aren't necessarily welcome, but make for an interesting story.
"It is, what it is. What are you going to do? Half the time we're not out there when she comes by, and then it's kind of like 'catch me if you can'" Benincasa said. "We are a family of animal lovers, so to be angry about it just doesn't make sense. We don't necessarily welcome it, but we understand that it's a short-term thing because she's only going to be skinny enough to squeeze through the fence for a little longer."