Whatever Happened to Hoosier Hospitality? C’Mon Indiana Make Bambi Proud!

January 30th, 2013

My home state of Indiana is a great place—friendly people, reasonable cost of living, and the THE best basketball in the nation.

That’s why it was so shocking to read that state officials are persecuting by possibly prosecuting a Connersville, Indiana couple who rescued a little white-tailed fawn, known as Dani, from certain death.

The alleged “criminal” in this instance is actually a police officer named Jeff Counceller and his wife, Jennifer, who is a nurse.  Two years ago, Mr. Counceller noticed little Dani the deer on a police call to an empty house.  Because the deer couldn’t stand and suffered a maggot infested wound, Mr. Counceller took her to his 17-acre-farm where he and his wife cared for her until she regained her health.

In the meantime, the Councellers sought help at all levels of state government.  The Department of Natural Resources told them to just send it out into nature to suffer a grisly painful death.  (Okay, they didn’t say that exactly, but they might as well have).  Petting zoos and animal rescue groups also turned them away.

Now the state has stepped in and is charging the couple with unlawful possession of a deer which is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500 and up to 60 days in jail.

First, I want to commend these good people.  Few people would have been as thoughtful and caring as to take the time to help a dying deer.  If only they’d been there when Bambi’s mother was shot, that little Disney flick might have been a little less disturbing for younger viewers in the audience.  It takes a truly good person to care for a deer in distress.

I’ve done my share of animal rescue myself.  One time I stopped traffic so we could all let a giant turtle cross the road.  I’ve also taken lost dogs to the pound and fed starving animals.  I did it because it was the right thing to do.  Yet, even I (great humanitarian that I am) probably wouldn’t have gone the extra mile like this couple did.

What thanks do they get?

State prosecution.

Not only is this an enormous injustice but a huge waste of taxpayer money. What makes this even crazier is that the state wanted to take control of little Dani in order to kill her.  Thankfully, just before state officials arrived to execute her, she escaped or was otherwise rescued.  Either way, she’s been spared a death sentence at the hands of the State of Indiana.

The funny thing is that no one (even state officials) would give it a second thought if instead the Councellers had been driving down the road during deer season with Dani’s bullet ridden body strapped to the bed of their pickup truck.  Rescue her, however, and it’s a trip to the big house.

Governor Mike Pence has been asked to intervene in this case.  With U.S. presidents issuing pardons to turkeys at Thanksgiving, I don’t think it’s too much to ask him to have mercy on this nice couple.  Besides, it will be good for Indiana.  It’s better that he ends this whole horrible incident before the entire country thinks Indiana is heartless (and PETA marches in there).

Save this kind couple who did a very humane thing. And save Indiana from looking ridiculous.

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  1. Posted Jan 30 2013 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

    I’ll pay the fine for them!

  2. Mike
    Posted Jan 31 2013 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    My heart says the same thing..I’d pay the fine. But being a long time hunter & with deer populations being out of control for years, the state officer (if he didn’t want to do his job!) should have told the officer to just shoot him, since you can’t keep a wild animal, it would have been the only humane thing to do.