Pet deer staying put with Michigan family

Genesee County family fighting to keep pet deer named Lilly has reason to celebrate

Author: Joanne Marie Hoopes, ClickOnDetroit.com writer
Published On: Jun 24 2013 03:56:54 PM EDT   Updated On: Jun 25 2013 02:37:17 PM EDT
GENESEE COUNTY, Mich. -

The Genesee County family fighting to keep their pet deer Lilly has reason to break out their celebration hats on Monday.

Lilly gets to stay with the family who raised her since birth.

The family made the announcement, through former Genesee County Judge Val Washington on Monday, that an agreement was reached with the Department of Natural Resources to allow them to keep their beloved pet deer.

Lilly was rescued five years ago, after her mother was hit by a car outside their home in 2009. The family says as the mother deer lay dying she gave birth to two fawns.

One fawn died, but Lilly lived with care from the family.

Watch: Michigan family fights to keep pet deer

The family, who remains anonymous, says Lilly soon became "like their child" and was often "sleeping on the couch, playing Frisbee and watching TV" with their sons.

Neighbors recently contacted the DNR and Lilly was removed. The family then hired a lawyer and launched a campaign to bring Lilly home.

A petition to let Lilly go home on Change.org, generated almost 6,000 signatures and a fund was been set up online to help the family with legal fees.

"Given Lilly's unique circumstances, the agreement represents the best possible outcome for her continued health and survival, "said Washington on Monday.

In a statement the DNR said: "Due to the extraordinary circumstances surrounding this situation, the agreement requires that in order for the deer to remain in the home, the home must be registered as a privately owned cervidae (deer/elk) facility. As operators of the facility, the family must adhere to the requirements of the Privately Owned Cervidae (POC) Producers Marketing Act (Act 190 of 2000.)

The family will now be issued a renewable permit valid for three years. They must also have adhere to the permit requirements, including having Lilly tested for bovine tuberculosis and the family must also agree not to keep additional deer, and to never take Lilly off the property.