Have you ever seen Fox and the Hound? This friendship between a deer and a dog in Indiana is another doomed friendship similar to the cartoon. Regardless, it is just as sad.
The Department of Natural Resources has seized a deer from a home in Indiana that has raised it as a pet. In the Hoosier State, keeping a white-tailed deer is illegal.
Bimbo, the deer, had befriended two husky dogs in Fishers, Indiana. The unusual trio has become nothing short of famous in the town. However, the knock on the family’s door on Tuesday sealed the fate of the friendship for the animals.
The Saving and Seizing
The Lopez family first spotted the baby fawn last summer when it was abandoned by its mother and sitting along the road, close to dangerous traffic. They sprung into action, saving Bimbo and taking him to their house, where they thought it would run back into the wild.
“We thought he would end up leaving, just taking off and not coming back, but he actually started forming a really great bond with our dogs,” said Trixi Lopez. “Our oldest dog, Cari, instantly started acting like a mother to him.”
On Jan.19, the Indiana DNR seized the animal after residents complained that the family kept Bimbo as a pet.
“We understand that these situations can be difficult, and we have empathy for the family, but we can’t overlook the law,” said Capt. Jet Quillen, who handles public relations for DNR’s law enforcement division. “It’s not fair for that wild animal to be kept as a pet. Wild animals are meant to be wild.”
In addition, the Lopez family said that they were never holding the deer captive. Bimbo could leave at any time, even though they did consider him a pet. Neighbors would see Bimbo entering the house after learning how to use the dog door.
Officer Quillen determined that the deer was, in fact, considered a pet after photos surfaced of Bimbo in the house. Quillen also warned that deer could become dangerous during mating season.
Deer and Dog Are Partners in Crime
The bond between the dogs and their wild friend was not going to be broken that easily, however. While the older husky, Cari, cared for and slept with Bimbo, the younger husky, Lobo, liked to get into trouble.
The DNR took Bimbo to a licensed animal rehabilitator to prepare the deer to be re-released into the wild.
“The animal had obviously been imprinted by humans, so a rehabilitator will try to get the deer back to being a wild animal,” Quillen said.
Community members feel for the Lopez family and have offered to start a petition to get the deer back. However the family refused, saying Bimbo deserves a life in the wild.
[H/T Fox 59]