Jail Time For Saving Bambi?

Information courtesy of ABC News’ Gio Benitez, Mosheh Gains and Emily Stanitz

Should an Indiana couple go to jail for saving Bambi?

That’s the question surrounding the case of Jeff and Jennifer Counceller, who rescued an injured fawn and nursed it back to health at their Connersville, Ind., home. The couple now faces the possibility of jail time and fines after state officials charged them with a misdemeanor for harboring the animal. Jeff Counceller, a police officer in Connersville, and his wife were charged with unlawful possession of a deer, a misdemeanor that punished to its fullest extent could put the Councellers in jail for up to 60 days and cost them up to $2,000 in fines.

The couple rescued the deer more than two years ago after finding it on their neighbor’s porch. The Councellers said the deer had sustained injuries, and they wanted to nurse it back to health. “I could feel all of the open wounds all along her back side and she wouldn’t stand up,” Jennifer Counceller told ABC News. They brought the deer home and named her Little Orphan Dani. The Councellers said an Indiana Conservation Officer stopped by their home and discovered the deer this past summer. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources wanted to euthanize Dani, saying she might be dangerous and a threat to people. “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.

fawn On the day Dani was to be put down, the Councellers said she inexplicably escaped from their backyard. Even though Dani disappeared back into the wild, the Councellers’ legal problems didn’t go with the fawn. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources said it couldn’t comment on pending litigation but that it did discourage people from taking in injured wildlife. This case could go to court next month, and if charges aren’t dropped, it will be left for a jury to decide whether the Councellers broke the law. “No matter what the law is, we did what was right for the animal,” Counceller said. Meanwhile, the story has caused uproar on the Internet. A Facebook support page has more than 6,400 “Likes” in support of the couple. An online petition to drop the charges already has more than 3,800 signatures. Rick on Change.org wrote, “An act of humanity should not be rewarded with a sentence.” Michelle on Facebook wrote, “They are being punished for having compassion and showing kindness.” The Councellers’ case could go to court next month.

If you were faced with a similar situation what would you do? Should compassion be punished? Should those who break the law go to jail…regardless of the intented good deed? Let us know what you think about this.

See the video here…….http://gma.yahoo.com/blogs/abc-blogs/police-officer-wife-could-face-jail-time-saving-130022946–abc-news-topstories.html


  1. Tami Renee says:

    Blessed are the merciful for they will be shown mercy. Matthew 5:7
    It is sad someone could face jail time for showing mercy on one of God's creatures.

  2. The CD has become just one more over reaching overstepping, overbearing arm of uncle Sam (big brother). They have WAY too much power and authority.

  3. this is a rediculous "crime" i would take it as a little pet and pet it so much and play with it and stuff

  4. Jay Battistoni says:

    They are definatly not criminals. they did what I hope most of us who love and respect the outdoors would have done. my hat goes off to people like this. Its time law enforcment focused on stopping real criminals and commend people like this

  5. There are laws to protect people and wildlife. There are channels to go through for people who rescue injured or abandoned animals. The police officer and his wife should have known better and called the DNR. Perhaps they shouldn't have jail time but a stiff fine should let them know that it is not acceptable to take thing into your own hand and in the future to seek out proper channels to help injured wildlife.

  6. Sad to say but leaving it out in the woods would have been the circle of life.

  7. Jim Miller says:

    I say let them burn for their mistake! Laws are here for a reason.

  8. Yeah Derek

  9. Yeah Derek and Jim! We need more and more and more laws and regs! That's brilliant! Let's just have the woods crawl with brown shirts. You don't get it…anymore, the CD is about people management, not wildlife management. Wake up or someday they might just be coming for you!

  10. 1) A Cop should have known better
    2) They should have called DNR to come get the animal, as it could have grown to be dangerous and could have hurt somebody while being cared for…these aint kitty cats.
    3) The State of Indiana needs to lighten up. Error in judgement on the part of this couple? Maybe. Crime of the century needing all this chest thumping from the State? Certainly not!

    Where is the public education program letting citizens know why they shouldn't take in hurt wildlife? Take the money for trials and lawyers and put it to good use for goodness sakes. More wasteful spending and puffing up from an inadequate government entity…

  11. i would love to see tax payer money go to court for drug charges, sexual assult charges, or murder charges. not this…


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