Another possible option for Lilly the deer? - WNEM TV 5

Another possible option for Lilly the deer?

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A family is not backing down after the DNR says they must either release their pet deer into the wild or put it down.

WNEM reached out to a local deer haven to see if it might be an alternative option for Lilly's future.

For Hillary Aspin, deer are part of the family. She's the boss at Whitetails in Gladwin, a farm for deer born in captivity.

Aspin saw TV5's story about the family in Genesee County that's trying to keep their pet deer Lilly. The state DNR is threatening to take the fawn away, saying it was illegal for the family to raise the wild animal as it's own. Aspin, who had a deer die earlier this year, says she empathizes with the family.

"I understand when she says it's been a member of our family for five years. We only had this little fawn for eight days and it was very difficult for our entire family," said Aspin.

The DNR says Lilly will need to be rehabilitated to go back to the wild, or put down. But what about the possibility of Lilly calling this deer haven home?

Aspin believes Lilly would be a great fit at the haven and she would to have her, but unfortunately she says the law won't allow it.

Aspin says,"You can't hold a wild animal captive. That's the DNR's law."

Because Lilly was born in the wild and not in captivity, Aspin says it would be illegal to bring the deer to the haven.

"We're not a rehab facility. Rehab facilities work with the animal to get them back into the wild. And none of our animals are going into the wild. They never lived there and they never will," said Aspin.

Aspin tells us the DNR would pull her license if she took Lilly in. She is holding out hope that the DNR and this family can work out some sort of resolution. But she admits that Lilly is in a tough situation right now.

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