Dillie the Deer Maligned as Dangerous

Since Dillie the deer has gotten a lot of press, her human mom, vet Dr. Melanie Butera, has gotten a lot of grief.   The panic runs the gamut from worrying Dillie is plotting murder to fretting the GPS collar might suffocate her.

“It seems like the hunters are the ones that get the most upset,” says Dr. Butera. On Friday’s Bill O’Reilly show Alisyn Camerota, one of Fox’s blond correspondents, picked the Butera family as the stupidest thing of the week. “Haven’t we all learned,” Camerota said, “that when you live with a domesticated wild animal, one day it wakes up and eats you.”

Hasn’t Camerota learned that an animals can’t be both domesticated and wild? That there’s a difference between carnivores and herbivores? Or even that this particular deer was farm-bred? Maybe Keith Olbermann, a big fan of deer–or at least security videos of deer invading stores–will respond.

“I wondered how she is going to to kill me. Is she going to apply for an American Express card and get on the Home Shopping Network and order a machete?” asked  Dr. Butera.

Not that we’re fans of pet deer. Dillie is an exception because she was born on a farm (not in the wild), raised by an experienced wildlife vet, who has a huge enclosure for her. Plus, she close the house (particularly the guest bedroom) over the barn. You can see what she’s up to on the Dillie cam.

Ohio has about 1,000 deer farms, which have

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Dillie, the Ohio House Deer, Defies Odds

Don’t try this at home: an Ohio family is living with a deer.  This is not the typical story we hear nearly every day: an animal person takes in an animal they are unprepared to manage and tragedy ensues for one or both. The characters and species change; the results are monotonous. This month we saw the Canadian guy killed by his pet tigers and the death of Michael Jackson’s former giraffes. Miraculously, this isn’t one of those stories.

Dillie the deer was rescued by someone who knew what she was doing. Dr. Melanie Butera (Dillie’s human mom) is a vet who does a lot of  wildlife work. Dillie’s deer mom rejected her because she was sickly and had cataracts. That means she wasn’t brought in for the usual wrong reason: somebody finds a fawn alone in the woods and doesn’t realize its mom is just out eating.

 Dillie was born on a Canton area deer farm. (Ohio has tons of farmed deer, whose purpose ranges from being pet, bred, eaten or the target of a canned hunt.) The farmer saw Dillie’s deer mom, busy with two robust other triplets, push Dillie aside. Ohio has elaborate rules banning the miscegenation of wild and farm deer, so she couldn’t go free–even if she were capable. As she’s hand-raised and nearly blind, she’s not. She’s afraid of local deer and thwarted plans to raise her in the barn by being terrified of a horse’s snort.

Then Dr. Butera went to extraordinary

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