State Threatens Ohio Woman with Removal of Pet Deer


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  • Wheezer frolics in his Belmont County backyard.
An Ohio woman is fighting against the state to keep her pet deer — Wheezer — which she and her family have raised from infancy after finding him orphaned along the freeway two years ago.

Jodi Proger of Belmont County near Columbus posted on her Facebook page last week that the Ohio Department of Natural Resources paid her a visit and told her she had to get rid of the animal, which is illegal to keep as a pet in Ohio.

“I don’t want to give him up and I don’t want to see him get killed,” Proger said to ABC22Now. “He’ll run around he’ll play he’s like a big dog. He’s happy he’s a very happy content deer if he wasn’t happy he wouldn’t want to come in the house” she says.

In an effort to save Wheezer, the Inquisitr reports, Proger has kicked up an online campaign which she intends to send to Governor John Kasich.

Via the Inquisitr:

The petition reads, “Two years ago, a mother deer was killed on the highway. Her newborn baby was picked up by Jodi Proger. She nursed him and saved his life. Wheezer has been a part of Jodi’s life since that day. He is no longer a wild animal and cannot be returned to the wild. On Tuesday, August 27, 2015, the ODNR showed up at Jodi’s house. They want to kill Wheezer. This deer is harmless and he is a pet now.”

The petition continues with, “People can own captive deer for breeding. People can fence them in and hunt them. There is no logical reason why an orphaned or injured deer cannot be rescued and provided with sanctuary care. Wheezer need not lose his life! Ohio HB 267 has been introduced, but it has not been assigned to a committee. This bill will once again allow sanctuary care for orphaned and injured deer in Ohio.”

Proger's Facebook post, which went up on Aug. 26, has earned over 20,000 shares:

Hi everyone my name is Jodi and I have a deer named Wheezer..I have had him since he was a baby. .yesterdsy the ODNR...

Posted by Jodi Proger on Wednesday, August 26, 2015

reports that the ODNR has not confirmed that they will indeed remove Wheezer.

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