4 min read

Deer Taken From Her Family Finally Gets To Go Home

She's so happy to be back with her dog siblings.

May was orphaned in an instant when her mother was hit by a car in Quebec, Canada.

The couple who found the tiny fawn, shivering and alone, decided to make her one of their own.

The trouble is, as it is in many U.S. states, owning a wild animal is illegal in Quebec. And there's good reason for that. As we've seen countless times, unless an animal needs help, deer and coyotes and, yes, even bears, belong in the wild.

But what to do when a deer has spent her whole life with humans? How late is too late to send her back to the wild?

In May's case, as Brigitte Thomas, who rescued the fawn, noted on Facebook, she had become completely domesticated - to the point where she was downright dog-like in disposition.

That question didn't catch up with the Thomas family and her husband for four years.

In the meantime, May grew big and strong - and hopelessly attached to her family.

"She has a big pillow like our dogs," Brigitte told CBC News. "She watches TV with us.

"She's very smart, she's clean. She even waits at the door to let us know she has to go to the bathroom."

So when officers from Quebec's Ministry of Wildlife showed up at their home near the Laurentian Mountains last month, tranquilizing May and taking her to an undisclosed location, the family was distraught.

"We are her only family and she finds herself in a strange place," the Thomas' posted on Facebook.

They also started a social media campaign, lobbying to get her back.

And, just days after being taken, May was returned. Her family claims the turnaround came as a result of negotiations with the ministry and a compromise: They had to buy a special permit to keep her.

It didn't take long for May to find her place again in the family.

The best sanctuary for May, it seemed, was right where she had spent her whole life. With family.

While it's a heartening to see May back with her family, especially since it was likely impossible at this point for her to return to the wild, it's important to note she was an exception.

There are so many things you can do for an orphaned animal, but most should not be kept as pets. For help, click here.