Tag Archives: Indiana

Couple fined for rescuing baby deer


Indiana couple fights charges over rescuing injured baby deer

Fox News: Jeff Counceller says a dying fawn he found on someone’s porch three years ago surely wouldn’t have lived had he and his wife not nursed it back to health on their eastern Indiana farm. The Connersville police officer insists they had no clue that they could be breaking the law.

The couple’s good deed put them at odds with the state Department of Natural  Resources, and prosecutors earlier this month charged Jeff and Jennifer Counceller with illegal possession of a white-tailed deer, a misdemeanor that carries up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.

Counceller said they plan to fight the charges, even though it might be cheaper and easier to just pay the fine. If their burgeoning legion of online  supporters is any indication, public opinion is very much on the couple’s  side.

Counceller told The Indianapolis Star that he found the deer in 2010 curled  up on a front porch with maggot-infested puncture wounds, so he brought it back to his family’s 17-acre farm to try to save it. The couple named the fawn Dani and kept it in a fenced enclosure.

Jeff Counceller said he and his wife didn’t know it was illegal to keep the deer, and that returning it to the wild when they were told to do so “would have  been a death sentence.”

A probable cause affidavit said Jennifer Counceller told a conservation officer that she eventually realized she needed a permit to keep the deer, but didn’t contact officials because she realized they would “put it down.”

Jeff Counceller didn’t immediately respond to a Tuesday phone message left by  The Associated Press seeking comment. Jennifer Counceller’s voicemail wasn’t  accepting new messages.

DNR spokesman Lt. Bill Browne said the agency had received a lot of phone  calls and email about the charges, but he declined to comment about the case and instead referred the AP to the agency’s claims in the court documents.

The deer’s story went viral online this week after a sympathetic Indianapolis  man, John Waudby, set up a Facebook page to rally support for the  Councellers.

“I heard about it early Saturday morning when I got home,” said Waudby, a  41-year-old warehouse worker. “I saw it on the news and was outraged. I was like, you’ve got to be kidding me. They’re not criminals. They were trying to do the right thing,” he  added.

The Facebook page, “Drop Charges Against Connersville Police Officer,” had  more than 15,000 “likes” by mid-afternoon Tuesday and was growing by about 1,000  an hour. Waudby said he had hoped to reach perhaps 1,000 local people to put  pressure on prosecutors to drop the charges, but was receiving responses from as  far away as Argentina and Australia. He was also circulating an online petition and by noon, the petition had topped 8,000 signatures. More than 135 people had  signed up online to attend the Councellers’ trial on March 7 in Fayette  County.

“It’s like a wildfire that you just can’t stop at this point,” Waudby said,  adding that he’s only slept for about 10 hours, total, in the three days since  launching his online campaign.

The Councellers said they had intended to release the deer once it was strong enough to survive on its own. They tried to find it a home at animal rescue operations, petting zoos and deer farms, but no one would take it. According to  court records, Jeff Counceller texted a conservation officer and urged DNR not  to kill the deer, saying “it’s not the deer’s fault.”

Last summer, the deer vanished on the day that the DNR planned to euthanize  it, following the denial of the couple’s request for a rescue permit.

The DNR website includes a section on wildlife rehabilitation that warns people who find wild animals to make sure they are really abandoned and if they are, to contact a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. The closest rehabilitators to  Connersville are in neighboring Wayne County, according to a list on the  website.

Removing wildlife from the environment is prohibited by state regulations without a proper handling permit,” the DNR website warns, adding that most young  animals that appear to be abandoned don’t require help. “Wildlife can carry diseases and parasites that can be transmitted to humans, it is best to leave  them alone,” the website adds.

Kathleen Hershey, president of Utopia Wildlife, a wildlife rehabilitation center near Hope in south-central Indiana, said even though the Councellers  meant well, it’s bad for a deer to become acclimated to humans because they can  become too trusting and easy prey for hunters.

“They have real serious social needs, and you can’t just raise a deer. They have to be in with others of their kind,” she said. “It has to learn how to  live in a herd and that’s where its safety is.”

Most of the Facebook posts expressed disbelief that the couple could face  charges for what was perceived as a good deed, but some comments weren’t so  sympathetic.

One post pointed out that the couple had exposed themselves, their children  and their pets to disease carried by deer, and that the local deer population could be infected now that the animal is free.

Although lawyer’s fees would be more expensive than paying the fine, the  Councellers said they plan to fight the charge. “Sometimes, it’s not always about the DNR laws,” Jennifer Counceller told the  Star. “Sometimes it’s about common sense and what’s right in God’s eyes. And that’s what I’m going to stand for.”

Waudby said he plans to attend the Councellers’ court hearings, “and I’m  bringing thousands of people with me.”

If DNR was going to put the deer down and the Councellers couldn’t find anyone to take it, what’s the problem with them keeping it on their farm? Remember the good ol’ days when people were able to help one another (and animals) without big brother trying to control us? Those days are long gone, unfortunately.


Largest Earthquake Drill in Central U.S. History

What does our government know that it’s not telling us?

The last few days have seen swarms or clusters of earthquakes in Arkansas, ranging from 2.0 to 3.3 in magnitude. Arkansas is one of 8 states that make up the New Madrid Seismic Zone or Fault Line. The other 7 states are Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi.

In the video below, the state of Missouri’s state geologist Joe Gillman is calling on residents of these 8 states to participate in an earthquake drill — the largest earthquake drill in Central U.S. history, at 10:15 am on April 28, 2011. (H/t LookUpFellowship)

Here are excerpts from Wikipedia on the New Madrid Seismic Zone:

The 150-mile…long fault system, which extends into five states, stretches southward from Cairo, Illinois; through Hayti, Caruthersville and New Madrid in Missouri; through Blytheville into Marked Tree in Arkansas. It also covers a part of West Tennessee, near Reelfoot Lake, extending southeast into Dyersburg. Most of the seismicity is located between 3 and 15 miles…beneath the Earth’s surface.

The zone had four of the largest North American earthquakes in recorded history, with moment magnitudes estimated to be as large as 8.0, all occurring within a three-month period between December 1811 and February 1812…. Based on artifacts found buried by sand blow deposits and from carbon-14 studies, previous large earthquakes like those of 1811-1812 appear to have happened around AD 1450 and around AD 900, as well as approximately AD 300. Evidence has been found for an apparent series of large earthquakes around 2350 BC.

[The earthquakes on February 7, 1812, had magnitudes of 7.4 to 8.6 with their] epicenter near New Madrid, Missouri. New Madrid was destroyed. At St. Louis, Missouri, many houses were severely damaged, and their chimneys were toppled. This shock was definitively attributed to the Reelfoot Fault by Johnston and Schweig. It was uplift along this reverse fault segment, in this event, that created waterfalls on the Mississippi River, disrupted the Mississippi River at Kentucky Bend, created a wave that propagated upstream and caused the formation of Reelfoot Lake. The earthquakes were felt as far away as New York City and Boston, Massachusetts, where ground motion caused church bells to ring….

In a report filed in November 2008, The U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency warned that a serious earthquake in the New Madrid Seismic Zone could result in “the highest economic losses due to a natural disaster in the United States,” further predicting “widespread and catastrophic” damage across Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri and particularly Tennessee…. The earthquake is expected to also result in many thousands of fatalities, with more than 4,000 of the fatalities expected in Memphis alone…. The USGS [U.S. Geological Society] recently issued a fact sheet reiterating the estimate of a 10% chance of a New Madrid earthquake of magnitude comparable to those of 1811-1812 within the next 50 years, and a greater chance of a magnitude 6.0 earthquake in the same time frame.

Below is a video on the New Madrid Fault Line: