Harboring or keeping a wild deer is illegal in Ohio. Melanie Butera and Steve Heathman were able to bring Dillie into their home only because she was born in captivity.
Dillie’s activities are strictly monitored by the Ohio Department of Agriculture. She must stay within the perimeter of the fenced-in area of the couple’s 5-acre property. If she is outside the fenced-in area for more than 24 hours, wildlife authorities have the right to destroy her.
Butera and her husband, who have decades of experience rehabilitating animals for the wildlife department, do not recommend keeping a deer, no matter how tame, inside a residence.
— Kathy Antoniotti