An east Tennessee family raised a deer when it was left on their property as a fawn.
In a report by WATE-TV, Verlin and Lorene McCarty say the deer, barely a few days old, would have died had they not intervened.
"Somebody brought him here because they knew we'd raised one," said Verlin.
The McCartys raised a female deer several years ago that they say is now back in the wild, fully adjusted.
In Tennessee, it is illegal to domesticate or hold captive a wild animal.
They named the deer Buddy and said they didn't think they were breaking the law because the deer could come and go as he pleased.
The Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency disagreed and took the animal away about a week ago after warning the family.
Officials claim that it was obvious the deer had been in the house. The deer had its own food and water bowl as well as a bed.
When wildlife officials came to take the deer, the family thought the officers would let Buddy get re acclimated to the wild in another county.
According to TWRA officials the animal behaved too much like a pet and wouldn't have survived on its own in the wild. Buddy was euthanized.
The granddaughter of the family, Amanda Wagner, said, "If they took it away to protect the deer and them, and putting it somewhere safer that would be one thing, but that wasn't the case, they took it away and they euthanized it. To me that was more harm than anything."