SALEM (AP) — The Oregon Court of Appeals says Snowball, the deformed deer nursed back to health by a Molalla couple, won’t be going back home with them.
The court said James Filipetti and Francesca Mantei lacked state permits and thus never really owned the deer.
The ruling reverses a Clackamas County decision. Snowball is at Wildlife Safari in Winston.
The couple found her as a fawn in 2001 and paid for surgery to repair her deformed hind legs. She lived in their house, then moved to an outdoor enclosure and mated with a blind buck, giving birth to Bucky.
In March 2007 police seized both animals. Bucky was released into the wild. The blind buck had died.
Snowball, raised as a pet, likely would not have survived the wild.