Few weeks left to capture deer to be pets

(WMC-TV) – A new law will ban individuals from having deer as pets in Arkansas in the next couple of weeks.

So right now, if you have a pet deer or want one, now is the time to capture one.  After July 1, you will be breaking the law.

Vince Angeletti and his wife own Angeletti Animal Acres in Crittenden County.  It is an animal care center and petting farm.  It is also a place where people sometimes drop off animals like deer.  Angeletti is currently taking care of two deer named Herschel and Likity Split.

"They couldn't survive in the wild.  He would walk right up to a hunter expecting to get a carrot.  'Likity' came from around Harrisburg," said Angeletti.

Herschel came to Angeletti Farms from a woman in Meridian, Mississippi.  He showed up at her door and she raised him for several months in her bedroom.

"Mr. Angeletti takes care of them and it's not like he goes out looking for the deer for pets," said Rhonda Edmonds, a visitor to the farm.

Right now, in Arkansas it is legal to capture up to six wild deer and keep them as pets.

But beginning July 1, it will be illegal to have pet deer.  Arkansas Wildlife officials say they have found pet deer in unsanitary and small enclosures, some of them diseased, and there have been several reports of people getting injured by pet bucks during mating season.

If you have a pet deer right now, you will be fine and grandfathered into the law.

Even though it will be illegal to capture a deer come July, your chance of owning a wild animal as a pet still exists.

You will still be able to capture up to six wild bobcats, coyotes, gray or red foxes and even opossums, although we are not sure what kind of pets they will make.

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