A Knox County woman who won the right to keep two deer after fighting the state for nearly a year died yesterday. Carol Deyo died from complications caused by breast cancer, her partner, Andy Black, said. She was 66.
A Knox County woman who won the right to keep two deer after fighting the state for nearly a year died yesterday.
Carol Deyo died from complications caused by breast cancer, her partner, Andy Black, said. She was 66.
The Ohio Division of Wildlife charged Deyo on Jan. 22, 2013, with possessing wild animals, a fourth-degree misdemeanor, and ordered her to turn the animals over to the state.
Deyo, a former surgical technician for a veterinarian, had rescued a fawn that had been run over by a mower, severing its right rear leg, in 2011. She sutured the wound and nursed the deer she named Trooper back to health.
Fifteen months later, a second fawn was brought to Deyo after it was found severely dehydrated in a Mount Vernon parking lot. She again nursed the deer, which she named Patch, to health.
The two deer lived with Deyo and Black on their farm on Hopewell Road outside Mount Vernon.
Deyo’s case drew attention from animal lovers throughout the country. Her Facebook page, Saving Trooper, has more than 12,700 “likes,” while her petition to save her animals had more than 15,000 signatures.
The state unexpectedly offered Deyo a settlement in December. She could keep the deer if she promised not to take in more wild animals. She happily agreed.
And although she didn’t talk about it much, while she was fighting the state for 11 months, she also was fighting breast cancer. A month after being charged, Deyo was in a hospital after her heart failed because of complications with a new cancer medication. Just before the state dropped its case, she became very ill. The cancer had metastasized in her liver.
“It got pretty bad around Thanksgiving,” Black said. “But then we found a new chemo treatment that bought her a few more months.”
In recent weeks, however, her body could no longer take the number of treatments needed. She cut back from a weekly treatment to one every two weeks, and her cancer advanced.
Still, Black said, “she greeted every guest with a smile.”
Friends and strangers alike stream to the Deyo farm to see and play with Trooper and Patch. She greeted guests as recently as Wednesday before slipping largely into unconsciousness on Thursday, Black said. She died about 9 a.m. yesterday.
The court case “was tough on her,” said Black, who will continue to care for the deer and greet guests to the farm. “But I guess I’m kind of glad it happened because it gave a lot of people the chance to know her and find out the kind of person she was. She was a fighter. She never gave up.”& amp; amp; amp; amp; amp; lt; /p>
Black said a number of close friends, who are keeping the Saving Trooper Facebook page and a Saving Trooper fund going, are working to change the law that Deyo was charged with violating.
“We will continue Carol’s work, if I have to pull the money out of my own pocket,” said Dr. Laura Murnane, who maintains the website and helps oversee donations to the fund. “I wanted her to know and told her a couple of days ago that what she started would not be in vain. She smiled and said, ‘Oh, good.’??”