Man takes risk rescuing yearling deer, wishes story would've ended different

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Joe Dennis couldn't get a yearling deer out of his head after seeing it get hit by a car Friday morning and thrown in the air.

"I didn't want to call the police or animal control when I first spotted him because they usually come by and shoot them. I'm thinking this little guy needs a chance at life, so I wanted to give him that second chance," Joe Dennis said.

Dennis continued to check on him throughout the day, in between job sites he travels to for his business.

"I felt bad that I hadn't taken him at that time but I had some work to do and I was telling my customers I was going to be late because I was taking care of a deer and they thought I was crazy," Dennis said.

As the weather started to turn that Friday night, he knew he had to act. Almost 12 hours after the deer was hit, Dennis came back for the last time and rescued him.

"I put my hands under him and carried him about a good 50 yards out of the woods," Dennis said.

He made a makeshift bed out of a canvas cloth drop he had in the bed of his truck and then drove him to a friend’s house to figure out who could help.

"I lay with him all night on the floor because I didn't want him to freak," Dennis said.

Dennis cleaned up the wound he could see and cuddled the deer to keep him warm.

"It didn't even feel like a wild animal. He was so calm and he let me put him on a blanket, put him on a pillow and I was petting him and he was so comfortable, we became friends quick," Dennis said. 

Dennis' friend told him he called a rescue and the rescue had picked the yearling up but they had to put it down due to internal injuries.

FOX 46 Charlotte reached out to multiple rescues in the area but they've all said they haven't picked up a deer.

The North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission tells FOX 46 Charlotte; most likely the people that picked up the deer were hunters and killed it later for its meat.

Dennis wishes this story would've turned out different.

"I wish they could have given him some medical treatment or did something to keep him. I would have come back and visit him at a petting zoo because I don't think he would have made it to the wild, he was too friendly," Dennis said.