Marshall County Man Charged With Keeping Deer as Pets

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT)– A Marshall County man is charged with keeping seven whitetail deer as pets, which is against Alabama law.

Our news partners at The Huntsville Times/ report Julius Dunsmore, 69 of Valley Road in Guntersville, was hurt and blinded in one eye by a buck that attacked him last week.

According to the report, the buck was one of seven deer Dunsmore was keeping behind his house as pets.

The pets were confiscated and then put down because wildlife experts say once deer have been held by humans, they can never survive again in the wild.

The report says at least one of the deer came from the Lake Guntersville State Park and others from Tennessee.   Wildlife officials told that transporting deer into the area can spread disease.

To read the full report, go to



  • Sue

    What happens to the animals in the end is sad! I understand it is not practical to make a wild animal a pet. However sometimes. they act like pets especially when they are babies and scared , hungry and lonely especially if the mother has gotten killed. I lived in the country a few years ago and one of my cats became very friendly with a racoon and his family. I was afraid of the idea of that at first. However I came to love them because even though I never got close enough to pet them and they still lived in the woods beside my house they protected us. Saved me from getting bit by snakes. They saved my cat from dogs. Amazing animals but of course I never tried to tame them.

  • Cristina

    Wow. Put them down, huh? There aren’t any wildlife sanctuaries they could have been taken to? Or maybe a zoo where people, children maybe, could’ve enjoyed them? Or how about any one of the many universities that house animals to learn more about them? I guess the bottom line is, this is Alabama and seven bullets were the cheapest way to go. Sad.

  • Pamela Jane (@Idratherbehikin)

    How can deer spread disease? Birds can spread disease and eating cows can spread disease so why is raising deer any different ? I feel bad for this man who raised these lovely sweet animals for not only being arrested but also that his pets were killed. I know people who raise deer on their farm so people can “hunt” them. But that isn’t against the law ??

  • ivyivyivy

    i don’t think that you should keep males as pets but i really don’t like when the government gets in folks business so much, better to keep
    deers as pets than killing them for sport.

  • John Doe

    Deer can make pets just like dogs, so can pigs, monkeys, cats, cows, horses, birds, snakes, lions, tigers, bears and the list goes on. The government tends to think they are gods or have the power to do whatever it wills. Let the guy have some pet deer. Sure some accidents are going to happen but that is life.

  • Mary Lynn Scott Jones

    I know they have laws to abide by, but as long as they were being taken care of and fed, I don’t see a problem. And for them to be killed, that is insane, they could have been placed in a zoo or a place where people could enjoy them. I have a big heart for animals and I would love to have a place to have deer, they are beautiful creatures. I don’t feel that the man should have been arrested unless he was being cruel or not taking care of them. I understand it is wild animals, but they need care too.

Comments are closed.