A family is in a legal battle to keep their pet deer, Lilly, after the Michigan Department of Natural Resources said the law prohibits the possession of a live wild animal.

Five years ago, Lilly’s mother was hit by a car outside the family's home, and the pregnant deer gave birth to Lilly before she died.

Lilly was in “rough shape, but she was alive,” her owner told ABC News. “I asked the officer if he had any problem if we could try to save her and he said, ‘Go ahead, she won’t last 15 minutes, but give it a try.’  Five years later, she’s a member of our family and we love her to pieces.”

The possibility of losing Lilly is painful for the family. They fear she'll have to be euthanized because she's not accustomed to living in the wild, but the state says Lilly is a wild animal and it's dangerous to keep her in a home.

Related on MNN: 5 reasons why you shouldn't raise wild animals as pets