The animal in question was a three-day-old fawn who hadn’t had the greatest start in life. Born blind, the baby deer had been rejected by her mother. As a result, she hadn’t eaten at all since arriving in the world. In short, the poor animal was dying before her life had even begun.
Drawing on her expertise, Butera doubted that the fawn would be able to pull through. But, with the help of her husband, Steve Heathman, she began to treat the deer anyway. She named the creature Dillie and brought her home to Canal Fulton, Ohio, where she could keep a close eye on her.
Recalling Dillie’s initial treatment, in 2010 Butera told the Daily Mail, “We put her on an IV drip because she weighed four pounds and got her back up and running after around two weeks.” The fawn had been handed a shred of hope. But her future was far from certain.