North Andover Couple Nurses Baby Deer Back To Health

By Christina Hager, WBZ-TV

NORTH ANDOVER (CBS) – Don’t believe in fairy tales? A North Andover couple’s story might just change your mind.

It began when Joe Osbaldeston went to pick up a real estate sign from a garage at a property his wife, Peggy Patenaude, was selling. “I walked over to the sign, I noticed something freckly. I thought it was a yard ornament,” says Osbaldeston. Something made him take a closer look. “I poked it, and it felt like flesh and blood, just completely motionless, so I knew then it was alive, but barely alive.”

GALLERY: Fawn Nursed Back To Health

He brought the fawn home, got some infant formula, and fed the deer at first with an eye dropper. “You really had to stick it down her throat and let it go, and little by little, when she actually got strong enough, she could suck through the baby bottles,” says Patenaude, who’s seen in pictures cuddling and feeding the deer. “ She just started gazing up at me and then she started purring like a kitten.”

The weak little animal spent the night curled up in their living room. Then, the next day, it regained enough strength to stand on four wobbly legs.

After an animal control officer with North Andover Police told the couple the fawn should go home, Osbaldeston took a drive back to the spot where he found it.

“Two, three minutes goes by, and an adult deer who I assume is the mother, from the right hand side of the forest, walked across half the lawn. She looked at us, looked at her mother, and both walked off to the woods. It was a Disney ending,” says Osbaldeston.

The couple feels lucky to have had what they call a magical experience. “I almost cried,” he adds.

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