ONEIDA, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The last thing police needed as they were evacuating homes on West Elm Street in Oneida, where an explosion occurred after a gas leak, was to find evidence of another crime, especially what the DEC now calls a “bizarre discovery.”

While making sure everyone was out of the neighboring houses, officers discovered a six-point, white-tailed deer inside a dog crate.

Upon request, an environmental conservation officer was called to the scene and helped remove the deer.

On Wednesday, September 13, the Department of Environmental Conservation said, “The homeowner was illegally rehabilitating the animal and had refused to release it, choosing instead to keep it as a pet.”

Charges are pending, the DEC said.