BENTON, Ill. -- A family from downstate will get to keep their pet deer.
Dude and Jude have been living with the Crawford family since they were rescued from the wild five years ago, when they were still babies.
The Department of Natural Resources had demanded the Crawford family turn over the deer. State law allows people to keep deer as pets, but only if the animals are bought through a licensed breeder.
The Crawfords started an online petition in an effort to keep Dude and Jude. As of Friday afternoon, more than 130,000 people had signed it.
The state agency granted the family an exemption Saturday.
PHOTOS: Illinois family wins fight with state to keep rescued deer
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Dude and Jude were both rescued by the Crawford family.