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politics of animal welfare, wild animals

Exotic Animals in Ohio are Again in the News

Ohio has an exotic animal problem. 

Yep, they still have problems, even after Zanesville and the so-called revamping of laws addressing exotic animal ownership.

So what happened this time?

Tiger Ridge Exotics owner Kenny Hetrick failed to file for a permit in a timely manner. State agriculture department inspectors also found safety problems, including inadequate fencing and hazards that could harm the animals.

Taken during the seizure. Photo from Daily Mail (dailymail.co.uk)

Taken during the seizure. Photo from Daily Mail (dailymail.co.uk)

But Judge Reeve Kelsey has ordered the state agriculture department to return the animals to Hetrick. The black leopard, lion, Kodiak bear, liger, bobcat, wolf hybrid, and 5 tigers had been tranquilized and were in transit, so now the agriculture department has to make sure the animals are OK, then return them to a man who had blatantly refused for two years to follow state law and maintain the animals under the conditions set aside after Zanesville.

I have to say that I don’t believe ANYONE has the right to own exotic animals. Period. I don’t think they belong in zoos. I certainly don’t believe they should kept as pets or as roadside attractions. And yet, states like Ohio, Florida, and Alabama, among others, allow this practice to continue.

Hetrick’s place isn’t a sanctuary. He’s a breeder of these animals as well. You can look on his website and see that.

examiner

Kenny Hetrick with a lion at Tiger Ridge Exotics (photo from Examiner.com)

Thanks to Judge Kelsey, these animals will languish still longer while awaiting a court hearing on February 10th. In the meantime, well-meaning but foolish people who see Hetrick as a hero for “facing down the government” are helping spruce up the property, so odds are Hetrick will win the right to keep those creatures. But the people won’t hang around for long, and the conditions will again deteriorate.

What do you think? Should people be allowed to own exotic animals? Why or why not? 

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About Rumpy's Kitty Siblings

Rumpy has gone on from this plane. We, his kitty siblings,continue to blog about animal welfare- and other things- at rumpydog.com in his stead. You can follow us on Twitter - @RumpyDog. And don't forget to LIKE our Facebook page! Thanks!

Discussion

4 thoughts on “Exotic Animals in Ohio are Again in the News

  1. I honestly think wild animals are just that and it is cruel to keep them as pets and it nearly always ends in grief … with the poor animal coming off the worst! xxx

    Posted by willowdot21 | January 29, 2015, 9:14 AM
  2. There is no way to provide these animals what they need in such a place. They certainly shouldn’t be allowed to breed more animals into a life of misery.

    Posted by KDKH | January 29, 2015, 10:02 AM
  3. I’ve been to Kenny Hetrick’s place. Not only does he love those animals, but more importantly, they love him, too. He hasn’t “blatantly” tried to avoid doing anything; he’s a man who’s operating with a very small budget and doing the best that he can. Don’t judge until you’ve been there and seen for yourself!

    Posted by Kelly Meister-Yetter | January 30, 2015, 7:36 AM

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