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Thread: City Considers Stepping Up Oversight of Exotic Pets (Columbus, Ohio)

  1. #11
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Thanked 178 Times in 100 Posts



    Do you think the governor should ban exotic pet ownership?
    My Facebook
    “Resentment is like drinking a poison and waiting for the other person to die." Carrie Fisher

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Buffalo, NY
    Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts


    Will-I don't think it should be a "sweeping" ban. Not like the invasive species sweep that HR669 would have covered.

    I think that some animals, such as bears, big cats, primates, etc. need to be banned in situations other than zoos and research...and by research, I mean learning about the species...NOT torturing them in the name of big business.

    I just posted these articles to promote discussion on what I see as more problems for herp keepers down the road.

    More than anything, ALL animal keepers need to be RESPONSIBLE in the care of their chosen animals.

    ALL aspects of responsibility. Housing, vet care, proper feeding, etc.

    When incidents like the one in Ohio happen, it just makes ALL exotic keepers look bad.

    There is a very famous old quote-from way back in WWII-that sort of applies.

    "When the Nazis came for the communists,
    I remained silent;
    I was not a communist.

    When they locked up the social democrats,
    I remained silent;
    I was not a social democrat.

    When they came for the trade unionists,
    I did not speak out;
    I was not a trade unionist.

    When they came for the Jews,
    I remained silent;
    I wasn't a Jew.

    When they came for me,
    there was no one left to speak out."

    -Friedrich Gustav Emil Martin Niemöller-

    Substitute animals for the different ideological/religious/political references, and you might see what I mean.

    We have to do our very best to employ GOOD HABITS in keeping our animals, and give exotic keeping a GOOD NAME, or they could ALL be taken away.

    And we all have to stick together!!
    Love and Light-

    "What is man without the beasts? If all the beasts were gone, man would die from a great loneliness of spirit, for whatever happens to the beasts soon happens to the man. All things are connected."-Chief Seattle

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Central Illinois
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts


    A resurrection of HR 669 is in the works according to a reliable source. It will be a wait and see what is jammed in with the indecent in Ohio. Those who supported HR 669 have the ears of some legislators.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Buffalo, NY
    Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts


    Zanesville, Ohio Animal Owner Reportedly Traded Guns For Tiger, Monkey

    ZANESVILLE, Ohio — An owner of dozens of wild animals who freed them before committing suicide this week was an avid gun collector who had traded weapons for a monkey, a leopard and a tiger cub, federal documents show.

    Terry Thompson built his collection of exotic animals by swapping guns, sheltering animals no longer wanted by their owners and buying others at auctions, according to public records released Friday and interviews with those who knew him.

    "Once you have an exotic animal, you're somewhat tagged as someone who will take unwanted or abandoned animals. And that's how it grew," Thompson said, according to a deposition that was part of the government's attempt to seize 133 weapons from him.

    No one knows for sure why Thompson freed 56 animals including lions, tigers and bears on Tuesday and then committed suicide, triggering a big-game hunt in the Ohio countryside as police officers shot and killed 48 of them for fear they would harm humans. A 49th animal was killed by one of the big cats. The remaining animals were captured and taken to the Columbus Zoo.

    The frightening situation put a spotlight on the lack of oversight on exotic pets in some states. Ohio has some of the nation's weakest restrictions. Gov. John Kasich on Friday ordered temporary measures to crack down on private ownership of exotic wild animals while tougher laws are drafted this fall.

    Under his executive order, the state will work with health departments and humane societies to better enforce existing laws, try to temporarily halt auction sales of wild animals, shut down unlicensed auctions, and review existing permits the state issues to people who own wild animals.

    Kasich had let an order that banned buying and selling exotic animals expire last spring. Friday, he defended that decision, saying the legislative process was in the works to address the issue. He said a committee now has put drafting new laws on a fast track for the end of next month.

    Thompson likely would have been in violation of the previous order because he had animal cruelty convictions in the past, but it's unclear if or when he would have lost his animals.

    "All the statutes in the world don't keep something like what happened from happening," Kasich said. "I mean, who would have ever dreamt the guy's gonna commit suicide, open up the cages? The question is why did he have all those animals to begin with."

    Deputies killed 18 rare Bengal tigers, 17 lions and eight bears in a hunt across eastern Ohio that has been criticized by some who say the animals should have been saved. The officers were ordered to kill the animals instead of trying to bring them down with tranquilizers for fear that those hit with darts would escape in the darkness before they dropped and would later regain consciousness.

    Over the years, neighbors complained about a lion running loose and regularly called the sheriff about Thompson's horses roaming away from the property where the wild animals were kept.

    Thompson, 62, had his share of troubles in the last year. He owed thousands of dollars in unpaid taxes, had marital problems and just returned home only a few weeks ago after spending a year in federal prison for possessing unregistered weapons.

    A week before Thompson killed himself, a sheriff's deputy visited his farm because a neighbor complained about his horses getting out again.

    Thompson promised he'd check the fences and admitted he was struggling to take care of all the animals, authorities said.

    "Terry stated to me that he had just recently got home out of prison and he has not had very good control over any of his animals since he had been locked up," the deputy wrote in a report released Friday.

    Thompson's estranged sister said he likely was overwhelmed financially when he committed suicide.

    "I can just see him standing on that hill looking at every animal, thinking, `How am I going to do this?'" Polly Thompson told The Associated Press. "And I'm sure he thought, `Nobody wants me.'"

    Terry Thompson got by financially on proceeds from a motorcycle business he sold, sales of horse trailers and other equipment and a small family inheritance. He also was a pilot who occasionally flew chartered planes for businesses.

    Polly Thompson reluctantly testified against her brother about five years ago when he was charged with starving bison and cattle kept at their parents' farm near Zanesville.

    "Anybody that has animals should take care of them," she said in an interview at her home on the outskirts of Zanesville.

    Terry Thompson was a gun dealer in Zanesville for many years but told federal authorities he never hunted, according to court records. "Absolutely unequivocally not a hunter," he said.

    His wife, Marian Thompson, told investigators that they never sold the animals or opened the farm to visitors.

    "We don't want them on display," she said.

    She told detectives in the past that they took in the animals because no one else wanted them. She also said she was trying to end the practice.

    "I'm going to put a stop to bringing in all these animals. I'm telling Terry, `No more,'" she said in a report filed in April 2005.

    Authorities and animal experts went to the farm three years ago during a cruelty to animals investigation and found that some of the cages weren't padlocked and a few were secured with plastic ties that had been partially chewed, according to the records released by the Muskingum County Sheriff's Office.

    The director of animal management from a wildlife preserve in Ohio said the bottoms of fences weren't secured and gates meant for dog kennels were used in pens housing the big cats. He also noted that a cage housing two lions should have had a much higher fence.

    "There was also a tree in this cage area, and there was nothing to prevent the animal from climbing the tree and escaping," a report said.

    Animal pens were scattered on the patio and driveway of the Thompsons' home on the property, and there were several others inside the garage and basement. They had a black leopard in the basement and two tigers and two lion cubs in the garage.

    On a patio next to the Thompsons' pool, two lion cubs and one black bear cub were in the same pen.

    A veterinarian from Columbus Zoo saw that a tiger was missing its tail and thought it had been ripped or bitten off by another animal in an adjoining cage. Two tigers were in a cage filled with standing water, rotting carcasses and lots of bones.

    The zoo officials also expressed concerns about malnutrition and the sizes of the pens.

    Thompson also kept a monkey in a cage too small for it to stand up in, kept a wolf in an old car and had a zebra in a horse trailer, said a Muskingum County resident familiar with Thompson who saw the conditions and spoke with the AP on condition of anonymity for fear of repercussions over the comments.

    Authorities decided not to take the Thompsons' animals because there were no serious health problems but told the couple to fix the cages or they would get a court order forcing the changes.

    Within three weeks, taller fences had been constructed. A county prosecutor then told detectives there was little else they could do because they had no authority to regulate anyone who keeps wild or exotic animals.

    Even after the changes, detectives wrote in their final report that "it is impossible for the sheriff's office to say the Thompson property is safe."


    Seewer reported from Toledo. Associated Press writers Doug Whiteman and Ann Sanner in Columbus also contributed to this report.

    This kind of crap just makes animal people look worse!!
    Love and Light-

    "What is man without the beasts? If all the beasts were gone, man would die from a great loneliness of spirit, for whatever happens to the beasts soon happens to the man. All things are connected."-Chief Seattle

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Buffalo, NY
    Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts


    Here's the Bill that being put in place.

    As Introduced

    129th General Assembly
    Regular Session

    H. B. No. 352

    Representative Phillips

    Cosponsors: Representatives Antonio, Ashford, Garland, Letson, Murray, O'Brien, Ramos, Szollosi, Fedor, Goyal

    A BILL

    To amend section 1531.99 and to enact section 1531.40 of the Revised Code to prohibit the future acquisition of a dangerous exotic animal, to require a person owning a dangerous exotic animal on the act's effective date to register it with the Division of Wildlife, and to declare an emergency.


    Section 1. That section 1531.99 be amended and section 1531.40 of the Revised Code be enacted to read as follows:

    Sec. 1531.40. (A) On and after the effective date of this section, no person shall acquire by any means a dangerous exotic animal.

    (B) A person who owns a dangerous exotic animal on the effective date of this section shall register the animal with the division of wildlife not later than sixty days after that date. A registration may be issued if both of the following apply:

    (1) The person has not been convicted of an offense involving the abuse or neglect of any animal pursuant to any local, state, or federal law.

    (2) The person has not had a license or permit regarding the care, possession, exhibition, breeding, or sale of animals revoked or suspended by any local, state, or federal agency.

    The care and disposition of dangerous wild animals owned by a person who is not eligible for a registration under this division shall be conducted in accordance with rules adopted under this section.

    (C) The chief of the division of wildlife shall adopt rules under section 1531.10 of the Revised Code that establish both of the following:

    (1) A requirement that the owner of a dangerous exotic animal who registered the animal under division (B) of this section have the animal microchipped, and requirements and procedures governing that microchipping;

    (2) Any other requirements and procedures that are necessary to administer this section, including requirements governing the disposition of dangerous exotic animals owned by persons who are not eligible for registration under division (B) of this section.

    (D) This section does not apply to any of the following:

    (1) The division of wildlife;

    (2) A facility that is an accredited member of the American zoo and aquarium association or that is under mentorship of the association;

    (3) An accredited member of the American zoo and aquarium association or an entity that is under mentorship of the association that is conducting educational or other activities with dangerous exotic animals outside of the facility that is operated by the member;

    (4) A humane society;

    (5) A veterinary hospital or clinic;

    (6) A wildlife sanctuary;

    (7) A research facility as defined in the "Animal Welfare Act of 1966," 80 Stat. 350, 7 U.S.C. 2131, as amended;

    (8) A vocational school, college, university, or other educational institution;

    (9) A traveling public show or circus that uses dangerous exotic animals as an integral part of the show or circus performance and that keeps the animals in this state only during the time period when the traveling public show or circus is performing in this state;

    (10) An individual who does not reside in this state and is traveling through this state with a dangerous exotic animal, who has the animal confined in a cage at all times, and who is in this state not more than ninety-six hours;

    (11) A law enforcement agency;

    (12) Any other entity designated by the chief in rules adopted under this section.

    (E) As used in this section:

    (1) "Dangerous exotic animal" means any of the following:

    (a) A large cat other than a cat commonly known as a house cat;

    (b) A nonhuman primate, except a nonhuman primate that provides support or assistance for a mobility impaired person;

    (c) An alligator;

    (d) A crocodile;

    (e) A constricting snake;

    (f) A venomous snake;

    (g) Any other animal designated by the chief in rules adopted under this section.

    (2) "Humane society" means an organization that is organized under section 1717.05 of the Revised Code.

    (3) "Wildlife sanctuary" means a nonprofit organization as described in section 170 of the "Internal Revenue Code of 1986," 100 Stat. 2085, 26 U.S.C. 170, as amended, that operates a place of refuge where abused, neglected, unwanted, impounded, abandoned, orphaned, or displaced dangerous exotic animals are provided care for their lifetime or released back to their natural habitat and, with respect to an animal possessed by the organization, that does not do any of the following:

    (a) Use the animal for any type of entertainment;

    (b) Sell, trade, or barter the animal or the animal's body parts;

    (c) Breed the animal.

    Sec. 1531.99. (A) Whoever violates section 1531.02 of the Revised Code, or any division rule, other than a rule adopted under section 1531.25 of the Revised Code, is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.

    (B) Whoever violates section 1531.02 of the Revised Code concerning the taking or possession of deer or violates division (K) of section 1531.06 or section 1531.07 or 1531.29 of the Revised Code is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree on a first offense; on each subsequent offense, that person is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree.

    (C) Whoever violates section 1531.25 of the Revised Code is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree.

    (D) Whoever violates section 1531.02 of the Revised Code concerning the buying, selling, or offering for sale of any wild animals or parts of wild animals, the minimum value of which animals or parts, in the aggregate, is one thousand dollars or more as established under section 1531.201 of the Revised Code, is guilty of a felony of the fifth degree.

    (E) Whoever violates section 1531.40 of the Revised Code is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree on a first offense and a felony of the fifth degree on each subsequent offense.

    (F) A court that imposes sentence for a violation of any section of this chapter governing the holding, taking, buying, selling, or possession of wild animals, including, without limitation, section 1531.11 of the Revised Code, may require the person who is convicted of or pleads guilty to the offense, in addition to any fine, term of imprisonment, seizure, and forfeiture imposed, to make restitution for the minimum value of the wild animal illegally held, taken, bought, sold, or possessed as established under section 1531.201 of the Revised Code. An officer who collects moneys paid as restitution under this section shall pay those moneys to the treasurer of state who shall deposit them in the state treasury to the credit of the wildlife fund established under section 1531.17 of the Revised Code.

    Section 2. That existing section 1531.99 of the Revised Code is hereby repealed.

    Section 3. Division (B) of section 1531.40 of the Revised Code, as enacted by this act, does not apply until the ninety-first day after the effective date of this act.

    Section 4. This act is hereby declared to be an emergency measure necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety. The reason for such necessity is the need to protect the citizens of the state from injury or harm caused by dangerous exotic animals. Therefore, this act shall go into immediate effect.
    Love and Light-

    "What is man without the beasts? If all the beasts were gone, man would die from a great loneliness of spirit, for whatever happens to the beasts soon happens to the man. All things are connected."-Chief Seattle


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