Exotic Animals Run Wild


We recently received an e-mail from Change.org about 56 exotic animals that ran wild in Ohio after their owner let them escape from his property before taking his own life. All but a few were shot and killed by the police.

Mr. Thompson’s personal menagerie included tigers, lions, bears, wolves, leopards, and monkeys. Despite numerous previous complaints and visits from police, his operation was totally legal. Ohio is one of a few states that has no regulation on the sale and ownership of exotic animals.

In the last six years, local authorities visited Thompson’s farm nearly 30 times in response to complaints about escaped animals, animal cruelty, and more. Police knew the rare animals were at a huge risk, but there was nothing they could do.

Those of us here at PetsBlogs know exotic animals like those in Mr. Thompson’s personal zoo are rarely, if ever, suitable as personal pets. Animal cruelty is unacceptable and the safety and well being of animals and the public they live among is a concern we all need to be involved with.

The photos are graphic and heart-breaking.

Several of us get various Change.org update emails and usually we check them out and share them on a limited basis. But instead of just doing our part for animals (individually) we decided it would be a good thing to share our animal-related cares here with our readers. Perhaps you’ll feel compelled to sign this petition, too. And perhaps the Ohio law will be changed and other states will follow suit.

The Petition – Ban the sale, ownership, and harboring of wild and exotic animals in Ohio

After dozens of animals escaped a 73 acre zoo today, October 18, 2011, in Zanesville, Ohio, 48 have been shot dead after their owner died and the gates to their enclosures were opened. These animals, at no fault of their own, have threatened the safety of people and domesticated animals in the surrounding regions and had to pay for this with their lives.

Ohio has some of the most lax regulation of exotic pets, and after this disaster, it is apparent that this lack of regulation has been a threat to public safety and the welfare of the animals for a long time. The private collection had been considered a bad situation for a quite some time by local law enforcement, but there was nothing that they could do to stop their owner, Terry Thompson, from keeping the animals nor to push preventative measures onto the property.

And these animals aren’t the only ones, hundreds of exotics are currently being kept as pets in the state with no regulation. Ohio is one of less than 10 states in the US that do not regulate the ownership of exotic animals. Owning a wild animal is difficult and causes the animals suffering with a lack of proper knowledge as to the handling and care of these animals by their owners. Wild animals have been known to attack, maim, and kill humans and their pets without any warning and due to these circumstances, law enforcement have no choice but to destroy the animals.

The best thing we can do for the exotics and ourselves is to keep them in their wild, natural habitats where they belong by outlawing their sale and ownership in Ohio.

Visit Change.org to sign the “Gov. John Kasich: Ban the sale, ownership, and harboring of wild and exotic animals in Ohio” petition. If animal lovers unite we can surely make a difference.


About Author

Devoted pet owner and now, devoted pet editor, Judi worked in traditional offices, keeping the books and the day-to-day operations organized. Taking her dog to work every day for over a decade never seemed odd. Neither did having an office cat. She knows what it's like to train a new puppy and she's experienced the heartache of losing beloved companions. Retired, she currently lives with her spoiled dog and four chickens (who are, interestingly enough, also spoiled).

1 Comment

  1. You have a very good point there. These exotic animals, after being kept in captivity for a time will definitely be at a loss when they suddenly get free. Worse, they might hurt people in the process. So we can say that the petition is two-pronged- both for the animals’ sake and ours as well.

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