We all watched in horror, as it unfolded on October 18th, 2011, as exotic animals were shown on the news roaming around. We, as exotic owners knew the horror way before it actually happened, of what WOULD happen to these loose animals, even without the events fully played out.
Terry Thompson allegedly released 56 animals from his facility. CUTTING through the cages (he had keys) and surviving long enough with all these “wild dangerous animals” to pull down his pants and shoot himself in the head. And of these “wild dangerous animals” none inflicted mortal wounds upon Terry. None roamed off the property, but merely by a neighbors yard out of curiosity. (Note: In the history of the United States and the keeping of big cats in captivity there has NEVER, I repeat NEVER been a case where a big cat has escaped, LEFT THE PROPERTY of which it resides, to go on a rampage killing people. NEVER HAPPENED. )The only people that have been seriously hurt or killed involving big cats are people that willingly placed themselves into that cats environment.
This case set the legislators into panic mode, with the Humane Society of the United States, Born Free, IFAW and Big Cat Rescue at the helm, to ban ALL exotics. Even at the hearings it was obvious that it was already a done deal, because no one would listen to any of the opposition to the bill, and in fact the opposition outweighed the proponents. But in this case it did not matter. The killing machine was set into motion.
The bill became law, and the exotic animal killing house was erected to the tune of $2.9 million of tax payer money. This is where they will seize owners property and take them if they do not comply with the new law. The new law requires licensing fees of 250.00 to 1,000.00, a surety bond of 200,000 to 2 million dollars, and demand that owners get the animals microchipped. If the owners do not or cannot comply then it is off to the killing house. All concrete and steel. Ripped away from homes that know and love them. Gone forever to that animal the familiar faces and scents. But after all, this is what is best for everyone, right?
Some might state, well at least they get to keep their animals. Imagine that you have complied with all that they ask in order to get “grandfathered in” (because after that animal dies you may not replace it) and now you must microchip the animal. For small animal owners you probably are familiar with the process. But it is indeed more involved for the exotics. And for big cat owners nearly impossible to accomplish without sedation.
We have discussed sedation before and each time an animal is sedated there is a risk that they will not recover. More so in an exotic because of the level of stress on the animal involved. So now you are risking that animals life to implant a microchip. There was already a primate lost due to the owner trying to comply with testing etc in the very beginning. Her baby was sedated and never woke up. It is my guess there will be many more deaths to follow.
The Ohio Association of Animal Owners has been fighting for the rights of the owners since the onset. With Polly Britton leading the charge she has never wavered in her resolution to fix this grave injustice to the animals and the people that love them.
And now, imagine my horror and disbelief that Ohio could get any worse. Ohio now has published under the FOIA a website that is quite user friendly to locate the NAMES AND ADDRESSES of ALL EXOTIC OWNERS that have complied and registered their animals!! HOW CAN THIS BE LEGAL?!! But it IS! To us, these animals are like our children, but to those not in the industry, they are “wild dangerous animals” (which Ohio keeps repeating in almost every article they write pertaining to these actions) and this just invites unstable people to try and release them to “be free” or to terrorize the owners for keeping them as “slaves”. I can just envision what catastrophes this is inviting to happen. Check it out here: http://www.zanesvilletimesrecorder.com/interactive/article/99999999/DATABASES/121105001/Data-Center-Registered-exotic-animals-Ohio?nclick_check=1
I am praying for a favorable outcome in the Supreme Court. The OAAO has it’s case coming up to be heard. Let us pray that this killing law will be repealed.
“What man does not understand, he fears. What he fears, he destroys”