Target: Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine
Goal: Urge Ohio Attorney General to pursue exotic animal owners without permits
Three months after a state law mandating that all owners of exotic animals secure a permit went into effect, one in three exotic pet owners in Ohio still does not have a permit. Not only are exotic pets such as lions, tigers and various reptiles potentially dangerous to the community, but they are also more difficult to care for than traditional domestic animals. In order to prevent unintentional negligence or abuse by exotic pet owners, the state of Ohio now requires that all owners obtain a permit that certifies their ability to care for these animals. The law is the last in a series of reforms enacted following the mass release of 56 exotic animals from a farm in Zanesville, Ohio in 2011. Many of those animals, which included mountain lions, lions, tigers, grizzly bears, monkeys, and wolves, had to be euthanized to ensure public safety. Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has the power to aggressively pursue those who have not yet secured a permit. Cooperation with this important new law could improve the lives of exotic animals in the state and prevent future dangerous incidents like the one in Zanesville.
According to the Ohio Department of Agriculture, one reason pet owners have failed to register and receive a permit is a lack of compliance in new caging standards and safety requirements. Exotic pets must now also be outfitted with an identifying microchip, something many states require for cats and dogs. Among the unregistered animals are a group of 96 animals, including 32 tigers and 28 lions, living in one residence.
Majestic creatures like lions and tigers are meant to be in the wild where they can safely act on predatory instincts, expand pride territory and maintain limited contact with humans. Although exotic pet ownership remains legal in many states, it is a practice that is ultimately unfair and cruel to the animals. Regulations like the law in Ohio make the practice of exotic pet ownership marginally more humane. Therefore, they must be respected. Urge Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine to aggressively pursue and prosecute exotic pet owners who decline to comply with the state’s new regulations.
Dear Attorney General Mike DeWine,
The decisive action on the part of the state of Ohio to improve the lives of exotic pets is commendable. Public safety and humane treatment of exotic animals go hand in hand, and this new legislation will help ensure that these majestic creatures are properly cared for and that their interaction with humans is as safe as possible.
I am writing today to urge you to aggressively pursue and prosecute exotic pet owners who do not comply with the new regulations. As Ohio Attorney General, you have the power to aggressively pursue the pet owners who have not yet secured a permit. Cooperation with this important new law could greatly improve the lives of exotic animals in Ohio.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Dan Bennett via Wikimedia Commons