New exotic animal law in effect in Ohio. - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

New exotic animal law in effect in Ohio.

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The new state law regulating the ownership of exotic animals is officially in effect.  It means people who have those types of animals have to do things differently.

Kenny Hetrick owns Tiger Ridge Exotics in Stony Ridge.  He's not happy about Ohio's new regulations for exotic animals.

"I don't feel good about it at all," he said.  "I don't believe that people should have lions or tigers in their backyards on a chain or kept in their house."

Wednesday marked the first day the law went into effect.  Now, Ohio residents are banned from buying and selling dangerous wild animals.  Current owners, like Hetrick, can keep their animals.  However, they must obtain new permits by the beginning of the year.  They also have to pass background checks, pay fees, and have all the animals microchiped.

"The people in compliance with all the federal regulations, like I am, I don't know why you want to bother me," Hetrick said.

While Hetrick plans to fight, others say it's about time.

"Right now there are more lions and tigers living in backyards in Ohio that people want to realize," John Dinon, Executive Director of the Toledo Area Humane Society, said.  "It is great there is now a law restricting that ownership."

Dinon says he feels for people that have to pay the price, but in the end its all about safety.

"What its really going to do is ensure that the animals are cared for properly and that the public is safe from the animals," Dinon said.

As for Hetrick he says he has no intention of giving up.

"I'm just hoping the governor looks at the bill and tries to revise it, especially for the people within regulations."

Also part of the law, all animals must be registered with the state by November 5th.  If owners are denied permits or can't meet the requirements, the state can take their animals.

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