Published May 05, 2015 FoxNews
STONEY RIDGE, OH (Toledo News Now) -A judge has ordered the state of Ohio to return exotic animal seized from the Tiger Ridge Exotics animal farm in Stony Ridge Wednesday to the farm.
The Ohio Department of Agriculture seized all but one of the animals from the Tiger Ridge exotic animal farm on Wednesday.
After the animals had already been taken from the farm Wednesday, a Wood County Common Pleas Court judge ordered them returned. The Ohio Department of Agriculture says the animals will be returned sometime Thursday. A hearing in the matter has been set for Feb. 10 at 1 p.m.
The facility houses six tigers, a lion, a black lion and Kodiak bear. Owner Kenny Hetrick has been in talks with the state for years, working to make the farm meet new regulations.
Ohio enacted strict new regulations on the owners of exotic animals after aZanesville man set loose dozens of exotic animals in 2011.
After that law passed in 2012, Hetrick says he has made changes to meet state requirements, such as obtaining a half-million dollar insurance policy, microchipping each animal, neutering them and adding fencing. Hetrick says the upgrades were made possible through donations and volunteer help.
But the state said those upgrades were not enough to meet the law's requirements. An Ohio Department of Agriculture spokesperson said Wednesday that the state chose to seize the animals because cages at the facility are not appropriate for the animals held there.
The state had said it planned to transport the animals to Reynoldsburg, Ohio before finding them new homes. Now a court will decide if Hetrick gets to keep the exotic animals. link
Toledo News Now has a crew on the scene and will bring you the latest details as soon as they become available.