Ohio Plans to Take In Confiscated Exotic Pets

Ohio Plans to Take In Confiscated Exotic Pets

GRAHM S. JONES | COLUMBUS ZOO AND AQUARIUMOne of the leopards that survived after Terry W. Thompson freed his personal menagerie near Zanesville last fall.

Ohio officials are planning a multimillion-dollar facility on the outskirts of Reynoldsburg to house dozens of exotic animals and snakesthatmay be seized when a new state law takes effect.

The facility, which must be approved by the state Controlling Board, is planned for vacant land

Was cougar killed in Minnesota wild- or captive-born?

Published December 12 2009

DNR: Bemidji cougar’s origin still unknown

DNA testing continues on a young male cougar killed by a car Sept. 18 in Bemidji, but early indications may be that a stranger was in our midst.

By: Sarah Smith, Park Rapids Enterprise

DNA testing continues on a young male cougar killed by a car Sept. 18 in Bemidji, but early indications may be that a stranger was in our midst.

“The DNA did not match any other cougar in the database so all that tells us is it’s not a cougar somebody else already detected as part of a study,” said DNR furbearer specialist John Erb. The cat was taken to the forest wildlife research station in Grand Rapids.

“We have some partial information from necropsying the animal but we have only partial DNA results back.

“There was one in Wisconsin recently and they collected a blood sample from that,” Erb said.

“It didn’t match but we don’t have the information yet on whether the DNA closely matches the South Dakota population or Colorado so at this point it’s incomplete.”

It is believed that sub-adult “dispersers” occasionally roam out of the Black Hills eastward looking for females, ousted from their prides by dominant males.

Whether the 114-pound Bemidji cougar was one of those cats is still being determined.

But Erb said while DNA testing cannot usually determine conclusively if a cougar is captive or wild, “my opinion continues to be that I don’t think so,” he said, of the Bemidji cougar being a domestic cat.

Complicating the DNR’s task is the sighting Dec. 6 of a 200-pound cougar in Champlin, captured on a police officer’s dashboard camera roaming through a residential neighborhood.

The Wildcat Sanctuary in Sandstone has publicly offered to take that cat if it can be safely captured.

“It would be quite rare if this cougar ends up being wild, but it’s not impossible,” said Tammy Thies, director of The Wildcat Sanctuary.

“Given the cougar’s location and approximate size, it is more likely to be someone’s escaped pet,” she said. “We have heard about privately owned cougars in Inver Grove Heights, Minnetonka and also in Anoka and Isanti counties.”

TWS believes there may be 1,000 privately owned cougars in Minnesota. The Sanctuary houses more than 100 wildcats including 19 cougars.



Learn more about big cats and Big Cat Rescue at http://bigcatrescue.org

Pennsylvania town passes exotic pet ordinance

Freeland’s exotic pets expelled by ordinance

Published: December 4, 2009

If you live in Freeland and have a pet puma – or any other animal considered exotic – you’ll have to pay a fee or find it a new home.

Freeland Council approved its version of an exotic pet ordinance at Thursday night’s meeting.

The ordinance was drafted and advertised to the public in November after two pet pythons went missing from an Adams Street home, to the fright of several people in the neighborhood. The snakes were eventually found, according to borough police, but residents still rallied for a ban on certain animals from becoming pets.

Now, residents who keep a pet defined under the ordinance as exotic or wild is subject to a $1,000 fine, 30 days in prison or both for each day the violation exists.

The ordinance also bans breeding or selling the animals in Freeland.

If someone has a pet considered exotic, they don’t necessarily have to get rid of it. The pet owners can obtain a $300 permit and non-conforming use status for the animal, pending borough approval. The pet in question cannot have a history of health or safety problems and the owner must fill out an application that includes the animal’s species, age and sex and a plan for housing the animal to prevent its escape.

If the pet dies or is taken from the home for any other reason, it cannot be replaced.

The permits must be obtained within 30 days of council adopting the ordinance.

Anyone who violates the ordinance must get rid of the animal or give it to the borough police department. Officers are allowed to release the animal into the wild, a zoo, or “dispose” of it in a humane manner, at the owner’s expense.




Learn more about big cats and Big Cat Rescue at http://bigcatrescue.org