"Missouri needs new laws" when it comes to exotics

by Michelle Sherwood, KY3 News

YELLVILLE, Ark. — Animal rescuers were called to a home to take away two cougars. When they got there, the cats had already lashed out against their owners. The incident angers LaWanna Jones.

“This is a subdivision,” Jones said, “a gated sub subdivision.”

And that’s what has Jones so upset.

“I don’t want a cougar coming up in my backyard having my child for lunch,” she said.

The two cougars were kept in one cage for five years. In Arkansas, the owners had a right to keep them even though they hadn’t kept a perimeter fence. But the owners were getting ready to move to a county that wouldn’t allow it. The owners were saying their last good-byes when the male attacked.

“The red things you saw laying all over were pieces of the man’s shirt strewn from one end of the cage to another,” Jones said.

An officer with the Arkansas Gaming and Fishing Commission was there. He said he sees problems like this all throughout the state.

“Missouri needs new laws,” Jones said. “We need to follow suit of the other states who are ahead of us.”

She says Missouri is one of nine states that allow people to own certain exotic animals and, until it stops, she will keep talking, especially since so often people complain about dogs that have been determined vicious.

“A pit bull is a poodle puppy compared to a cougar,” Jones said. “A wild animal is a wild animal and will always be a wild animal.”

The man attacked is recovering. As for the cougars, they are being quarantined in Eureka Springs at Turpentine Creek Ranch, a home for rescued wild animals that were former pets.

Story Created: Jul 8, 2007 at 5:50 PM CDT
Story Updated: Jul 8, 2007 at 7:50 PM CDT


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