Wild animals on the loose renews call for Ohio to ban dangerous exotic pets


ZANESVILLE, Ohio — As local authorities respond to the escape or release of dozens of exotic animals from a private menagerie in Muskingum County, The Humane Society of the United States is calling on Gov. John Kasich and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to immediately issue emergency regulations restricting the sale and possession of dangerous wild animals.

The Kasich Administration allowed emergency rules put in place by former Gov. Ted Strickland to expire in April. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has convened a working group to develop standards, which it will apparently recommend to the legislature for action, at some undetermined time frame.

Authorities reported Terry Thompson was found dead Oct. 18 on his Zanesville property, and cages were open where he had kept dozens of lions, bears and wolves. The animals were roaming the streets, and many had already been shot by responders.

Addressing the issue of private ownership of “exotic” animals was one of the elements of a deal struck by the HSUS and agricultural leaders in the state to advance a series of animal welfare policies in the state in 2010.

For more details on what happened in Zanesville, click here.


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  1. This sounds “fishy” to me. I seen animal welfare nuts (PETA, ALF) attack and even bomb other places in teh US (fur farms, animal research labs, ect.). Is it so far fetched to beleive that this was done to prove a point and get animal welfare legislation passed in Ohio. I wouldn’t put it past these loons.

  2. I agree with you Joe, i do not believe that this man turned these animals loose then killed himself. I think this has HSUS and thier flunkies all over it. mercy for animals,animal liberation force,peta, are not above doing this sort of thing!

  3. Many people in the Animal business are saying the same thing. Why would someone that cared for animals as a sanctuary give them a death sentance. He could have called any member of OAAO.us and people would have taken them. This reeks of foul play especially on the heals of Sam Mazzola’s murder.

    On the 10 o’clock new brief, Jack Hanna stated he had Gov. Kasich’s pledge to end ownership and sales of exotic animals. Time to light up the switch board at the Governor’s place of business 614-644-0829.

    Pacelle saying this wouldn’t have happened (reported in Columbus Disptach and Cleveland Plain Dealer) had the Governor kept the ban. It still would have happened, Terry would have been under the Grandfather clause and allowed to keep his animals till they died.

    Unfortunate for the animals, gunshoots, screaming, sirens, flashing lights. No wonder they were running around. Sheriff Lutz stated some where bedded down, probably because they couldn’t get back to their home. Scared, wet and cold.

    This all too strange coming on the heals of the clock ticking away on the new “BILL” being forced on animal owners under the disguise of Public Safety. Thankfully, no person was injured in all this but I mourn for the loss of the innocent animals.

  4. Are you nuts? This guy was a felon. Why are you defending him?
    He was not right in the head, and if you believe some tin-foil hat conspiracy theory, neither are you.

  5. All animal owners will have to stand up and fight together on this. If they get this passed it is only a matter of time before it is illegal to own any animals.

  6. Mark, I don’t think that it would be illegal to own ANY animals, just the exotic ones, such as the cheetah, lion, etc. Regular dogs and cats should be fine though, as long as they are trained very well.

  7. Max, I would first ask did you know Terry Thompson or is your knowledge of Terry just want the media has portrayed? I defend the idea that anyone that loved animals enough to invest the amount of time and money he did would not have signed their death warrent when there are facilites in Ohio alone that would have taken them.

    Mark, you are correct, we right now have legislators in office that fully support no animal ownership of any kind. They stand against owning Exotics, Hunting, Fishing, Trapping and even companion animals. They have even stated they would like to see the zoo’s shut down as they are no more than high payed animal abusers for the publics enjoyment.

    It’s not a far fetched idea, take a look at what HSUS has done for our state, they have contributed less than 1% of their budget in the past 5 years to help any animals but spent over 2 Million dollars to severely hinder agriculture in 1 year.


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