ZOO WARS ~ Concern for Animals Seized from Tiger Ridge
I’m glad that the truth is surfacing on what happens to seized animals-I am the only one who dares speak about what happened to mine. the large number that die due to euthanasia, or animals that die weeks later demonstrates the care they receive-Just because a vet is looking after them, it doesn’t mean jack-shit when the animals are stressed and unaccustomed to their environment especially when the owner is not allowed to visit or consulted. The article doesn’t state the vets expertise-just a general statement about the vet care as if any vet would be qualified…Seizing any animal without proper due process should be illegal-Wait it is, so how come they are still getting away with it-Stop supporting CIVIL animal cruelty laws that serve no purpose are harming animals and their owners -without a permit is not enough reason to STEAL animals FROM THEIR LONGSTANDING RIGHTFUL OWNERS.
Now having read this article on the Tiger Ridge animals; my concern is heightened as they will remain in the animal penitentiary without outdoor exercise, fresh air and sunlight-VITAL to their health and denied by the state-The state should be charged with animal cruelty for seizing those animals and denying Kenny Hetrick proper due process as was done to us…Seems the state’s actions never bears any shame for what they do to seized animals-Remember, the government actually has no interest in animals…As the truth surfaces-They cut their own throats-
from the comments:
Here are some excerpts from the testimony of Tony Forshay the chief of animal health for the ODA
When asked by Mr Hedrick’s Attorney if he saw the animals daily.
Tony Forshay- I’m on the property of the ODA my office is there, but I don’t go back to the d… facility on a daily basis
Karen Novak- You don’t see the animals on a daily basis ?
Tony Forshay- I personally do not
Karen Novak – You said the animals are cared for daily, if your not there daily how do you know ?
Tony Forshay- I have, we have dwa staff Dr Simmerman oversees that program, and umm she and I talk daily many times daily ummm
Karen Novak- Is she back there daily ?
Tony Forshay- Not always. No I don’t think.
And here is another interesting piece of testimony.
Karen Novak- What were the specific reasons for issuing the transfer order, or the concerns …?
Tony Forshay- Well the concerns were, there were dangerous wild animals on the premises and there was no permit to have those animals
Karen Novak- Is that the only reason ?
Tony Forshay- It’s a major reason
Karen Novak- Was that the only reason ?
Tony Forshay- Yes
See more comments at the link to this article…Make one of your own!!!
Worker’s testimony scares Tiger Ridge supporters
Tiger Ridge Exotics supporters say testimony from an Ohio Department of Agriculture worker has them fearing that the agency is not taking good care of the 11 animals it seized.
Employing a search and seizure warrant, ODA officials removed six tigers, a lion, black leopard, liger, bobcat, cougar and Kodiak bear from Tiger Ridge on a cold Wednesday afternoon in late January.
The animals from the Stony Ridge exotic animal shelter remain at the holding facility until appeals are heard from 71-year-old owner Kenny Hetrick and his Toledo attorney, Karen A. Novak.
In Columbus, administrative hearings over the search and seizure finished last week and this week begins a hearing over the Hetrick’s appeal permitting for exotic animals, which was denied by the state. Last week in Bowling Green Wood County Common Pleas Court, Judge Kelsey Reeves ruled against the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s filing requesting the court to dismiss a lawsuit brought on by Hetrick.
Last Monday, an ODA worker testified that a cougar, Cindy, was bleeding when it arrived at the ODA facility in Reynoldsburg. The ODA acknowledged that the cougar had sore paws and they had put down rubber mats to help them heal, but ODA Communications Director Erica M. Hawkins said the worker exaggerated its testimony.
The worker was dismissed by the ODA later in the week, but Tiger Ridge volunteers praised his testimony on Facebook.
|Cindy the cougar|
“Good for this state employee for speaking up and doing the right thing,” stated a Facebook post attributed to April Green. “I can only hope others will, too.
“This whole seizure was unnecessary and these animals need to be back safe, with their caretakers at Tiger Ridge. What happened with Cindy, the Cougar, is unacceptable. I hope the truth keeps coming out. The ODA can’t keep covering their asses forever. Please keep Tiger Ridge and their beloved big cats and bear in your thoughts and prayers. Truth has to prevail for the sake of these animals and their family.”
A post attributed to Chris Tiefel stated, “I’m not saying the state didn’t overreact, make mistakes, or did things that amount to abuse in their attempt to circumvent the courts and keep the animals for as long as possible.
“I’m saying that we should remain skeptical of things, even if they agree with our side, until there is evidence to back it up,” Tiefel’s post continued. “Especially from someone who was fired coming forward with something so inflammatory…”
Hawkins admits that the ODA has never seen so much support for an exotic animal owner who has had his animals taken away.
The supporters also posted two photos showing two big cats in small enclosures with cages, allegedly taken by someone inside the Reynoldsburg facility. The ODA’s policy is not allowing photographs of the animals inside its $3 million facility.
“These two big cats were healthy, happy and well-cared for at Tiger Ridge Exotics,” posted the same April Green. “They lived in large outdoor enclosures, with dens, pools and enrichment. They had wonderful, loving caretakers, Kenny and his daughter Corrina,” the post continued.
“Just from observing these photos, the tiger looks to have lost weight and could possibly be pacing …his cage, a sign of stress. The lion, who’s 25 years old, is also showing signs of stress and perhaps even pain, the way he’s curled up with his face pressed against the cage.
“This is not body language of healthy, content animals. These photos show behavior and body language of animals under physiological and psychological stress. No matter how you feel about exotic animal ownership, you cannot tell me that this is in the best interest of the Tiger Ridge animals.”
ODA says Cindy is healthy
Dr. Dr. Melissa Simmerman, one of three veterinarians at the facility, assured The Press that the animals are doing fine, contrary to the worker’s testimony and posts on Facebook by Tiger Ridge supporters. She said one way they can tell the animals are content is that, unbeknownst to many people, large cats often purr just like domestic cats.
“Some of them can’t purr and they make a unique sound that is specific to them. But, they all make noises that show that they are content,” Dr. Simmerman said.
She said the veterinarians there are more than qualified for their care, and they are receiving good care and diet.
“Veterinarians are very diversified. In our profession and our knowledge, we are basically equipped with all that we need while in vet school to be able to go out and essentially take care of any species of animals that is out there,” Dr. Simmerman said.
“The diet we provide the animals is from a company that a lot of zoos get their diets from, so we make sure that we feed them a diet-specific to their species and their needs.”
However, the animals are not able to go outdoors at the facility.
“We have to keep in mind that our facility is a temporary holding facility,” Dr. Simmerman said. “But, there are skylights built into the facility to allow natural light to come in and we also have all the lighting factor in the facility on a 12-hour cycle to mimic what we call the natural diurnal cycle — which is basically a 12-hour day-night cycle.”
In addition, Dr. Simmerman said having to hold the Tiger Ridge animals at the Reynoldsburg facility while all the legal action continues could present issues. She stresses that often exotic animals brought there only remain a day or two before finding a new home at an accredited shelter.
“That’s definitely a challenge that was thought about,” Dr. Simmerman said. “We knew that there was going to be a legal process involved with this situation. We do stress the fact that is a temporary holding facility and we just hope that the legal process is not stretched out too long for the animals’ sake.
“But we’re taking care of the animals daily, they are being looked at by a veterinarian daily, so we’re monitoring their health status to make sure that they are doing well back in the building.”
For safety, primary and transport enclosures are designed to avoid any potential contact with animals, a shift cage system is employed to avoid any direct contact with animals while cleaning enclosures, thick yellow safety lines are painted on the floor to remind caretakers of the potential contact zone and Plexiglas shields are available to protect employee limbs when working near the enclosures.
The facility is secured by a 12-foot primary fence with a four-foot cantilever equipped with barbed wire and hot wire. Animals are held within double or triple containment enclosures and there are 17 360 degree cameras on site along with motion sensitive cameras that alert ODA staff if there is any movement in unauthorized areas. Hawkins says the cameras are actively monitoring the premises 24/7 when animals are in residence.
Disclaimer connected to this blog…Things said are of my opinion and the opinions of others…Stay tuned -B