TOLEDO, Ohio — An appeals court in Ohio has sided with the state in its legal battle with the former owner of six tigers and several other exotic animals.

The state appeals court in Toledo says the Ohio Department of Agriculture had the right to deny a permit to the owner of a roadside animal sanctuary near Toledo.

The ruling issued Friday overturns a Wood County judge’s decision ordering the state to give Kenny Hetrick a permit and to return the animals.

The tigers, bear, leopard and cougar have been kept in out-of-state sanctuaries during the state’s appeal.

Ohio took custody of 11 animals from Hetrick in January 2015 after officials say he ignored warnings that he needed a permit.

Hetrick argued he was treated differently than other exotic animal owners.

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