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Owner of NW Ohio sanctuary faces state deadline to shutter facility, surrender 4 mascot tigers


STONY RIDGE, Ohio — The owner of a Toledo-area animal sanctuary says the state is threatening to shutter his facility and seize his animals, including four high-school mascot tigers sheltered there after a state crackdown.

Kenny Hetrick tells The Independent in Massillon (MAS'-ih-luhn) a letter he received Thursday involving Tiger Ridge Exotics gives him 10 business days to voluntarily surrender his animals to the Ohio Department of Agriculture or face criminal or civil penalties. His facility houses four former "Obies" mascot tigers from Washington High School.

The 69-year-old Hetrick says caring for exotics is all he's known and meeting state demands will ruin his life.

Ohio toughened laws on private ownership after the 2011 release of dozens of wild animals by a suicidal owner at his Zanesville farm, including requiring permits since Jan. 1.

Information from: The Independent,

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