Kenny Hetrick, owner of Tiger Ridge Exotics

This is an urgent matter.

Kenny Hetrick and Tiger Ridge Exotics

Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

Kenny Hetrick owns and runs a private zoo in Stony Ridge, Ohio, called Tiger Ridge Exotics. This is near the border with Canada. He can no longer afford to run his zoo because the state has placed tougher restrictions on his business and demanded improved security under new and tougher regulations for private zoo owners.

Mr Hetrick has not obtained a permit as required under the laws of the state because he does not have the money to comply with those laws. For example, he has to build a new eight-foot perimeter fence around his zoo which he can’t afford. Neither can he afford the cost of a $500,000 insurance policy.

Mr Hetrick wants to comply and he wants his permit but he can’t afford it.

The trouble is this: he will not agree to surrendering his animals to other sanctuaries. We are told, in a petition addressed to the Special Prosecutor, Ohio Department of Agriculture and John Kasich, the Governor of Ohio, that not only is Mr Hetrick failing to comply with state law requiring him to upgrade his facilities, he has also threatened to kill all his animals rather than hand them over.

If that is true then all of us must have nothing but contempt for him. If that is true he is unfit to care for any animal.

The authorities can no longer give Mr Hetrick more time to comply with the new regulations since it has now been about two years during which he has failed to obtain a permit.

Mr Hetrick says that he is doing all he can to comply. Supporters of Hetrick, who don’t refer to his threat to euthanise all his animals, are trying to raise money. For instance, there is a Facebook page in which they refer to the requirement to build thousands of feet of eight-foot fence and fence posts around the facility. The fence is currently 4 feet high and it complied with the previous regulations. They don’t refer to any other costs which it appears that Mr Hetrick has difficulty in funding.

The animals at threat of being killed by Mr Ketrick include: 2 lions, a Kodiak brown bear, a liger (a lion-tiger hybrid), 6 tigers, a black leopard (black panther), a bobcat and a wolf hybrid.

Mr Hetrick has to surrender his animals or face criminal charges. The pressure is on. There is a need therefore for the state authorities to seize the animals unannounced in order to secure their safety.

You may remember the disastrous shooting of exotic species kept in a private zoo not so long ago. We don’t want something similar to happen in this instance. We want Mr Hetrick to behave responsibly towards his animals who shouldn’t be in a zoo in the first place, even if he can’t afford to keep them according to the laws of the land.

41 thoughts on “Kenny Hetrick, owner of Tiger Ridge Exotics”

  1. All those negitive people s comments has never seen kenny, with his animals.they love him as much as your pet dog or cat loves you. Did you see the lion nuzzeling him. He kenny is the most gentle man i ever met. As a police officer of our town , the kids all loved him and respected him . He was a friend to all both four legged and two.. He would get out of bed in the middle of the night, after a call that a deer had been killed on a highway, to go pick it up ,take it home, cut it up, place it in cold storage to feed them. If you knew kenny you would love him

    H

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  2. The state did the right thing in confiscating the animals. Kenny Hetrick is not a sympathetic character. He’s an old, stubborn man with authority issues who feels the law doesn’t apply to him. His refusal last year to accept help from rescues and sanctuaries willing to provide supplies or homes for his animals demonstrates where his priorities lie. It’s too bad he’s wasting the state’s time and preventing ODA from placing his animals in real sanctuaries as litigation continues and his lawyer draws out the legal process with endless “witnesses.”

    The amount of spin and distortion coming from his support base is nauseating, even more so with the recent euthanasia of an elderly lion due to failing health. As his supporters spin it, “ODA murdered a lion for no reason.” Yeah, right.

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