(Stony Ridge, OH) The Ohio Supreme Court appears to be putting an end to a Wood County farmer's fight to get his exotic animals back.
The state's high court is refusing to hear Kenny Hetrick's second appeal of his case against the Ohio Department of Agriculture. State officials took eleven animals from Hetrick's Tiger Ridge Exotics farm in 2015 after they weren't registered under Ohio's exotic animal law.
The lion, tigers and bears seized from the farm are living in animal sanctuaries across the country. Since their seizure in 2015, Hetrick has held that state ag officials had no authority to take the animals, despite the change in state law-- and has filed numerous lawsuits and appeals in the Wood County controversy.
After spending more than $30,000 on temporary care and euthanizing a lion, the state’s ag department said the decision will allow the agency to begin handing over permanent ownership of the animals to the out-of-state sanctuaries where they now are housed.