Catastrophe In Ohio

Once again a licensed private facility, inspected and regulated by federal and state agencies, has proven how cruel and inhumane private ownership of wild animals can be. And, once again, the tragedy in Ohio is just the tip of the iceberg.

PAWS was founded in 1984 to address the need for better laws and standards of care for captive wildlife. Our sanctuary is full of animals who were allowed to be kept in substandard conditions, neglected and suffering, until some catastrophe occurred and they were confiscated. Our files are also full of case studies of incidents like the one in Ohio and its tragic ending. 

More importantly, we are presently attempting to obtain the release of animals and the closure of several other private exotic animal facilities throughout the country. These facilities will continue to operate until private ownership of exotic species is prohibited and captive breeding is kept to a minimum. 

Too many well-intentioned, uninformed and uneducated individuals collect exotic animals and use them as a source of entertainment for the public, and income for themselves, without considering the responsibility to the animals and the public. When they are confronted with reality, they often respond irrationally and the animals always pay. Often, innocent spectators are injured or killed. In Ohio, the public was protected, the animals were not. 

Tigers, grizzly bears, lions, leopards and the plethora of species that are kept in roadside zoos, backyards and traveling shows are a precious benefit to life on this planet. It is not our right to own them.



8 thoughts on “Catastrophe In Ohio

  1. I congratulate u Pat for your amazing dedication and for been such a wonderful human being.
    I saw the HBO Documentory…An Apology to Elephants, got to tell u I did not stop crying during and afterwards.
    Since I saw it I had family and friends watch this to make them aware of the unbelievably cruelty this elephants go thru. Believe me when I say this I have changed many people perspectives on elephants and circuses. They don’t feel the same as they use to about circuses.
    What can I do to help?
    I keep you, paws, and your family in my prayers. Thank You.

  2. I’d like to believe this will raise the level of awareness of these sorts of occurrences, but I don’t have much hope. The former Democratic governor of Ohio had started the paperwork rolling to implement laws for situations such as this, but the now-Republican governor decided not to pursue it. But, he now HAS to do something because the public outcry will be loud. I’ve been a supporter of PAWS for over 20 years – some of the reasons are instances exactly like these. Thank God for Pat, Ed and PAWS!!!

  3. What a HUGE loss for all these animals. Wake up Ohio so this doesn’t happen again. Laws are needed so this does not happen again.

  4. I wish the animals had been able to be tranquilized……..there was no need to shoot them. I understand that the sheriff was protecting the developments in the area, etc, but if they knew they had someone in the area who owned these animals, why was there not more of a presence of persons able to manage the animals in ways other than killing them?

  5. I wonder why did terry thompson not contact any of the sanctuaries for help? why are people afraid to use the help offered by them, could something else be going on? I just cried at the pic of those animals wasted. The fear factor that the media stirred up didn’t help matters either. I would like to think some of the animals could have been caught. So sad. I will pray for all animal victims.
    kka chattanooga tn

  6. I now wonder about that fast burial. Was it a kind of cover up? Did the authorities not want photojournalists to show close-ups of the bodies and let people realize how bad the killing of 50 animals was? Why were no forensic veterinarians allowed to perform at least a few autopsies? Were the authorities and the USDA afraid that evidence of abuse and neglect would be found and that they would have to explain why multiple calls to the facility resulted in no action?

  7. I would like to feel hopeful that this horrific incident will spark conversation among the authorities of Ohio and other states with substandard laws on exotic animal “ownership”. Sadly, the shock will most likely pass, innocent animals will continue to be mistreated, held hostage in deplorable conditions, and the public will continue to be in danger. I don’t know what it will take for the “people in charge” to realize that something has to be done, for the innocent animals and for humans who pay with their lives. How many must die?

    We need more true sanctuaries for the exotics that are still prisoners in the US and abroad. We desperately need tough laws that prevent the general public from “owning” exotics…period! And lastly, we need our elected/selected officials, who we put in charge of the well being of ALL captive animals to step up and do the jobs they were entrusted to do.

  8. This is tragic. It also could have been prevented by not allowing people without the knowledge, financial resources, or experience actually buy wild animals. Furthermore, Terry Thompson was a criminal who had been accused of animal cruelty. The sheriff admits law enforcement was notified mutiple times of bad conditions on the farm. Did anyone do anything? Not until last night when they shot and killed 50 lions, tigers, bears, cougars, and other animals. This is a disgrace. Unfortunately it is too late for the victims who died last night, but maybe now laws will change and people put in charge of overseeing animal welfare will do their job.

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