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Ohio Exotic Animal Massacre

By Dr. Andrew Jones

This is an unbelievable story, with a horrible ending.

In Zanesville Ohio, Terry Thompson had a huge number of exotic animals, including 18 Bengal tigers, 8 lions, Grizzly bear, 6 Black bears, Leopards, Monkeys, Baboons, Wolves, 1 Baboon and 3 Cougars.

On October 19 he is found to have committed suicide, but he released all of the exotic animals to wander free in the community.

Sheriff deputies arrive to find the dead man, and wild animals on the loose in front of them.

County Sheriff Matt Lutz tells his deputies to start shooting. And soon there is a death toll of 49 of the animals. Some of the killed animals included the 18 Bengal tigers, 8 lions, 6 Black Bears.

After the shooting ended, only 1 monkey was still on the loose.

Some of my thoughts

How is it that this man was ever allowed to keep all of these rare exotic animals on his property?

Clearly Ohio has little to no regulation. The Humane Society of America reported that it ranks at the bottom of the U.S. states in having virtually no regulation of individuals keeping wild and exotic animals. Clearly there needs to be nationwide regulation, not just individual state regulation. This never should have been allowed to happen in the first place.

Most disturbing to me is that so little effort was put on trying to save any of these animals.

Did they really all need to be shot?

I don’t think so.

The zoo in Columbus, Ohio sent veterinarians with tranquillizer guns, but they weren’t given a chance to use them.

The deputies were a little too quick on the draw- of course only interested in protecting human life- and killed all the animals before there was ever a chance to use the tranquillizer guns.

Let’s just hope that authorities learn something from this- there should never be some mass killing of wild and exotic animals, be it in the United States, or any other part of the world.

Dr Andrew J

P.S. I appreciate your comments.


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Topics: Pet health | 110 Comments »

110 Responses to “Ohio Exotic Animal Massacre”

  1. Avatar Becci Jobson Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 4:47 am

    I whole heartedly agree..I fear humans en masse will never ever learn & will continue to place themselves over every other species. Not to mention the mindless gun toting ‘law’ which fills me with sickness & horror & I imagine so too any other human who sees the importance of all other species. Please lets learn this lesson before its too late.

  2. Avatar Anyse Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 4:47 am

    Talk about sad. He should have killed them all first and then himself as it would have amounted to the same thing. 18 Bengal tigers? Where did he get these animals? What was the cost for each one? I am appalled, of course. That the sheriffs shot them all without and planning and that the zoo personnel were so quickly on hand was even more salt in the wound, so to speak. Yes, I would have the same questions as you do. However, what are the rules on simple aquiring these animals for sale in the first place? Too many questions, I am sure, but all pertinent to seeking better enforcement or laws for enforcement so that this can not happen again.

  3. Avatar Robin Keller Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 4:48 am


  4. Avatar Leslie Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 4:49 am

    I too am saddened and horrified with the decisions made by the Sheriff’s office. Particularly with the close proximity of the Columbus Zoo and the possibility of more humane solutions. We are care takers of innocent animals on this earth. It is very tragic commentary on the state of our society that we have so little regard for these beautiful creatures.

  5. Avatar Ursula Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 4:51 am

    I think this is just terrible. If they could shoot them with bullets then they could have shot them instead with tranquilizers. I think it was just a bunch of ‘low intelligence’ men that seen it as a thrilling wild animal hunt. “Lookie er’ bubba, I gots me one of dem der tigers”

  6. Avatar Debra Owen Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 4:59 am

    I wished they had given the Humane Society a chance to use the tranquilizer guns too….but WHAT IF…someone had been hurt or killed while they were running loose? I agree with you…there should be federal regulation on who can keep exotic animals…for their safety as well as the humans who live close by their habitats. NC ranks low on the list of exotic animal regulations too…and we have had chimps to escape from one of the local habitats …on several occasions…this guy keeps exotic cats and takes them to the local fairs for folks to get their photos taken with the cubs (exploiting them for cash). I love big cats & other exotic animals. It just broke my heart to see their bodies stacked up to be discarded. So sad to lose precious animals…so sad to let this happen in the first place. At least no HUMAN was hurt. The government should have stepped in and dealt with this fruitcake before he lost what was left of his mind…he was a KNOWN problem in the community…and had been in prison for federal fire arms issues. Wonder who cared for his animals while he was in prison for a year? HOPE this does not happen again….!!!!

  7. Avatar John Armstead Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 5:00 am

    Well what do you expect from gun happy police officers…

    All wild animals even wild bears must be treated with respect. You do not get out of your car to take a closer look or better photos.

    Animal handlers and vets from a local zoo should have been given the first opportunity to sedate the animals with the police ensuring backup if required and that the community was kept a safe distance beyond a buffer zone.

    As Mahatma Gandhi said “The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”


  8. Avatar Cathy Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 5:01 am

    Rescuing and saving animals has been my whole life. In this case, I feel the officers did not have a choice. It was almost dark, using tranquilizer at that time of evening would only allow the animal to run off, fall asleep and flee once it woke up again. To track the tranquilized animal in the dark, not knowing for sure the animal was sedated, was too much of a risk to the tracker and public.

  9. Avatar Rebecca Sexton Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 5:04 am

    I agree with Dr. Jones. I manage a small exotic farm. Ohio needs to change it’s laws and train it’s police force to handle an incident like this WITHOUT LETHAL FORCE. Shame on the police for how they hamdled this emergency.

  10. Avatar Sadin Columbus Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 5:05 am

    I am from Columbus, OH, home of Jack Hanna and the world famous Columbus Zoo. There were 7 leopards, 2 monkeys and a bear added to the Zoo through capture of 10 of the escaped animals. Though not much less sad, not all were killed. This was definitely a very, very sad situation. There should have been a law in place to preclude an individual from owning more than 50 exotic animals. In order to understand why capture of all was not possible, you have to understand the area. Very rural, lots of places to hide (and breed) and, had the more dangerous of the animals made it across the major highway, there could have been many people killed or injured. Jack Hanna appeared on the news with the sherriff of the county, supporting the decision not to spend the time required to capture more animals. If you know Jack, you will know that he would have attempted anything possible to recover more or all of the escapees if at all possible. Let’s support a law in Ohio and other states to disallow ownership of exotic animals outside of the Zoo!

  11. Avatar Rebecca Sexton Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 5:05 am

    I agree with Dr. Jones. I manage a small exotic farm. Ohio needs to change it’s laws and train it’s police force to handle an incident like this WITHOUT LETHAL FORCE. Shame on the police for how they handled this emergency.

  12. Avatar Sandy Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 5:08 am

    They DID use their tranquilizer guns when they could…however at least one animal still had to be shot and killed because it became agitated after being shot with the tranquilizer gun and, thus, even more of a threat.

    In regard to the rest of the killings…it was almost dark, and the greatest worry was that they would attack and kill someone outright or attack and kill someone who was trying to protect either their livestock or their pets (there was at least one instance of one of the big cats…not sure if it was the mountain lion or one of the tigers chasing someones horse), and even though every life is precious, OBVIOUSLY human life is WAY more to be concerned about when it is getting darker by the minute outside than the lives of the exotic animals. Who is the most to blame?? The State of Ohio for allowing this to happen ‘legally’ in the first place. Hopefully this will cause not only Ohio to change their laws, but it should make every other state review their current laws and make any necessary changes to them so that this doesn’t happen again. NO private individual should have the ability/right to keep any exotic and/or wild animals. They should be in zoos and free-roaming animal parks ONLY!

  13. Avatar lynn Pugh Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 5:09 am

    MY GOD!!!! its very obvious to me NONE of these men are animal Lovers, I seriously shed a tear and still am as i write this, this is the most horrific thing i have come across, these are precious animals and you are right Dr. Andrews , I believe these man should be repremanded in such a way that they NEVER have a chance to do such damage again, PLEASE post this in hopes that these men will have access to read mine and hopefully many other thoughts on this horrible event.”there was no need for this horrible killing to happen”
    Sincrely: Lynn Pugh
    Victoria, B.C , Canada

  14. Avatar Pamela Morrissey Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 5:12 am

    I was appalled at the carnage I saw on TV last night. How utterly disgusting and sad. Although, I disagree that there needs to be federal regulations, I do believe that each state needs to step up and have regulations that are enforceable and check up on these people. The authorities and SPCA had been called to this property many times in the past. There was a known problem. They should have policed it better. Also, each state should have policies in place to be able to react to situations of loose wild animals, whether from a zoo or from personal property. The first question I asked was “Why didn’t they use tranquilizer guns?” So many beautiful animals needlessly put to death.

  15. Avatar Charlene George Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 5:18 am

    The state of Ohio should be ashamed of it’s name. There needs to be federal regulations if the state cannot deal with this type of situation. Totally appalling that all these animals were shot and not even given a chance. They deserved so much more! We also need to blame this man that owned these animals, he was a very selfish man. May he not rest in peace.

  16. Avatar wendy Maclean Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 5:21 am

    Sounds like a clear case of ”trigger happy” Lawmen..
    Saying the animals were going to scatter in to the woods and the one they tranqulized went ”crazy” so they shot it….I am sure they could have been humanely caught..Keep people indoors untill done.
    What on earth did he need with 18 Tigers..What were they fed?..
    Amazing he was allowed to have all these animals and not inside a secure compound? Sad day for the critters again…terrible that they were all slaughtered…Wendy

  17. Avatar Kathy Grega Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 5:22 am

    Dr. Jones.
    Yes, this was a tragedy of huge proportions. Ohio is put on notice that this will not be tolerated in the future and steps are being taken to stop such places to exist here.

    The timing of this event prevented the saving of the animals. It was approaching dark and there was a major freeway (Interstate 70) close enough for the escaped animals to reach. In fact, one of the big cats was hit by a car. Another cat was tranquilized and instead of just dropping down it went crazy and started running. Jack Hanna from the Columbus zoo was called in but there was little he could do. The only thing to do was shoot the really dangerous animals on site. You could see how broken up he was about this loss.
    Hopefully this incident brings to attention the fact that wild animals are just that wild. They do not belong in anyone’s home or yard. They should be put out of business and permits to keep the animals not given to private citizens.

  18. Avatar Margaret Churchill Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 5:23 am

    This is so very tragic! I hate that humans don’t think before they react. I was shocked to read this and am still reeling over the stupidity of mankind. What a waste. What an awful waste! Isn’t it true that the Bengal tiger is nearing distinction?
    This saddens me to no end. Being shot was not an option. Ohio should be ashamed!

    Margaret Churchill

  19. Avatar Daisy Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 5:27 am

    What a terrible thing to do. Hope that happens to them.

  20. Avatar Kim Yamrose Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 5:29 am

    This whole process made me ill. I have no idea why this man took his life. A shelfish move on his part, leaving all these animals to fend for themselves. Putting down all those animals, this is unbelievable, this borders on animal abuse in my opion. Especially since there were other options offered to the police. This is one of those situations of ready shoot aim, oh wait…..now we can think about this. Close the gate the cow got out of the barn!
    Being a hughe animal lover, have taken on wild injured animals to reabilitate and released them back to the wild, I know there is always a way to work through things. Yes, they are wild and that needs to be respected at all costs, but salvation of exotics life is so precious. Think things through, don’t just shoot because you are scared.
    Thanks, off my soap box now….Kim

  21. Avatar Carol Collins Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 5:37 am

    I agree with you. I feel like this Sheriff with too much power took his frustrations for their owner out on the animals. There are so few Bengal Tigers left in the world and they killed 18. Tranquilizer guns would have been the humane way. This Sheriff should pay for his crimes.

  22. Avatar cindy flynn Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 5:37 am

    I agree with you- I think that it is a horrible shameful ending to what already was a problem since the HS had already been out there on numerous occasions-we let this happen and the sheriffs department should be in so much trouble for acting like idiots-they didn’t all need to be shot-tranquilizing them and relocating them was a better idea-but I feel the police didn’t want to be bothered with all of that-they just wanted the opportunities to use their power and guns-they should hang their heads in shame…….

  23. Avatar Peggy Lee Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 5:39 am

    Shoot first, think later! Unbelievable that these animals were killed without first doing the utmost to save them. Excuses, that it was getting dark and they had to do it.

    Ohio needs to quickly change the laws on allowing these animals be kept in captivity, in the first place. A disgrace has taken place and amends need to be made immediately.


  24. Avatar Jkat Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 5:39 am

    When I heard this on the news last night, my first thought was exactly as yours — why did they shoot all of those beautiful animals. My second question was — why did this maniac who had obvious mental problems have all of these animals. And finally, if he wanted to leave this world, why didn’t he just do so? (I know there are many who don’t agree.) Why did he have to release all of those animals to what he had to have known would lead to most of their deaths? It is just a sad and tragic story all around!

  25. Avatar Sandra Parsons Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 5:43 am

    This breaks my heart. These beautiful animals killed for what? Being an innocent victim of a man’s suicide! Those men should be charged for murder!

  26. Avatar Midge Richardson Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 5:45 am

    It is tragic that the Animals were so quickly killed, but you are correct, they should never have been there in the first place, with the owners record of questionable practices in animal husbandry.

    That said, this was mid week during school week and not only were children but family pets were also in danger. People were phoning terrified by wild animals in their yards and prowling the streets and fences. People safety overrode Animal rights in this case.

  27. Avatar Ann Roy Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 5:49 am

    I was also appalled at the thought of so many animals being killed as my first thought was did’t they or couldn’t they have used tranquilizer methods instead of needlessly killing these animals !

  28. Avatar Sarah Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 5:56 am

    During the early days, animals were mauled for sport. To a least some degree, most people still hold on to SPECIE-ISM, the idea that the human species is the highest of nature. I was hoping that acceptable behavior had come further than this incident indicates.

    Thank you for your work, Dr. Jones.

  29. Avatar Charmaine Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 5:57 am

    I think that this is shocking!!! Considering that tigers are almost extinct. They should have waited for wild life experts to arrive instead of being so trigger happy.

  30. Avatar mar Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 6:04 am

    This situation should never arise in the first place. Powerlessness is the feeling that remains. These animals should have had a new home. There is too precipitous acted in panic.

  31. Avatar nena shea Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 6:10 am

    I was so sick when I read this. Of course if they are that good shooters a dartgun with sedative would have been the right thing to do. You just wonder how much of it was “revenge”. I hope local animal right group will press for an investigation.

  32. Avatar Katerina Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 6:17 am

    That’s really cruel :((((((. Why did they shoot all those innocent animals? I think that these deputies have to be put in jail for that.

  33. Avatar Kelly Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 6:17 am

    This is an unfortunate tragedy. I am a huge animal advocate and it breaks my heart that these animals were killed, BUT under the circumstances they were not equipped to contain and capture these animals. They had 4 dart guns, 30 dangerous wild animals and about 30 minutes to an hour of daylight. It is a horrible tragedy, but human lives were in danger and they had to take control immediately.

    October 20th, 2011 at 6:20 am

    I feel so bad for all these wonderful animals.. they did not ask for this. I saw an interview on TV last night .. the Governor was being asked about backing up a law that was in place about having exotic animals in Ohio. He did nothing to keep the law in place. See if you can Google it , I use Bing for my searches now. The law would have been a deterant to keeping exotic animals. Also I heard that the man had been in jail & the animals were in horrible condition & he was given days to find new accomadations for them. All of this could have had a different ending.. he needed help & more time to get them homed. They knew the animals were there & should have asked the Zoo & animal shelters & yes, vets for help in getting the animals rehoused. The man must have felt so defeated & just gave up. His wife showed up after all the animals were gone & with tears said you just killed my family . The Zoo director said he just cried with her. Such loss , when it could have been prevented. There are so few of the Bengal tigers left in the whole world & 18 died yesterday. I saw & heard all of what I just wrote on my TV .
    What a tradgedy .. I hope some laws are put in place in OHIO to prevent this sort of thing happening again.
    Florida also has a problem with folks buying exotic animals & just letting them go free!! When they get too big & they cannot handle them any longer they are just let go & most suffer the same fate.
    This certainly needs to be looked into & corrected . Sorry this is so long ,I watch the animal channels (2) & see these horrible things happening & want to see something done to help / stop it from happening .

  35. Avatar Maria Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 6:22 am

    Dear Dr Andrew,

    I was sadened reading what happened to those animals, horrible ending. The responsible person for this should be stripped of his position, he does not use correct judgement and reasoning. Though there was a chance of endangering humans by those animals, he was giving a reasonable opportunity to use tranquilizers. He chose to take lives of those creatures which in my opinion is a crime and he should be kept fully responsible as per the USA law.

  36. Avatar Dr.Christian Meyer Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 6:36 am

    We, as veterinarians, know how to use tranqulizers/sedatives/anesthetics to control and preserve the live of this exotics animals.
    Why was this not done? Seems to me that the sheriff & company were on the hunt. Very sad story proved that “man is the biggest predator” of all times.
    Also, in every country , it must be banned the posetion of exotics animals. They must be kept in proper conditions by the local zoos.

  37. Avatar Cangleska Yuha Win Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 6:36 am

    I totally agree that tranquilizer guns should have been used. Protecting humans, far from their intention. For all the money they will get from the sale fur, is more likely for sure. A whole lot of 2-leg animals who called themselves ‘humans’ are way more dangerous than wild and exotic animals. Hopefully, the perpetrators of this massacre will eventually have to answer to ‘you know who’ for their actions. Stupidity will make them think they are heroes. Isn’t that amazing that this is still possible? Makes me want to puke!

  38. Avatar Dee Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 6:41 am

    This is a very sad case and at first I couldn’t understand why they killed the animals until you hear their explanation for doing so. If they didn’t care about the animals, Jack Hannah and others from Columbus Zoo would not have been called in. The killing was necessary to protect human life. Where my anger goes to is the state of Ohio, they were well aware of these animals being under this man’s care and supposedly not well taken care of. Then I am angry at him, why did he let them loose if he knew he was taking his life? Could’ve been a much happier ending if he left them contained.

  39. Avatar Kelly Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 6:43 am

    I have never written before, on any of the articles I receive from you, but this is terrible. I read this particular story as it unfolded. As many have said already, if these animals were hunted down over time, why couldn’t a tranquilizer be used? What a waste of life. Some human decision maker should be made accountable.

  40. Avatar sharon sharpstone Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 6:50 am

    Shame on you Ohio. Its about all the police are capable of doing, killing poor defenceless animals

  41. Avatar Geri Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 7:02 am

    A good example why Barney Fife only carried one bullet & that was in his pocket. What a horrible waste!!

  42. Avatar Diane Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 7:06 am

    Suicide? Yeah right! Sheriff Bubba wanted to be known nationally so he probably set up the killing of the animal owner and made it look like suicide. I don’t believe Bubba’s story at all. “Shoot to kill” even when the animals were still on the property? It all points to Bubba. Next time he wants to kill an animal, give him a box of animal crackers. That sheriff is a psycho!

  43. Avatar Donna Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 7:12 am

    I live within 45 miles of Zanesville so I was concerned for my little ones, especially with the big cats and the speed some can run. It makes me sick to think of the massacre. Jack Hanna from the Cols. Zoo disappointed me. He agreed that they had to be shot because it was too dangerous to tranquilize them in the dark and I do understand the concern for human safety. Sheriff deputies were already shooting the ones they saw even on their way to the scene. Just more mass hysteria over animals. One interesting point that I have only seen in one article was that the man who committed ‘suicide’ as they labeled it even before an autopsy had keys to everything and unlocked some cages but CUT other cages to let the animals out. As well, he had been protested by animal rights activists previously for allowing people to wrestle his bears. One radical group is so far silent on this massacre and the other group in more expensive suits are already back into Ohio’s business making demands. Just food for thought.

  44. Avatar chris cathcart Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 7:20 am

    Hey here’s my thought, All the police involved should have a phych exam, and turned loose, to let the citizens of that city to open fire on them. I hate cops with no kind of ethic morals, whats wrong with this country is we got to many Trigger Happy COPS. tHEY GOT TO GO, Everyone Needs to take a stand here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  45. Avatar Nicole PERRY Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 7:23 am


  46. Avatar Lynda H. Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 7:25 am

    This whole thing is just sick. When I heard it on the news last night I couldn’t believe it. I understand that the sheriff was trying to protect the people of his town, but they never mentioned that the Columbus Zoo had sent vets down with tranquilizer guns. They even interviewed Jack Hannah (who was there at the time) and he commended the sheriff. I too, think the sheriff was a little too trigger happy. If all the people in the town were already warned, why not give the Columbus Zoo a “shot” at it???

  47. Avatar Dianne Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 7:26 am

    They should not have been shot! There should be restrictions on having exotic animals in the US- including snakes, iguanas, etc. People obtain exotic pets and then tire of them and release them into the wilderness or suburbs. They struggle for existence and also kill the indigenous population of animals.

  48. Avatar max Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 7:35 am

    doesn’t surprise me ,,,,i was shot on my driveway in front of my neighbours 2 months ago

  49. Avatar tk Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 7:43 am

    Action needs to be taken. I know about 20 years ago an Airforce base kept getting dear on the run ways and were getting killed from planes landing. The Animal Control of the state was going to put fences up but after five years of talks and no fences, the General on the base had his soldiers shoot the dear – versus them being hit by big planes, killed and endangering the lives of the soldiers. The General was demoted and made to take early retirement for this action. He refused to let the soldiers take any blame as it was his order. In this case the blame is on Animal Control as well for dragging their feet. This sherrif drug nothing. He acted on impulse and fear. Which – ok, we tend to do sometimes. But he is trained in handling fearful situations. I guess OH training is shoot first ask questions later. This should really go before the supreme court.

  50. Avatar absolute bullshit Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 7:46 am

    Funny. If these were escaped Human convicts in jail for murder that were blending into a scene by changing their clothes and hair style with the ability to blend in and kill more people, THEY WOULD NOT HAVE SHOT THEM ON SITE BECAUSE IT WAS GETTING DARK. They would have warned the public, created a profile, hired a tracker and gone after them both during the night and the next day, BUT they would not be shot because of human rights laws. But if its a group of scared and frightened animals that should have never been in America (tigers,lion and monkeys specifically), they just murdered them because it was easier. As it was nighttime and they were scared they would have found a place and hunkered down. And with all the technology today, there is no reason the search, NOT THE HUNT, couldn’t have continued in the morning and a stearn warning out to local residents. It was not in a rural enough area that the danger was not that eminent. Fuck the police and they’re immature, power hungry, gunslinging, police-state, new world order seeking rednecks. They’re like serial killers with a badge.

  51. Avatar Sylvia Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 8:00 am

    Hi Dr. Jones,

    I was saddened to hear of the killing of those exotic animals. I agree with your take on the matter. There should be strict regulations with respect to owning exotic animals; the owners should be visited regularly to ensure the animals are well taken care of and everything is above board. I personally think the exotic animals shouldn’t have been kept at this man’s farm in the first place. The US sheriffs/police are too trigger happy. I hope the Canadian authorities (feds and SPCA) take note of the lessons learned in this sad situation.

    Sylvia, Gus (Yorkie) Parrolets: Skye (sitting on 5 eggs), Riley Liam

  52. Avatar Forgewizard Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 8:29 am

    Way too many people are quick to criticize the sheriff when its the OHIO legislature and animal control laws that need criticizing! There has been a history of trouble coming out of that animal compound for YEARS and yet no real action was taken to improve the conditions or limit the quantity of the animals.

    The neighbors have been traumatized time after time and stressed with constant worry of “what if?” and then their worst fears were realized because this unbalanced person did what many thought he might – turn the animals loose!

    Now in real danger they call those sworn to protect and serve the public – who quickly realize they are NOT equipped to handle the situation.

    Tranquilizers are NOT as easy to use as some would think – they need to hit their target in the right place and in the right way to inject their dose, the dose needs to be animal specific for weight, gender, and species. There were MULTIPLE species of all ages and sizes ranging loose apparently at dusk. SO there’d be no way to arm each officer or vet or animal control officer with the proper tranquilizers to accommodate whichever animal crossed their path!

    I adore animals and am a conservationist but I am a realist too. You cannot plan for every contingency! Tranquilizers (as most vets know) do not always sedate an animal – sometimes the opposite happens and then you need another drug to counteract those effects – again another drug which needs to be specific to the animal.

    A bullet, on the other hand, does NOT need to be species specific, especially when coupled with a trained marksman. If any of these animals had succeeded in getting at large and had mauled or devoured just ONE child – the very same lawmen would be vilified yet again for being derelict in their duties!

    You cannot have it both ways people! Either let the animals roam free and let them feast upon the persons of their choosing – or dispatch them prudently and then visit EVERY last po-dunk corner with an “exotic” animal camp/preserve/collection/zoo/reserve/sanctuary/retirement home and review their containment, evaluate the caretakers and revoke permits and confiscate animals from those not up to standards!

    These are WILD animals people that have been kept caged and confined for their entire lives – imagine their level of frustration and then think about their state of mind when finally able to roam free with prey animals visible; but still in the presence of other territorial predators! They are going to be hyper vigilant and hyper aggressive and extremely reactive; adrenalin coursing through them – not conducive to tranquilizing!

    With nightfall approaching the Sheriffs employed their only method of control open – quick dispatch and a certain way to know where the wild animals are!

    As for the extermination of the Bengal Tigers – a simple web search will reveal that there are MORE bengal tigers in captivity than in the wild – so what does that say? How many of these captive tigers ever get released to their ancestral territories? This animal compound certainly was NOT working in the animal’s best interests and was NOT operating with concerns for the safety of the surrounding public!

    I, for one, feel the anguish that the law officers endured but applaud their inevitable choice to get the situation under control. Be real people – who wants to step up and volunteer their child, pet, livestock or themselves as dinner for these large free roaming predators? No? No takers? then let the sheriff do his job and tell him THANK you for keeping you safe!

  53. Avatar Barbara Ginsberg Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 8:39 am

    Completely agree with you Dr Jones!! Though I did hear that one veterinarian tried to shoot one of the Bengals with a tranq & it immediately reared up (duh) & it was only 14′ away from her. Heaven for the good ole boys!!

  54. Avatar sharon fergusom Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 8:57 am

    I am heartbroken over the massacre of these animals. The
    fact that Jack Hanna supported the Sheriff’s decision tells me
    the situation was more complicated than was originally reported.
    From what I’ve read these animals were not treated
    well under the care of Mr. Thompson. I mean can you imagine the amount of $ it would take to properly feed these animals on a daily basis?!! If Mr. Thompson cared about these animals,
    he would have contacted the Columbus Zoo and asked for their help. However, the crime still remains with the state for not having regulations on the books preventing private citizens
    from keeping dangerous animals on their property.

    Wake up Ohio and get with the program! Do not
    permit anyone else to do what Mr. Thompson has done.

  55. Avatar Dana Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 9:06 am

    Bet that’s the most fun them redneck country sheriffs done had in years. Somethin’ to tell their grandkids, by golly.

    You are right the laws there are pathetic. Apparently the poor creatures were better off dead than living in that confined filthy area. How can petting zoos or private staring places like this be permitted anywhere?

    Next question: I see in a hunting equipment catalog that quail and such are now raised and kept in portable cages, then carried out to a field and set loose to be shot by their owner-“hunters.” Was this the case when Dick Cheney shot his fellow hunter in the face “by mistake?” (Reports said our VP was intoxicated at the time). Four points for that one.

    People are so disgusting; of course we prefer animals.

  56. Avatar Natalie Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 9:15 am

    Unfortunately, I’m seeing this more and more.Moronic, power crazy people are hired in law enforcement, to the detriment of innocent animals and people. In areas where the towns can’t pay much for the job, they hire anyone who is willing to do it! A sheriff, deputy or officer should have to pass rigorous psychological testing in order to hold that position because people’s(and animal’s) lives are at stake! The citizens of the state of Ohio are all complicit here. The fault starts at the top….the Governor and the constituents who elected him. He should send out a message that the whole stinking state has to be cleaned-up!

  57. Avatar Mary Lou Mirnate Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 9:43 am

    It actually made me sick, frustrated, sad, and angry when I hard about what was happening to the poor animals that were victims of a instantly what to do quickly…before any humans lost their lives! However, when I watched the news, and heard a animal professional explained that even if they had used the stun guns that sometimes it can take as long as 20 min. to take effect, and they get very aggitated from the gun sound and still can attack instantly during that time. Not being a hunter, nor have the knowledge of how stunning an animal works. It seem to make sense that, that was the only solution to keep everyone safe. He also stated that you can’t stun an amimal in the dark, as you can’t see them nor see where you hit them. He was actually crying, and stated it was a situation he’ll NEVER FORGET for the rest of his life. ll I can say is SAD, SAD, SAD!

  58. Avatar Natalie Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 9:50 am

    Hey Forgewizard…If you could refrain from applauding for a few minutes, I’m sure there must be a place in Ohio for you in which to fill out an employmemt application….or are you already in law enforcement in some way, shape or form? Why don’t you try to “forge” out a heart for yourself and then think of “alternatives” that could have been used instead the eventual massacre?

  59. Avatar cheryl laemmle Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 10:01 am


  60. Avatar Roseann Hanley Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 10:04 am

    I agree. they should have been able to save more of the animals. All animals are a little agitated after the tranquilizer hits them. They start to lose control and fight it. they should have waited a few minutes and cleared the area around the animal. This was a badly botched job from the Sheriff.

  61. Avatar Jkat Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 10:18 am

    I agree with everyone on this forum that this is a tragedy and should never have happened, but to suggest that the Sheriff and/or deputies should be fired, reprimanded or even shot????

    That is just wrong. I am heartsick over the unnecessary loss of the animal’s lives, but it was not the Sheriff Department’s fault. It was the fault of one crazy SOB who obviously needed some mental help that he never got.

  62. Avatar jean matthews Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 10:24 am

    Jean M from Norwich England

    3 Words are enough for my feelings
    Appaling Disgusting Inhumane .

    Shoot the Shooter

  63. Avatar Dale Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 10:36 am

    I am not the least bit surprised at the reaction of the law officials. Most or all were men, on a power trip. Put a gun in their hands and give permission and a target to shoot at, men are for the most part heartless SOBs or for lack of a better word (idiots)-(no offence to you)and if everybody is doing it. Then there is nobody pointing the finger at them until it is all over with and we the public find out about it. But they were given orders, of course they had to follow them, right. I am discusted, but no t surprised at all. Men have disappointed me more than once in my lifetime and they are not about to stop anytime soon, I don’t suppose. And no I am not a man hater, just a hater of men that think that just cause it moves it is a target and they have a right to distroy it.

  64. Avatar JoAnn B Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 10:50 am

    The SHERIFF should be SHOT for allowing his deputies to shoot the animals when there was veterinarian personnel there with tranquilizers..
    The fact that they decided that it was more fun to shoot helpless animals, then to allow the CORRECT PERSONNEL to take care not to HARM the animals, shows just how STUPID THE SHERIFF REALLY IS AND THAT HE SHOULD NOT BE RE-ELECTED !!!

  65. Avatar brandsto Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 11:20 am

    The scary part is that “The Wilds” a wildlife preserve is only 20 miles away from this area. Why they didn’t attempt to take some of the animals there is astounding. I lived in that area for about 3 years and I had to leave due to the ignorance of it’s citizens regarding animal welfare. Most of the dog’s in that area are chained up outside and the cats are barn cats. I know I tried to start a SPCA there and they tried to run me out of town. They are mostly a bunch of “good ol boy” attitudes and they all probably were fired up by each other rather then thinking it through rationally. I understand their fear and their reasoning, yet it doesn’t seem as if there was any attempt except once to use different methods to capture these animals. Again, A large wildlife preserve was right down the road, and there isn’t any mention of that either. So sad to even see those pictures. I was reading on one of the news websites that Sheriff Lutz, the one who ordered the shootings, wants to run for re-election- sigh-

  66. Avatar Audrey Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 11:27 am

    I, too, was shocked at this news and my first thoughts were to wonder why tranquilizers were not used. If you would read the articles in today’s Columbus Dispatch you too would understand why the situation did not make the use of tranquilizers an option. It was close to dark in a populated area, no one knew when the animals had last eaten (consideration for dosage) and different animals would require different drugs.

    One thing not mentioned is the close proximity of The Wilds, a nature and research preserve managed by the Columbus Zoo. The animals there, all herbivores, roam freely in a savannah-like setting. Those animals, as well as the humans in the area, were all at risk. How much time could be taken to study the situation before a human lost his life to free-roaming predators?

    The situation was sickening–beautiful, innocent and endangered animals were killed. Let’s put the blame where it belongs, on the mentally unstable owner of this menagerie and the state of Ohio that allowed it to exist.

  67. Avatar Kate Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 11:34 am

    I too was distressed at what was seemingly a masarca of animals that should not have been kept by a non-regulated person. Zanesville’s trigger-happy sheriff seems to be getting all the blame but would have been condemed even more if some innocent person or child had been killed or maimed by one of these unlucky animals. If they had waited until dawn when tranquilizing would have been easier and more supplies could have been brought in, many of these 49 animals would have covered a lot of distance and yes, many many might have been safely captured but the potential forhuman and livestock injury would also have greatly increased. Many of these animals are nocturnal preditors. Jack Hanna, a world renowed expert, was visably upset, but agreed that, under the circumstances, limited vision being the biggest hurdle, or experts equiped with tranquilizer guns, the sheriff had no other option. Like the trophy hunter who tried to grab a carcass, how many of you are aware that many of these magnificant beasts who are bred in captivity, when not kept as unsuitable pets, are often farmed to be released when fully grown right in front of ‘big game hunters’ to be gunned down as trophies in the good ol’ US of A? Pressure the Ohio government to tighten it’s very lax laws on exotic animal ownership.

  68. Avatar brandsto Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 11:39 am

    I just remembered that when I was visiting town animal shelters in that area, that they would put down any shepherd mixes, dobie mixes, rott mixes, chow mixes, and any dog that had any kind of black spot’s on it’s tongue. Insanity! The dog warden would euthanize them by putting the needle in the stomach. I started a war with them when I found out they put down a dog by holding it between the wall and the fence with a noose around it’s neck and injecting the needle over 3x in the stomach because they didn’t get the weight right. I really am not making this up- Needless to say I was banned from the shelter for making such a stink over the Internet about it. Also other shelters in the area would keep their dogs for adoption chained up with separate dog houses. It’s a really bad place near that area- Guernsey County, Ohio. We were able to save 5 animals from there who all had wonderful lives. They all have passed but at least they lived a life with compassion and love. Ohio’s Laws for humane treatment is shelter( a windbreak) like maybe a tree or bush and food/water. Awful- you know what they say that maybe something good will come from this after all! These animals maybe did not die in vain-

  69. Avatar Jana Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    ‘they’ will never convince me that the man ‘killed himself’ and turned the animals loose.
    I just don’t think thats what ‘really’ happened.
    I too was very disapointed in Jack H.’s behavior.
    All I can say is one day they will be judged for their actions. Shame on them.

  70. Avatar Cindie Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    The deaths of all those animals is horrific. However due to the time of day, there was little that could be done. Can you imagine a small rural community having 18 Bengal tigers on the loose at one time, not to mention the lions, bears and wolves. It’s believed that one wolf was killed by one of the bears, and possibly one of the big cats ate the missing monkey. There were 4 tranquilizer guns, ready to go. However, even Jack Hanna said there was little that could be done. He is a person who tries to save animals, not kill them. Many human lives were in danger.
    I live in an rural, woody area that often has bears passing thru our yards. Can you imagine opening your door to find a huge tiger ready to pounce? Or putting your dog outside and having a tiger kill it? Or a toddler running out the door to fall prey to a tiger or lion? The deaths of all those animals is a sad thing, but the toll could have been much higher. Initially, it is the state of Ohio’s fault for allowing one person to own all those wonderful creatures, especially since there had been numerous complaints through the years about this animal caretaker. And my God, what was going through that man’s mind when he turned the animals loose then killed himself. Surely he must have known what would happen to the animals. I feel he was mentally ill and possibly a hoarder, no better than the well meaning people who end up with 30-100 dogs or cats because they “rescued” them.

  71. Avatar DeAnne Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    This is absolutely unacceptable! I’m from Ohio & have volunteered at the Columbus Zoo. They should have been given a chance to help these animals. They are a great zoo & these animals all deserved a chance. It wasn’t their fault that they ended up in this situation. I feel the police should be held accountable for their actions here. The whole thing makes me sick! It’s a travesty! Absolutely disgusting! 🙁

  72. Avatar Belinda Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    This to Forgewizard: Couldn’t have said it better myself. They handled it the only way they could and no human was hurt. It’s horrible that so many exotic animals had to die, but that was not the fault of the sheriff or the deputies. It is the fault of the lawmakers in Ohio that allowed this man to have these exotic animals in the first place. Jack Hanna agreed with what they did and if he agreed (the one person that would have done anything to save these animals, his love for them is great)then who are you people criticizing the sheriff and deputies for keeping the people and pets in this area safe?

  73. Avatar Al Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    I can imagine all of these fine critter-loving, self-righteous idiots explaining to their families after one of their children or a pet was mauled or devoured, “Geez, such magnificent animals just doing what they know to do = eat meat!”

  74. Avatar Carla Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    Everyone is ready to blame the police as it was hitting dark when this happened how were they supposed to dart. Come on people I help the local rescue and am a caretaker a responsible one of a feral colony and all my 4 cats are rescues and my dog. The police did what they had to to save lives. I love animals just like anyone else but human lives were at stake. I live in Ohio not far from this place police did their job they are not gun happy Bubbas as the one person said. Blame the dang guy that let them out then killed himself he is the one responsible for their death!!!! Yes Ohio needs better laws they learned the hard way. If Jack Hanna didn’t have a problem with this it must have been handled right and no people got hurt.

  75. Avatar Marilu Way Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    My sentiments exactly – what was all the rush to kill these beautiful animals? The individuals from the Columbus Zoo should have been given ample time to tranquilize those animals first and if all else failed, then the shooting should have been the last resort.
    What kind of mentality do these officers have and what will be the consequences for their actions?
    They need to be punished in some way.

  76. Avatar Natalie Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    Jungle Jack is a JERK. He played right into the hands of the Zainies in Zanesville by actually HELPING them to track down the wildlife that had escaped and probably concurred with the loonies to kill them. He had once been involved in litigation regarding an injury to a child (as per Wikipedia) and probably feared it happening again.
    Jack, it’s time to retire because you are of no help to any animals….you’ve lost your backbone! People could have been advised to stay in their homes until those innocent animals were put into aa place where all would be safe and noone would have been harmed. Please stop with the excuses about the time of day. That’s nonsence! They had to be capable of thinking “out of the box”, but alas, theyre too stupid and downright mean! Ohio is NOT on my favorites list as a place that I would like to visit!

  77. Avatar AJ Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    How sickening. And some of the commenters on even this site have sickening arrogant views too. Why or on what grounds does man think human life is WAY more important? I disagree completely. Man is the most evil species on the face of the earth. Only man destroys and kills for pleasure. To get pleasure out of killing innocent beings qualifies you as less worth than a virus! It is only mans sick idea that he is so worthy. Man will continue to cause the utter destruction of the entire planet. Yet even mass murderers are given every possible chance as individuals protest death penalty and any treatment they view as less than good enough for such creeps, we spare murderers lives daily but innocent animals who only want to live are destroyed. Man is a sick species indeed.

  78. Avatar A. Nannette Taylor Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    I totally agree with your comments re this tragic event. So many things went wrong or were not considered. And the victims – their ultimate fate is both horrific and so very sad …

    I must admit that I felt more than one tear fall down my cheek when I first heard of the incident …

  79. Avatar Dr.Nigel Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 6:51 pm

    The Sheriffs are soooo stupid. They should all be fired. Not a single one took an effort to save the animals, to think that the veterinarians were there with tranquilizer guns and the sheriff never considered that most of these animals are probably on the endangered list. There are “ways” to solve the situation without casualties, but i guess the sheriff and his team were too dumb to even think it through, just a bunch of trigger hungry humans asserting their stupidity! The government is really just a bunch of people who want to wield their power, take your money and control your life.. and that, is Hitler and his gestapo all over again! Shoot the G**damn sheriff!!

  80. Avatar dee Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    Ummm…Jack Hanna from the Columbus Zoo was interviewed about this incident & he said it was certainly a tradgedy for the animals but could have been an even bigger one for humans. Vets from the zoo did try using tranquilizer guns on some of the animals, but they were deemed ineffective & thus the animals were shot. I also live in Ohio & they just had a vet from the zoo that tried the tranquilizer gun on a lion, I believe, on this evening’s news…her own words, they thought at first it worked but then the animal got up & headed towards her & well, we all know the rest. I agree, very sad for these animals, but at least no innocent neighbors or children were harmed…

  81. Avatar Sue Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 8:02 pm

    Officers “should’ve known better than that”. They could easily ask for some more help with veterinarians, PETA, SPCA and many other emergency animal control resources. They could have blocked or closed freeways to allow confusing exotic animals roam for the night until in the dawn with better seductive and safe capturing plans. It was cruel and senseless massacre.

  82. Avatar Vicky Slay Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    After looking at the picture, it looks like the animals didn’t have a chance. I didn’t know the Human Society was there that quick to help with tranqualizer guns. Alot went wrong and it is very sad the man did not care enough for his animals. I don’t think they all needed to die.

  83. Avatar Marja Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 11:21 pm

    The main responsibility for this horrible incident lies with the Ohio State Legislature, which has allowed too-lenient laws concerning wild animals in the possession of individuals.

    The next entity to blame is the law enforcement agency that was responsible for allowing this man to keep his captive wild animals, AFTER numerous complaints from neighbors, and AFTER he served time in jail. When he went to jsil, the animals should all have gone to zoos.

    Private ownership of exotic species is okay by me, AS LONG AS THERE ARE PROFESSIONAL EVALUATIONS AND REGULAR INSPECTIONS of ALL premises where such animals are kept.

    I am leaden with sadness at seeing these beautiful creatures slaughtered because one crazy man was allowed by lenient state laws to keep them all, and thus, release them all as an act of hostility against the people of the town where he lived.

    I wish the sheriff and his people had been able to use tranquilisers, but as they were informed of this danger too late in the day, darkness was descending, and there was little they could do. However, I do wonder why they did not try alerting all townspeople to stay inside until the middle of the next day, tranquilise and track the animals, and prevent all this “hunting”. It smacks of machismo in the name of safety, while the crazy man who had imprisoned these animals kept them for machismo in the name of … what, I don’t know.

    The animals suffered as a result of many, many screw-ups far beyond their ken, in the realm of man.

  84. Avatar joy Says:
    October 21st, 2011 at 12:24 am

    that was very unfair,when will we learn that animals have their rights and should be respected,as much as we would feel if it happened to human beings lets treat God’s creatures with the respect they deserve.he released them because he would not have wanted them die of hunger.

  85. Avatar Edna Says:
    October 21st, 2011 at 1:24 am

    I am so horrified I am totally speechless. Edna

  86. Avatar Jackie Daniel Says:
    October 21st, 2011 at 3:15 am

    What a waste! Those animals never stood a chance . What was he thinking when he killed himself? Who sold him all these animals in the first place? The law must be changed to ensure this never happens again.

  87. Avatar chris cathcart Says:
    October 21st, 2011 at 7:13 am

    Forgewizard, You suck, and your opion sucks. Theres to many people in this would anyways. So a few less would be good, maybe you should’ve been loin bait.

  88. Avatar Meri Says:
    October 21st, 2011 at 7:31 am

    According to the news i heard, some vets DID try to use trank guns, but the animals kept coming towards the humans. It was getting dark, and they were afraid the predators would wander off before the tranks took effect. It was a hard decision, but, even Jack Hanna agreed it was a choice of humans (&/or their animals) vs the predators. It was a horrible thing that did not need to happen – why was this man (or anyone) allowed to keep these beautiful creatures in deplorable conditions. And why, oh why did this crazy man let them loose? He had to know they’d be destroyed.

  89. Avatar Katie Says:
    October 21st, 2011 at 8:28 am

    Again a typical example of the FAILURES of society in action. “Autoritates et Obedienca”. Uniforms always only react to an imagined danger by using force with a weapon and are not capable of reasoning or applying an intelligent solution, it’s not in their training program. For us in the Old World this incident does not come as a surprise but had to be expected. With actions like this, killing exotic and rare animals, which were used to human intervention, there seem to be most certainly no other option, when dealing with a trigger happy uniform which is also geared towards publicity, as there were and are alternatives, which a uniform can not consider. The public always reacts hysterical when uniforms arrive and proper information and guidance, not in the repertoire of a uniform is a rarity. For intelligent people an act like this is unthinkable but unfortunately, this despicable act of these uniforms is not an isolated incident. Acts like this are being publicly celebrated spread like a virus through the uniform community and seem to be very contagious to those uniforms. Before considering killing anybody, animal or men, there should always be an option given, not a glorious shootout.

  90. Avatar Shayna Says:
    October 21st, 2011 at 9:10 am

    Has anyone considered that as human beings, our population is out of control? And we have to protect the humans at all costs? Because their life is more precious than that of an endangered species. This is just a tragedy of the worst kind. We as humans are a plague in this world. That the first line of action is always “kill em’ all” is an abomination to humanity. We have too many geese near an airport: kill em’ all. We have too many feral cats around: kill em’ all. The deer population is out of control because we killed all their predators: kill em’ all. Have we not evolved as a species in the thousands of years we’ve been alive? Apparently not.

  91. Avatar Katherine Says:
    October 21st, 2011 at 9:48 am

    Are any of you familiar with Zanesville? It is a small town and doesn’t have a lot of officers on duty, they were seriously outnumbered by the animals. What did you expect them to do, stand around and wait for people from Columbus Zoo or the Wilds to get there. They are not THAT close and with Columbus traffic, it would have taken them awhile to get there. Use common sense people, the sheriff was not “gun happy”, and to say they are “obviously not animal lovers” is ridiculous! They are not gloating over this and emailing their friends and telling about their big game hunt. These are people sworn to protect the people of their community and that’s just what they did. It’s easy to sit back in your home and criticize these men and women, YOU WERE NOT THERE. This is a tragedy for those beautiful animals, but if a person had been mauled and killed by one of these animals, you people criticizing the sheriff now, would have wanted him hung. They are sworn to protect HUMAN life at all costs, including risking their own lives and that’s what they did.

  92. Avatar yvonne language Says:
    October 21st, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    that is why i hate most human beings, and love animals more than anything else.
    most human beings cannot think for themselves, nevermind trying to find a solution for the problem
    what a sad sad storey.

  93. Avatar Nicki C. Says:
    October 21st, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    Initially I too was quick to condemn them for shooting and not tranking. But finding out more details about it, and I would have to sadly agree that these people had to make a quick decision in the interest of the greater good. I wouldnt think any of them enjoyed having to do it, in fact apparently some were crying. I am passionate about animals too, but it all boils down to that ultimate question: “What would YOU do?” in the same circumstances.

  94. Avatar Mary Ann Kuhl Says:
    October 21st, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    I do agree with you on your thoughts and comments, Dr. Jones. I’m so happy that someone like you is around today to help animals and because you are so vocal about what you truly believe. We nweed more like you. I was very heartbroken when I heard this news about these poor defenseless animals that have no rights and I do not like the decision made to kill them. The way I see it is these men did not want to take the time, the work involved nor the money expense to tranquilze these endangered animals, they took the easier softer way. I live in Wheeling, Wv. which is very close to Zanesville, Ohio and I can tell you is acertain kind of mentality that these good old boys have and I want no part of it or them.

  95. Avatar Mel Says:
    October 21st, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    I appreciated the comments of Katherine, Audrey & Forgewizard. How many of those with dogmatic quick to rage & blame commenters have read & looked into the WHOLE situation with relevant details? How can one ostracize killing then turn around and encourage it to be done to the other party the next sentence? Unless we are in that exact situation at that time, we can’t truly see how those guys may truly feel. It’s quick on the judgement trigger to infer horrible motives considering the dire circumstances.

    I love animals & sickened by the lack of regulations to obtain & maintain these beautiful creatures. But I have family near that area that I don’t want mauled. If Jack Hannah was willing to stick his neck out & put his reputation on the line for these guys whose job is to protect human lives as a priority, JUST LET IT BE. BE REASONABLE.

    If a witch hunt is formed, focus on the true issues causes, not the people trying to clean up the mess best they can considering the circumstances. How are these animals obtained in the wild?? How is it they can be sold in the U.S.? Why can they be purchased so easily by people who are not properly trained, certified, qualified, inspected, background checked etc., etc…? Who was taking care of these animals while crazy guy was in jail? Sounds like he was an “unfit parent”, why was he allowed to keep these poor creatures so long?

    I too am angered by lack of proper requirements for animal care in Ohio. A tree is not suitable shelter. Think of rainstorms with lightning, let alone blizzards or searing heat waves when its 100+ in the shade! Even a flimsy dog house can be either a sauna or icebox. With a neglectful neighbor & his crying pups, it has literally caused me to lose sleep at night due to lack of intervention by authorities when contacted. That is deplorable & heart breaking! I’ve actually put myself at risk intervening to give pups water… So yes I LOVE animals & HATE to see them hurt.

    Long & short bad situations allowed to happen creates bad situations to clean up. Ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. In this scenario it would have been hundreds of pounds saved. Too late what’s done is done, beautiful beasts are dead, people including those in sheriffs department are likely traumatized. (Can you imagine being the wife or brother of one of the guys called out to handle that situation?) How can it be prevented from happening again? FOCUS on constructive solutions is all I ask.

  96. Avatar Kate Says:
    October 21st, 2011 at 6:26 pm

    Come on people, put it to rest and put your energy into pressuring the Ohio Legislature so that another tragedy like this won’t happen again.

  97. Avatar Sue Says:
    October 21st, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    Go figure it about two sick cases of Phillip Garrido and Terry Thompson. People from law enforcements did nothing to protect victims until it’s too late.

  98. Avatar Natalie Says:
    October 21st, 2011 at 10:39 pm

    This was a horrible event! There is much to consider and to learn from this massacre. As I look back at my own lifetime of being a VERY law-abiding citizen, I personally have witnessed the stupidity of law enforcement officers in different areas of the country, from cultured, wealthy environs to the “backwoods”. I can tell you that psychological testing is in dire need!That might help innocent people as well as innocent animals. At this point in time, being on a power trip seems to be a requirement for the job. Firemen are great! They ran into burning buildings on 9/11 while the police ran in the other direction. It appears to be in the nature of those who are firefighters to risk their own lives to save the lives of others. Not so with law enforcement. In Zanesville they made a terrible mistake because they are innately fearful…and rightfully so. However, they lacked the courage and good judgement that is necessary to make the proper decisions. My thoughts are not meant to get people angered against law enforcement…I’m sure there are many who are fit for the job. However, we should try to find a better way to ensure the hiring of those who are mentally strong and psychologically sound so that they could be trusted to do the right and humane thing in a given situation. The trouble is that I wouldn’t know how and where to begin such a task!

  99. Avatar RWelch Says:
    October 22nd, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    Lawmen of Muskingum County acted irresponsibly as they murdered innocent animals. Most of the animals could have been saved had the deputies allowed veterinarians sufficient opportunity to tranquilize the animals and then return the animals to the cages where they were kept. In this manner they could have avoided this slaughter and needless killing of innocent animals and then made suitable arrangements for the animals long term care. Jerks, idiots, all of them, Sheriff Lutz and Jack Hanna too.

  100. Avatar Margarita Brown Says:
    October 22nd, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    Tragic, despicable and very sad…I agree with comment 1. by Becci

  101. Avatar danielle Says:
    October 22nd, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    this is just sad use your tranqullizeers not your guns this is so so so said those duma**over in ohio do not care about trying to save any of the anamals they do not care

  102. Avatar Dana Says:
    October 23rd, 2011 at 7:37 am

    I too believe that not enough was done to save these animals. I *like* to think that if Jack Hanna was involved, he made the best judgement call he could have under the circumstances but I’m not a 100% there.
    I also agree that what’s so extra special about ‘human’ life that it supercedes other species’ lives??? I have never seen or heard a logical, cogent reason why that is so. Just because we have guns and can kill anything we want, I suppose.

    Like @Shayna says. I’ve said almost the exact same things she said in her post regarding feral cats and deer, kill, kill, kill that’s all we want to do with them. And we are like a plague…a plague of parasites on this beautiful planet. We take EVERYTHING from it and put nothing back that can be a part of the cycle of life. Even our dead are put in metal boxes inside concrete boxes. Most people are even too lazy to compost and recycle stuff from their daily living. Everything goes into land fills. We’re pathetic.

    And no, I would NOT have been happy to see anyone (or their companion animals) killed by one of the predators. I’m just not convinced every, EVERY thing was done to save more of them if not all. Sounds more like excuses than reasons why they just slaughtered these fellow earth beings.

  103. Avatar Lynn Says:
    October 23rd, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    This was a truly tragic and sad situation. But what really gets me are the people commenting that “well at least no humans got hurt.” Really?? And just what makes us so fucking special?? Bengal tigers are in danger of becoming extinct. Are we?? No we’re not. I really don’t like people very much, especially when people hamstring dogs, hang them with hooks implaling their lower jaw and throught the roof of the mouth, torture them and skin them alive so that the meat is tenderized and then dine on them, which is what the illegal dog meat trade from Thailand to vietnam causes. What makes us so fucking special as a species???? NOTHING!! We are cruel and barbaric for the most part. We inflict pain and suffering on every living thing including each other. We are not special by any stretch of the imagination, as evidenced by the barbaric acts of the sherif’s department. Fucking redneck lowlifes who cannot wait to “bag meself one of them thar exotic aminals.” uh huh, uh huh uh huh. Good job thar Bubba!! I can just see them slapping each other on the backs and congratulating themselves on a job well done.

  104. Avatar Pam Miller Says:
    October 23rd, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    This is truly a travesty, atrocity and very barbaric. What have we become ??? Dumb and dumber, if you ask me. These animals were innocent, and the authorities who decided to destroy them should be held accountable for the demise of these precious beings. There surely were alternatives, and they chose to dismiss them. With the ongoing concern for the extinction of many of these species, the situation could have been handled much differently. This was just a ‘knee-jerk’ response to a much more global problem of humans thinking they are supreme on the planet. Nothing could be further from the truth. WTF are we ??? Arrogant, warm gun advocates who not only kill beautiful animals, but other living beings as well. (meaning people) Sad, sad, sad …. and we should be ashamed.

  105. Avatar Linda Hanson Says:
    October 25th, 2011 at 10:35 am

    What can you say about the slaughter of so many beautiful but wild animals. Why didnt someone think about human safety while this man was hoarding all these animals? Once again the human race shows its arrogance and disregard for the poor creatures who are just trying to survive in a much too human world. Everyone responsible in the murder of these animals should be brought up on charges. How do you sleep at night? I couldn’t.

  106. Avatar lynn kalish Says:
    October 26th, 2011 at 6:14 am

    It is an abomination that the media is not giving the public the full story. There are many possibilities which have not been considered. Until a thorough investigation, in fact, I refuse to accept that what really happened in Ohio has been realistically portrayed. At this time, it is still a story in which the facts just don’t add up.

    I believe that there were many perpetrators of this crime and that the owner was vicvtimized as well as his animals because of radical political purposes and pending fending legislation about exotic animal ownership.

    Other questions: How would one person have the time to release all the animals without being atttacked early on in the process? What owner would ever destroy the hinges on cages so the cages couldn’t be used? Why were countless offers from trained animal handlers and others offering cages ignored?

    Answer: One man could not possibly do what was done — this was the work of several people.
    The owner was probably killed before any of the animals were let out. What radical fringe group will most profit from this heinous and barbaric

  107. Avatar lynn kalish Says:
    October 26th, 2011 at 6:17 am

    It is an abomination that the media is not giving the public the full story. There are many possibilities which have not been considered. Until a thorough investigation, in fact, I refuse to accept that what really happened in Ohio has been realistically portrayed. At this time, it is still a story in which the facts just don’t add up.

    I believe that there were many perpetrators of this crime and that the owner was victimized as well as his animals because of radical political purposes and pending federal legislation about exotic animal ownership.

    Other questions: How would one person have the time to release all the animals without being attacked early on in the process? What owner would ever destroy the hinges on cages so the cages couldn’t be used? Why were countless offers from trained animal handlers and others offering cages ignored?

    Answer: One man could not possibly do what was done — this was the work of several people.
    The owner was probably killed before any of the animals were let out. What radical fringe group will most profit from this heinous and barbaric

  108. Avatar Natalie Says:
    October 27th, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    Guess who was on GMA this morning…….the one and only……Jungle Jack Hanna! The spot had nothing to do with the massacre until someone brought it up and he glossed over it by saying that he was taking care of five of the animals and that they are still owned by the wife of the guy. He said nothing about his part in having them shot. He obviously wants to appear as the “good guy” in all this. They should have called Cesar, the Dog Whisperer. I’ll bet he would have “shouted” as to the right thing to do. I can’t even look at Jack Hanna now!

  109. Avatar martha Says:
    November 2nd, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    You all are just sickening to listen too, These are animals no matter how you look at it. You Curse the Sheriff for shooting these wild animals to save lives, Had they not shot them and people had died You’d be sitting here Cursing them for not doing so. Geeze, You all need to get a grip! Set a bengal tiger at your doorstep threatening to harm you or one of your kids and I wonder what your tune would be then. These animals are Wild and should never have been allowed to be kept in the first place. The whole of Zanesville Ohio and there lack of laws should be held accountable for this whole ridicules mess!!

  110. Avatar Teresa Says:
    November 7th, 2011 at 6:18 pm

    They did not need to be shot! These animals will rarely harm people they typically run away! People could have been told to stay inside until the next day when they could have been trasnqulized. Anything else is just an excuse for idiots who don’t understand wildlife and want to kill anything. I am not so sure that human life is more important than animal life, particulary when you have idiots like this sheriff, the people who shot the animals and the stupid Ohio officials who allow exotic animals to be kept by equally idiotic people.


Dr. Andrew Jones, DVM