Sheriff Reacts to Return of Exotic Animals

by Jennifer Bullock on April 30, 2012 at 5:05 am

Muskingum County made world-wide news last year when Terry Thompson released his exotic animals before committing suicide. Now, the five creatures that survived the calamity, may be coming back…

Monday morning, the Ohio Department of Agriculture said the animals can be returned to Terry’s widow, Marian Thompson. Muskingum County Sheriff Matt lutz reacted to the State’s decision.

"I guess, if there is a positive side to it, at least we’ll know what’s there, with there just being the five animals, so we’ll have an inventory list going into it if something else does happen," said Lutz.

The ODA said Mrs. Thompson intends to take the animals back and place them in the cages which they inhabited before the October incident, but has refused to allow animal welfare experts to see if the cages are safe for the animals, and the community.

"The new legislation that is coming out, there is some time tables on when people that keep these animals have to be in compliance with that. So, I think there’ll be some positives there, and I think our people reacted very well, and handled that situation the only way we could."

In a press release, the ODA said appeals have been made for Muskingum County authorities to seek a court order to inspect Thompson’s property, but so far, no local action has been takenT
Muskingum County Prosecutor Mike Haddox tells Whiz News that based on a conversatuion he had with Mrs. Thompson attorney Robert McClelland — she has not decided where the anuimals will go.  Haddox says he asked McClelland about examining the cages on the Thompson far, but McClelland has not yet responded to the request.