Animal Holding Facility Built

by Katie McGraw on February 25, 2013 at 6:29 am

A new high security building just outside Columbus has cameras, cages, and a giant fence built to hold dozens of exotic animals temporarily.

It’s a result of the new Ohio law established by Governor Kasich, that requires owners to register exotic animals, that came about after Terry Thompson of Muskingum County released dozens of bears, mountain lions and tigers in 2011.

Sheriff Matt Lutz said, "And now that this is built if someone is not in compliance with the law, and somebody has to seize an animal this is a place where it would be taken and stored until they can get it back to owner who becomes compliant, or they get it to a preserve, or a sanctuary, where it can live out the rest of its life. "

Lutz took a tour of the facility in Reynoldsburg this afternoon and the state plan regarding exotic animals should be completed by today following the tour.’

"So once those things happen, obviously it is going to be better for law enforcement, now that we do have a location to put them and it will be better for our societies that we work in our areas because we won’t have to worry about finding a place to house those types of animals that nobody really has anything for. "

Counties will be notified after the state plan is finalized so they can modify their local plans. The new holding facility which cost nearly 3 million dollars to build will have tight access and won’t be open to the public.