Ohio Prepares For New Exotic Animal Regulations

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Exotic animal owners in Ohio have until Tuesday night to register the animals or face penalties that could include jail time.

It's all part of a new ohio law keeping tabs on potentially dangerous animals.

"Starting January 1 if you are in possession of a dangerous wild animal and you do not have permission from the state you're in violation of the law and at risk of having those animals seized," said Erica Hawkins with the Ohio Deptartment of Agriculture.

Animals not registered will be confiscated and housed in a new state facility in Reynoldsburg.

The facility cost $3 million to build and has capacity for as many as 30 large animals, including bears and lions.

"The building was built as a temporary place for an animal until we can find it a permanent home," said Hawkins.  "It's never meant to be a long term home for any animal."

This is the first time Ohio has had a count on its dangerous and wild animals.

Currently, there are 888 exotic animals registered.

"We're also very realistic that that registration process did not capture 100 percent of the animals in the state. It's really hard to say for sure how many are out there," said Hawkins.

More Information on Exotic Animal Permits