Kenny Hetrick can visit seized animals at Colorado sanctuary, Ohio court rules

Posted at 8:52 AM, Dec 30, 2016

TOLEDO, Ohio -- An Ohio man who is fighting the state of Ohio for the return of his tigers and other exotic animals will be allowed to see some of them in Colorado.

A state appeals court says Kenny Hetrick and his veterinarian will be allowed to examine the animals that were sent to a South Dakota sanctuary then, because of neglect there, were sent to the Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keensburg, Colorado.

The court is telling the state to arrange the visits as soon as possible.

Ohio took custody of 11 animals from Hetrick's roadside sanctuary near Toledo in January 2015 after officials say he ignored warnings about needing a permit. Officials hauled away the animals under a state law that came about after a man in eastern Ohio released dozens of his exotic animals before killing himself in 2011. Many of those animals were killed by law enforcement out of a public safety concern.

Hetrick has gone to court demanding the animals be returned.

A judge in November ordered the animals be brought back to Ohio but later put that ruling on hold.