GERMAN TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WDTN) – Law enforcers raided a German Township property involving the seizure of some exotic animals.
A spokeswoman with the Ohio Department of Agriculture, Erica Hawkins, confirms four animals were taken from the property in the 7800 block of Preble County Line Road. The home belongs to Daniel Chambers. Authorities found three black bears and a brown bear. The spokeswoman tells 2 NEWS Chambers did not have a permit for the bears.
She said the animals will be taken to a temporary facility in Reynoldsburg, Ohio, where they will be cared for by staff.
Hawkins said Chambers began the application process for a permit more than a year ago but did not complete it. After numerous attempts to receive a completed application, the Department of Agriculture conducted a raid operation with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office and Ohio State Highway Patrol.
Hawkins said a 2012 Ohio law “set the bar high” for exotic animal owners to meet certain criteria, including proper caging and insurance.
Chambers was not arrested, but he could face charges of a misdemeanor or felony.
His wife was home at the time of the raid. “Those are his animals. He should have been here to help them in any way he could. They treated us like criminals. They barged in,” said Ashley Chambers, wife.
A neighbor tells 2 NEWS that his friend has been contacted before about the animals. He says his friend is a quiet man who just wants to be left alone.
“I knew that he had some animals up there that they’d been threatening to take from him. He does everything he’s supposed to do, up to code, to keep them ,” said the neighbor.
He says he knows there are at least a couple of bears on the property.
“A lot of people don’t like what he’s got, but they keep bothering him,” said the neighbor. He says the animals are well taken care of and the owner feared that his animals would be taken. He says the owner worked closely and spent a lot of money to try and keep his pets.
“I know it’s killing him. When he would talk about having to get rid of them, he would break down.”