Exotic animal owner plans to pursue legal action

GERMAN TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WDTN) – A local wildlife expert says he doesn’t think the four bears should go back to the German Township home authorities took them from.

2 NEWS reached out to Daniel Chambers, who was the owner of the animals. He didn’t return the call but his wife spoke out saying the bears weren’t hurting anybody.

“It’s really hard because we tried to comply with the law and my husband submitted the proper paperwork, but they never let us know that it wasn’t completed correctly, and by the time they did, it was after the deadline and he issued new paperwork, but they said it was too late to apply for the permit,” said Ashley Chambers.

State officials seized the bears Wednesday morning, saying the Chambers violated the requirements in the Ohio Dangerous Wild Animal Act.

2 NEWS actually spoke with him about his exotic pets in 2014.

Chambers wasn’t home during the raid but his wife was.

“I called him as soon as they were here.”

She said she called their attorney soon after.

Tim Harrison, the director of Outreach for Animals, an organization that teaches people proper behavior around wildlife expects it’ll be a tough legal fight for them to win.

“We have a permit system in the state of Ohio that gives you the opportunity to do the right thing and he thumbed his nose at the project and decided he didn’t need to go through that procedure and didn’t follow with the quarantine they asked so he ends up getting himself into trouble,” said Harrison.

According to the Ohio Department of Agriculture, Chambers could face charges of a misdemeanor or felony for not having the proper permits needed to have the animals.

In 2015, the ODA issued 55 exotic animal permits, making 201 wild animals legal in the state.

Harrison, who has helped the department seize animals before said Chambers isn’t the only one whose wild pets are being taken away.

“There’s probably about six or seven individuals that think they’re going to fight the law who think they have the right to own these animals,” said Harrison. “I don’t see anything in the constitution that says you have the right to have a tiger living next door to somebody. I guess in the constitution it says you’re allowed to arm bears, or was it bear arms? That’s the only time an animal is even mentioned in the constitution.”

The bears are being taken care of by the Ohio Department of Agriculture in Reynoldsburg where they’ll be cared for through court proceedings.

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