The Most Dangerous Animal is in the Governor’s Office

From ONNtv:

Animal Rights Activists across the country are outraged with Ohio’s laws when it comes to exotic animals.

Now Gov. John Kasich is coming under fire from some animal groups Wednesday night, ONN’s affiliate WEWS reported.

A ban on exotic pets expired in April and Kasich didn’t renew it. Now some groups are criticizing the governor for not doing enough fast enough.

Original DVD cover

Before leaving office, former Gov. Ted Strickland issued a ban barring people from bringing exotic animals into Ohio.

It also prohibited people convicted of animal cruelty, like Terry Thompson, from owning exotic animals.

Under that plan, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources would have been in charge of enforcing the ban, but the governor said that would have exceeded their authority.

Kasich defended his actions on Wednesday.

“What had been proposed frankly wasn’t workable,” said Kasich. “The complications connected to this and as a result we formed a working group.”

But, some critics said that a working group isn’t working fast enough.


Animal activist Jack Hannah said that Ohio was just six weeks away from having new rules regulating the sale and ownership of exotic animals. Hannah said that he and the governor are in talks on how to put a plan into action.


If some sort of action isn’t taken soon, Ohio will continue to be one of a handful of states with virtually no regulation or private ownership of dangerous wild animals.


Government data showed that Ohio ranked fourth in the country in dangerous incidents involving wild animals.

Kids, you know that whenever there’s an Ohio story, we always check in with our friends over at Plunderbund for the local perspective.  This is from when the situation was still occurring:

Back on Jan. 7th, 2011 Gov. Ted Strickland issued a executive order banning “the keeping of big cats, bears, wolves” in Ohio. On taking office, John Kasich blocked the order, claiming he was concerned the ban would negatively impact small-business owners. He eventually let Strickland’s executive order expire.

Jump ahead to today…

Late this evening in Zanesville Ohio dozens of wild animals escaped from a private owner’s home including “grizzly and black bears, wolves, and several species of large cats, including lions, tigers and cheetahs”.

As I type this, many of these dangerous animals are still loose in Muskingum County. School has been cancelled. People have been asked to stay in their homes. And Sheriff’s deputies have been working all night to protect the citizens in Muskingum County.


As the story of the animals’ escape unfolded, and news that Sheriff’s deputies had been forced to shoot at least one of the animals was made public, [Kasich’s closet advisor Jai Chabria’s wife] Tammy took the opportunity to publicly attack the police officers and public employees in general on Twitter.

Chabria called the officers “inhumane morons who have no idea what they’re doing and shouldn’t be permitted to do this job”. And called the Sheriff’s “shoot to kill” order “Incompetence.”

She even took the opportunity to personally attack multiple people associated with We Are Ohio, sarcastically saying “incompetence by these public employees will win you many sympathies to your cause.”


While many people are making jokes and kidding around on Twitter about the dangerous escaped animals, Muskingum County Sheriff’s deputies are out in the field making sure Ohioans are safe.

It really surprises me that anyone would question the motives of the officers in this situation. And it absolutely amazes me that someone so closely tied to the Governor’s anti-union, Pro-SB5/Issue 2 campaign would make public statements attacking these officers while trying to score political points.


[C]alling these officers morons and incompetent public employees when four tigers, a lion, eight bears and 12 wolves are on the loose in Zanesville seems to show a deep-seated and ingrained level of disrespect for police officers and public employees in general – the type of disrespect that is at the heart of their side’s arguments in favor of SB5/Issue 2.


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38 responses to “The Most Dangerous Animal is in the Governor’s Office

  1. Yaaaayyy! My friend works at ONN. But he’s off this week. I would have been in my glory writing about a herpetic monkey on the loose. 😀

    Kasich is just as much a disaster in Ohio as he was at Lehman Brothers.

  2. jay

    I wish at least a handful of people learned from this horrible story how much pain abolishing “job killing regulations” can cause.

  3. elizabeth3hersh

    Sometimes I wonder if a Hollywood writer should be employed at state capitals to ponder ‘what if’ scenarios. Can you believe Nevada just recently (Oct 2011) passed a law making animal cruelty a felony? I know, I know, you are smacking yourself saying “WHAT?!? It’s not already a felony?!?” Even more incredulous was the OPPOSITION claiming cash-strapped Nevada cannot AFFORD the cost that invariably will accompany enforcement of the law. I’m not a pet person. I’ve never owned a pet. But, if I saw someone abusing an animal I would KILL them with my bare hands.

  4. elizabeth3hersh

    Maybe that was a little harsh, but I am passionate about protecting vulnerable creatures.

    • how much you want to bet that paying all those people to find and deal with the animals was more expensive than if they had just funded the agency to enforce the executive order (which should not have been allowed to expire)? just imagine what might have happened if one of those animals had gotten near a school. the cost in lives would have been unimaginable and far worse than the few dollars it would have cost to avoid this happening in the first place. as it is, those beautiful innocent animals are dead. the police had no choice. it’s just horrific.

  5. Snoring Dog Studio

    The entire situation was a horrible tragedy, fueled by inaction and some lame idea that small business owners would be unduly hurt. HURT. An entire town was terrorized and animals had to be killed.

    Wait till Tammy finds a snake in her toilet and calls the police to do that plumbing job for her.

    • plain common sense would tell you that exotic animals, especially dangerous ones, should be regulated. it seems that common sense is in very short supply in the rethuglican party these days.

  6. That’s our leader on the front cover. I’m so proud … and given the environment around the SB 5 vote, Plunderbund makes good points.

  7. John Erickson

    Cool! I made the big time! (Zanesville is about 30 miles south of where we live.)
    In all seriousness, this was a tremendous tragedy. Kasich turned down Federal funds for rail work in Ohio that would’ve helped the unemployment situation. I’ve heard rumours that he let the ban expire because he has “acquaintances” with similar “parks”. And the nearest tranquilizer guns (and people trained to use them) were over 2 hours away when the Sheriff showed up and assessed the situation – and hours had passed before the reports started coming in of animals on the loose.
    I feel sorry for the officers, most of all. They didn’t want to shoot harmless animals, but it was the only realistic choice. Storms kept the county helicopter grounded, and there was no night vision equipment readily available. The officers did the best with what they had.
    Now if we could close the puppy mills running rampant around here (especially among the Amish), make sure Nitro’s Law gets passed to prevent kennels from purposefully starving animals to death, and toughen up the penalties for animal abuse, Ohio might become a state I’d consider living in long-term.

    • the saddest thing is that it could all have been foreseen. maybe it might not have happened exactly the same way, but when you’re dealing with wild animals in a populated area without proper oversight, then disaster is right around the corner. i feel sorry for the officers who had to kill those beautiful animals, too, john, as well as for all the little kids who live around there and have to hear about what happened to them. there are no winners here. it’s a tragedy, and even more so, because it was preventable.

  8. jeb

    Kasich has long been the poster child for Grover’s vision of drowning government in the bathtub. The problem is that while they’re drowning the government (and raking in their profits on the side) chaos ensues. Of course, it’s easy to postulate that there is a lesson to be learned here. But that would indicate there is a level of intelligence and belief in community in these people that simply doesn’t exist. Kasich and his political brethren will continue to plummet blindly onward wearing their ignorance proudly on their sleeve.

    • the rethuglican disrespect and disregard for animals is matched only by their disrespect and disregard for people. they call themselves the pro-life party, but they have no respect for life. all they care about is the almighty dollar.

  9. maggiejean

    That’s what happens when a State votes in a Fox News commentator to govern a state instead of a capable governor. This entire gang of govs ran for government office because they don’t believe in government. Who are the sorry souls who voted for them?

  10. Someone I work with has relatives who live down the street from the deceased animal keeper. It was from her that I first heard about his being in prison and his wife leaving him. The news didn’t pick those up for another day.

    • i can’t understand people who want to do harm to others before they take themselves out of this life. if you’re going to kill yourself, leave everyone else alone. you won’t be around for them to bother you. why let the animals loose? he had to know that they’d either kill people or be killed or both.

  11. This happened before back in the 80’s when someone in Montana left a gate unlatched and 27 big cats escaped and all had to be shot. As far as Kasich is concerned, he should get on the phone to his master (Ailes) and find a way to tarbrush the animals as liberals or maybe homos. Back in the 70″s I would visit my good buddy TJ at his place at Eagle Mountain Lake, NW of Fort Worth. His goofball neighbor had a brown bear in a cage and for amusement during wild partying, they would give it beer. Sure enough, years later, I’m watching local news and a story come up “man mauled by bear” and, sure enough, it was that dumbass and his bear. Can’t recall if they shot it.

  12. Great post. Terrible situation. I’ll be looking to see Kasich’s wife’s winter coat.

    • hello elyse,

      welcome to the raisin! 😀

      it is a terrible situation, and, as usually happens these days, the innocent are the ones to suffer.

      i spent some time reading at your blog, and i was very entertained, especially when show and tell turned into flow and hell.

      hope you’ll visit again! 🙂

  13. gregg

    really hoping his attempt to kill negotiating rights for civil servants goes down in flames. fingers crossed. could we pass a law that anyone who ever draws a paycheck from newsdork can never run for office?

    • amen, gregg. i don’t think it’s a good idea to put too many conditions on people as far as running for office, but it’s very bothersome that this asswipe got paid to have free publicity for his campaign.

  14. He’ll use the GOP excuse: “No one could have possibly foreseen this happening.” And people who only get their information from Fox “News” will never see the many people who had, in fact, predicted it.

    • the very fact that gov. asswipe could not foresee it happening is the best argument for him not being qualified for the job. i can understand someone not being able to foresee a meteor landing on the town’s movie theater or a rethuglican saying something that isn’t moronic, but allowing anyone to keep wild animals is a disaster just waiting to happen, and anyone who can’t foresee that is a moron.

  15. Glenn Beck is a dangerous animal…. and so is Limbaugh, Coulter. I know of a farm where I could cage ’em up. I promise not to let them loose. Sorry, O’Reilly is not exotic enough for my farm.

    • just as long as you build one of those botox batshit bachmann double-walled borders around them. oh, and there will have to be a herman cain moat, too.

  16. Tragic and scary situation. Man, I really wish they could have used tranquilizer darts. 😦

    • John Erickson

      News reports had the tranq guns, and folks who knew how to use them, 2-3 hours away. Smaller towns in Ohio (and Zanesville is one) tend to have squat in the line of “special” equipment. And some of the animals hadn’t been fed in a while – one of the escaped monkeys was eaten by a lion or tiger, according to the cops.
      Sad, but I understand why the Sheriff did what he did, and I don’t blame him in the least. Just sad the owner had to wig out like that.

      • i think the sheriff and all the officers who helped bring this ugly episode to an end should be praised. they did what they had to do. i feel so sorry that they’ll have to live with having to kill those beautiful innocent creatures, but they know that they really had no choice.

    • that’s the point! there were no tranquilizer darts available. if you’re supposed to be a leader, you have to look at all the contingencies. if someone is allowed to own exotic dangerous animals, and there is the possibility that they can get loose (and there always is), then it should be regulated so that the owner is responsible to have things like tranq guns available for the authorities to use in case of emergency. this was totally preventable, and it’s sad, and it’s disgusting.