Animal Protection Laws: How does your state rank???

Definitely worth sharing! Proud of my home state of Ohio for rising above the bottom (as we’ve been for so many years). As with most change, it took some heavy consequences before we wised up to change our wildlife & animal regulation laws, but we did! I’d love to see the whole map a bright shade of green one day!

2012 animal welfare laws



Filed under All creatures great & small, Inspiration, Some thoughts..., The Adventures of Waylon Moonshine

6 responses to “Animal Protection Laws: How does your state rank???

  1. I would actually hate to see that because many of those green states simply ban the private ownership of exotics and inner-city animals and call it a day. Ohio has a greater focus on the welfare of the animals rather than who should get to own what allowing freedom for people in the country to own exotics as long as they are kept well. Places like florida simply ban them outright and I think it’s awful.
    I would rather see the whole map be yellow if it meant people could still own the animals they wanted.

    • Carey D. Henderson

      I can see your point & I do agree with it to a point. However, I think that animal rescue organizations (in all forms) should be licensed, educated, monitored, & have their finances checked. When I was in college I did a rotation at an exotic animal rescue, now this place was in the “country” but was in a residental community. It drove me crazy that lions, grizzly’s, etc. were housed within a few feet of families. Back then (and this was only a few years ago) the zoning laws were much less enforced & monitored then they are now (within the last year). I’m not sure about the laws in other states, but I know in Ohio anybody could own an exotic animal with little to no problems. This is crazy! I currently work in the wildlife conservation field & I’ve personally talked to people who own exotics without the knowledge on how to take care of them. Not only is it unfair & dangerous to the animal (not to mention cruel), but uneducated pet owners (exotic or domesticated) are the most dangerous liability. I’ve worked with plenty of animal rescues & money is always an issue (it always is in rescue work!), but I’ve seen rescue’s cut vital corners to save costs…medical, nutritional, husbandry etc. Rescue work is seriously expensive & finances should be monitored, rescue animals have been through enough without the added stress of not being properly taken care of. I’d love to see strict regulations, especially in the case of exotic animal & with the mind set of people lately, the less opportunity uneducated people have to get their hands on these dangerous animals the better for the general public. One of my favorite quotes is my Terri Irwin, “When you help an animal you must do everything in your power not to harm it at the same time.”…its a quote that I’m constantly reminding myself of & trying my best to make sure I’m in the best interest of the animal.

      • It’s true. But for example, it has been my own dream to own big cats since I was very young. I know care and training basics and I intend to volunteer with exotic rescue groups for some time and eventually end up with one. Eventually being many years from now and “one” having gone from a tiger to a smaller cat like a puma or leopard through the educational steps I have already taken.
        For me it would be awful if the only way for me to ever have one of these animals were to own a sanctuary, zoo or other “educational” outlet.
        Already regulations prevent me from owning the cat of my dreams, a cheetah, because they are SO endangered that private ownership is banned. And this may very well be actually doing as much to hurt as help since if there were private owners participating in breeding programs there would be a larger pursuit to get them to breed succesfully and more funding involved.
        Imagine when the laws get so strict that suddenly one can’t own a bobcat or a wolfdog… Both widely owned and bred animals and easier to care for than most and very good companions especially for those seeking a piece of the wild for whatever thier reasons are. Some states already have strict laws on this. In fact, the states in green already have strict laws on this. When that whole map is green you can wave goodbye to the private ownership of these animals except for the super-rich able to pay the many additional thousands of dollars in liscencing and the time to take years of training classes likely to interfere with thier work schedule. And if animal rights continue to be pursued beyond that the way some people want then suddenly you have no zoos and no way at all to get up-close to these animals.

        And that I think is the worst shame.

      • Carey D. Henderson

        We just view it differently, I suppose. You might change your mind once you get out in the field & can see that “wild” animals should never be kept as pets. No matter how badly someone wants to own their “dream cat”. I’m not saying this to be disrespectful at all, that’s never my intention. But once you realize that these are wild animals & are not meant to be enjoyed as pets for our pleasure you might see it differently. I, for one, love wolves…I have a real passion for conservation & preserving their species. However, I would never own one or even a hybrid (I’m against that, as well). Imagine if you were kept as a pet, when you’re instinct is to be wild…it would be a nightmare. To want to own one, for the sake of it being your favorite, is…well…kinda selfish. Do what you can do conserve the species, educate the public & be an advocate for their behalf….but don’t own one. Also, you’re right it does cost thousands of dollars to get licensed, but again…if you don’t have the money to follow regulations..then you don’t have the money to properly run a facility. Keep in mind even a small cat (like a Bobcat) costs about 2-3k a month for upkeep (nutrition, keeping enclosures current, veterinary costs). Do what you can to rehabilitate & then release. Leave the long term care for federally & state funded facilities that have the means to support that kind of cost. Wildlife (and domesticated animal) conservation is always looking for passionate people to be a voice to animals in any way possible. I encourage you to do what you can without owning one & if you really want to own one/be a rehabilitator, then volunteer/save/take wildlife rehabilitation classes to make sure you’ve got the education & finances to back it up. I’ve got quite a network built up from my various jobs in the field & I’d love to help you find your niche if you’re interested. Email me:

      • I would be interested and pehaps I will send you an e-mail. But these animals have certain instincts and needs fufilled in an enclosed space as much as an open one. All creatures have a territory. This territory needs to be large enough to provide food, water, shade, sunshine, complete shelter, security, excersize and stimulation. Even humans have this. As we advanced we took all these things and brought them into the same place so we now no longer have to walk 3/4th of a mile to reach the river or go hunting for days to make a kill. These things still remain in out insteinct. It is why people get restless, go on walks, travel, etc. All we do in captivity is done the same for the animals.
        Imagine if you burst into someones house and chased them out proclaiming “You’re free! Run away! Hunt and be wild!”. You’d get the cops called. They’d say “No this is MY house!”. This is why even when released animals often return to thier cages or will wander many miles to return to thier percieved “home”. This is why cats in cities wander and come home, and this is how animals keep territories in general. And they usually wander off in the first place because they are bored or missing something (like a mate).
        The keeping of wild animals in captivity is a symbiotic relationship where we give them health care and food and a secure space and we recieve a sense of adventure and wildness and a connection to nature not able to be achieved any other way. And as such they fill a gap missing in our own captive lives that makes us seek out such things. They aren’t pets, they go beyond that to something far more important.
        So if I am educated in the care of an animal and the finances to take care of it there is no reason I should be disallowed. But animal rights deny that, forcing the animals into the “wild” where survival is questionable and hardships are everywhere.

        I am all for animal welfare. Cage size requirements should be large and food should be appropriate to the nutrition of the animal. People should be required to know about the care of thier animals regardless of what they are. And, for example, a written or verbal test and inspections of the animal’s care (say a one-year probation with inspections every few months and yearly or bi-yearly inspections after that) are fine. But banning the ownership of ANY animals is something I feel shouldn’t be done. It is just another law to make money (fines and jail-time for animals owners) as opposed to properly maintaining animal welfare (fines and jail time for animal abusers). And it is one step towards the end-goal for “animal rights” groups which is no captive animals at all. Which means no ball pythons, no dogs, no rabbits, no cats, no birds. And it starts here.

      • Carey D. Henderson

        I think we’re just going to have to agree to disagree. If you ever get the opportunity to take some Animal Behavior or Wildlife Rehabilitation classes (I’ve got degrees in both) you may find that your opinion is more emotionally based & not scientifically based on animal behavior. And definately once you get out into the field & can see it for yourself, don’t be to surprised if your opinion changes. Wish you luck! 🙂

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