Prevent Another Ohio Tragedy

As promised, we will occasionally be offering up a variety of petitions and action opportunities. If you find them intriguing, horrifying, praiseworthy or just fun, please take a moment to add yourself to the effort and see what comes of it.

Petition to Ban Exotic Animal Ownership in Ohio

Today’s petition is in response to the recent killing of 48 exotic animals in Zanesville, Ohio. It is bizarre and mysterious stories like this that grab the attention of the average citizen, causing them to pause and give thought to animal rights. I have had more friends mention this story to me than I expected. There is genuine shock and heartache in their voices and in their eyes as they express their reaction. For those of us more deeply embedded in the world of animal rights advocacy, the photos of dead bears, lions, tigers and wolves may not be as viscerally shocking, but the tragedy is still clear. These animals were kept on land owned by a man named Terry Thompson in a state that is one of only seven that have no bans on ownership of exotic animals. The level of care that was provided to these animals is unclear and the setup itself has been referred to as a “farm,” a “game-preserve,” and a “menagerie,” so it is difficult to know exactly what kind of place this was. What is known is that the animals were released by Thompson, who then committed suicide, and then all but a few were killed by police. The event was preventable.


This petition is directed to Ohio Governor John Kasich, asking him to sign legislation that would ban ownership of exotic animals in Ohio. This is the strongest petition I have been able to find for this cause. There are currently over 85,000 signatures! As someone who signs a lot of petitions I can attest–that is a big number for a petition going to a governor’s desk. Since the petition began, legislation called “Phillips Bill” is rushing through Ohio government. If the governor signs, it would create regulations for exotic animal ownership in Ohio, but would not ban it.

The online petition started by Liz Dumler, 22, of Athens, is linked through an organization called Each time someone signs the petition, an email goes to Kasich’s office and the Department of Natural Resources as well. Now is your chance to keep the number growing and turn your frustration and heartache into action. Here is where you do that:

Petition to Ban Exotic Animal Ownership in Ohio


Irvine, CA passes progressive humane law



“Irvine, California’s City Council passed an unprecedented bill this week banning rodeos and circuses with exotic animals, and the retail sale of dogs and cats. This huge victory for animals passed with a 4–1 vote after nearly 40 supporters, including IDA’s Elephant Campaign Director Catherine Doyle, spoke in favor of the ban.


Most dogs sold in pet stores come from puppy mills where dogs are kept in filthy, cramped, inhumane conditions. Animals in circuses suffer terribly from cruel training, painful physical problems from living in semi-trailers and on chains, and sheer boredom. Animals in rodeos are not aggressive naturally – they are domesticated animals who are painfully coerced and injured for the sake of entertainment. IDA applauds the city of Irvine for their compassionate decision. Congratulations to the Irvine activists whose perseverance and hard work made this amazing victory possible. California just got a little safer for animals.”    


   – In Defense of Animals (IDA)