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2 tigers moved to northeast Indiana sanctuary because of tougher Ohio law

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press
Monday, October 15, 2012 - 12:55 pm

ALBION — Two tigers have been moved to a new home at a northeastern Indiana animal sanctuary after their owner said she decided she couldn't meet Ohio's new law setting stricter requirements for keeping them.

The tigers named Delilah and Sammie arrived Sunday at the Black Pine Animal Sanctuary near Albion after a trip from the Tiger Paw rescue center outside Ashland, Ohio.

Tiger Paw center owner Denise Flores told WANE-TV that she couldn't afford to keep the cats she's had for 17 years.

"When you can't get the insurance, then those animals will be confiscated," Flores said. "I didn't want to put them through all of that."

A new Ohio law took effect last month requiring exotic animal owners to obtain a new state-issued permit by 2014. But they would have to pass a background check, obtain liability insurance and show inspectors that they can properly contain the animal and adhere to other standards.

That law was passed after a suicidal Zanesville, Ohio, man released dozens of exotic animals, including black bears, lions and Bengal tigers.

Two other tigers owned by Flores are expected to be moved next weekend to the Indiana sanctuary about 30 miles north of Fort Wayne.

"The biggest challenge of a move like this is keeping the animals' welfare first and foremost, and of course there's a lot of emotion involved for the owners who are losing their pride and joy," said Lori Gagen, Black Pine's executive director.

Flores said planned to visit the tigers frequently at their new home.

"I just wanted them to be able to live out the rest of their lives happy and in a good place and be well cared for, and that's all that matters," she said.