Ohio legislators outlaw new ownership of dangerous exotic animals
COLUMBUS, OH – The Ohio Legislature passed the Dangerous Wild Animal Act, which Governor John Kasich has promised to sign, outlawing new ownership of dangerous wild animals after more than 100,000 people joined a popular campaign on Change.org, the world’s fastest-growing platform for social change.
Liz Dumler, an Ohio native and recent Ohio University graduate, started the petition after more than 50 exotic animals — including tigers, lions, wolves and bears — escaped from a private farm in Zanesville, Ohio, last October. 49 of the animals were killed by local authorities. Within a week, more than 100,000 people joined Liz’s campaign, which received coverage from Scientific American, CBS, and news outlets across Ohio.
“I am beyond ecstatic that Ohio legislators and Governor Kasich have come to this decision that significantly improves the lives and safety of both humans and animals in the state of Ohio,” said Dumler, who launched the campaign on Change.org. “This event closes an ugly chapter in Ohio’s animal welfare history. I hope that the memories of the Zanesville animals who lost their lives in October will not be forgotten, and that they will continue to be remembered through this legislation.”
The Zanesville incident drew attention to Ohio’s exotic animal regulations, which had been among the weakest in the nation. Governor Kasich released a statement last week after the legislature passed the Dangerous Wild Animal Act, saying that he was “proud to be signing this bill into law.”
“Between classes, Liz used her campaign on Change.org to gather support from people from all over the world,” said Change.org Senior Campaigner Stephanie Feldstein. “Change.org empowers anyone, anywhere to do just what Liz did–start, join and win campaigns on issues that matter to them. It has been incredible to watch ordinary people taking action to prevent another incident like Zanesville.”