All across the nation, in Americans’ backyards and garages and living rooms, in their beds and basements and bathrooms, wild animals kept as pets reside side by side with their human owners. However, all the zoos and accredited institutions could not possibly accommodate the number of undesirable exotic animals. Courts have disagreed, and affirmed agencies’ right to seize animals whose owners have violated exotic pet regulations. In the exotic pet context, owners have asserted liberty and property interests in maintaining their pets. Exotic pets that escape or are deliberately released by their owners also pose a threat to native species, habitats, and the public.
Applications for a license … which includes both initial applications and renewals, shall … be denied when … the application is for a license to possess, preserve, propagate or cultivate animals as pets.” § 2.12(9)(a). Similar to pot-bellied pigs, muntjac deer are kept by some as house pets and they are special to their bigger counterparts. Whereas the public well being concern revolves around illnesses, the public security concern revolves around actual physical attacks by exotic pets.
In Summit County Board of Wellness v. Pearson , an Ohio court of appeals held that the administrative body’s determination of a public nuisance resulting from unsanitary confinement of exotic pets was not arbitrary and capricious, and was supported by a preponderance of reliable, probative and substantial proof.” Summit County Board of Health v. Pearson , 809 N.E.2d 80 (Ohio Ct. App.
Nonetheless, aside from the owners needing to deal with the excessive chewing habit this species is prone to, they are wonderfully enriching pets that thrive with the proper human’s care. The city of West Bend, Wisconsin passed an ordinance against exotic pets soon after a resident was seen walking the streets with a large snake around his neck, and Muskego, Wisconsin created a related ordinance following a wallaby attack injured two children. Rather than flat-out banning possession, some jurisdictions establish licensing schemes, whereby folks must obtain a permit, usually from the state fish and wildlife division, prior to owning an exotic pet.
The discussion of exotic pet ownership then becomes a battle of which side can successfully exploit the ignorance of non-animal oriented legislators. A frequent tactic by anti-captive animal organizations (such as The Humane Society of the United States or the Animal Legal Defense Fund), is to ever so subtly, throw all so-called exotic animals into the same category when these groups speak to legislators. Although some of these classes might look to be loopholes that would permit for exotic pet possession, that is not the case.