On January 28, 2015, the Ohio Department of Agriculture stormed the property belonging to Ken Hetrick and took animals he owned for many years. Many were elderly and Leo, a male lion, died while in custody of the ODA in April of 2015. Leo’s remains were not returned to the Hetrick family, but dissolved in a vat of acid instead.
It’s taken a year to get hearings into a court of law, versus the hearings of the past year at the ODA, with the ODA controlling all aspects – much like a fox guarding a hen house – and much evidence was not allowed, even though other owners were “permitted” without being in compliance. One was even given more animals on the restricted list without following rules.
Hearings begin Wednesday in a Wood county, Ohio, court and set to run through Friday. It will be interesting to see the many pieces of evidence of the wrongdoing by the Ohio Department of Agriculture previously not allowed during the ODA hearings. It’s been a hard, emotional year for the Hetrick family, but they and their supporters remain strong, hoping for the court to right the many wrongs done by the states hand.
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