Exotic Animals Are Not Pets
May 08, 2012
Exotic animals as household pets can be dangerous. Most of you are probably thinking that is a pretty obvious statement. But exotic animal ownership, especially big cats, is a large problem. Laws regarding ownership of exotic animals vary from state to state. I have told people for years that Missouri was one of the worst states in regards to weak animal laws, and one of the biggest exotic animal auctions is located not far from here. Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge rescues these animals when they become unwanted by their owners, or when it is realized that they don’t have an animal that makes a good pet. Currently, the refuge house over 100 big cats.
Those of you who have seen one of the presentations done by Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge at MCPL over the past 8 years know that their message is big cats do not make good pets. TCWR has always done anything they could to help pass legislation to help stop the problem of big cat ownership, including speaking to the house in Arkansas when legislation was being considered. So, it is with mixed feelings that we celebrate the passage of Missouri SB795, which went into effect on January 1, 2012. The new Large Carnivore Act "prohibits the owning, breeding, possession, transferring of ownership, or transporting of large carnivores." The downside of this bill is that the refuge will not be able to bring any animals to the annual presentations that they will be doing for MCPL in June.
I understand that it is seeing these magnificent animals that normally draws people to this program. However, as those of you who have seen our program in the past or have even traveled to the refuge itself, you know it is still fascinating to hear the stories of the animals rescued and to see what it takes to care for that many big cats. Even though there will not be any animals to see, we hope you will still come out to the presentation, and if you have been before, please bring others out to get to know the refuge.
The title of the program is Almost Extinct. In addition to sharing information and video of the refuge, there will also be a great film showing the plight of tigers in the wild. Some statistics show that there are currently more tigers owned in homes in the state of Texas than there are in the wild! So, we look forward to seeing you at one of the following presentations:
Monday, June 4
10:30 a.m. - Excelsior Springs Branch
2:00 p.m. - Claycomo Branch
7:00 p.m. - Antioch Branch
Tuesday, June 5
9:30 a.m. - Grandview Branch
10:30 a.m. - Grandview Branch
2:00 p.m. - North Independence Branch
7:00 p.m. - Blue Springs North Branch
Wednesday, June 6
10:00 a.m. - Edgerton Branch
Excelsior Springs Branch