Application Period Permits For Exotic Animal Owners Open

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Ohio is encouraging owners of exotic animals to act sooner rather than later in applying for the new state-issued permit they'll be required to have starting next year.

The window to apply opened Tuesday as the final parts of the state's crackdown on dangerous wild animals set in for people that keep bears, tigers, jaguars or other such creatures. A Department of Agriculture spokeswoman says no complete applications were received on the first day.

Owners who don't breed animals will apply for a wildlife shelter permit. They must pass a background check and pay fees ranging from $250 to more than $1,000.

Ohio officials can seize the animals if owners are found housing them without a permit beginning next year.

Breeders and rescue facilities also will need permits.