Ok, I promise (maybe) this will be my last post about the Zanesville, OH animal fiasco for awhile. I was and am disgusted by the owner, Terry Thompson’s, decision to release his menagerie of wild animals onto his community before committing suicide.
I was initially angry when I read a People magazine article that was sympathetic to him this weekend. The article described that he was a Vietnam vet with PTSD, loved his animals, and was in financial trouble after having just served a year in prison on weapons charges. It also pointed out long-standing contentious relations between him and his neighbors over his animals. The article theorized that he wanted to give the animals freedom before taking his own life.
After reading the article, I’ll admit I feel a little less anger toward him. Granted, he may not have been in the most rational state of mind. However, that doesn’t change the fact that his actions ultimately led to most of the animals’ deaths and could have led to the deaths of many people in the area. That is all the more reason why private individuals shouldn’t be allowed to own exotic animals, at least not without being registered and regularly inspected as a refuge. It’s a shame it took such a waste of life for OH to renew its emergency ruling on the matter, but at least the governor finally did so. Hopefully, some good will come from the tragedy. Meanwhile, I’ll pray for Terry Thompson’s soul. I would pray for the animals’, but I’m pretty sure they don’t need it.