Owner of Tiger Ridge visits big cats in Florida

Owner of Tiger Ridge visits big cats in Florida

WOOD COUNTY, OH (WTOL) - It was a short but bittersweet visit for Kenny Hetrick, owner of Tiger Ridge Exotics, as he got to go see his big cats currently being held at a facility down in Florida.

"It's depressing," Hetrick said. "It's a depressing place. I don't like that place. But you know what, I had no choice where they put them."

Last month, Hetrick and the Ohio Department of Agriculture agreed to let Kenny visit his cats in Florida. Kenny was not allowed to take photos or videos. But he said the cats remembered his scent.

"To see my White Tiger Emily," said Hetrick. "Emily was thrilled to see me. She jumped up on the fence and was rubbing the fence and running back and forth. Running back up to the fence. So she definitely recognized me okay."

Kenny said he was okay with the condition of the cats, but believes they'd be happier and better off with him at Tiger Ridge.

"It's kinda scary what the end results are going to be for them cats if I can't get them out of here," said Hetrick.

On May 30, Kenny's attorney will go before three judges at the Ohio 6th District Court of Appeals. They will decide if Kenny will be getting his big cats back.

Follow WTOL:  

Download our app here

Copyright 2017 WTOL. All rights reserved.