Judge OKs vet to check Tiger Ridge animals


A Wood County judge has ruled that a veterinarian requested by Tiger Ridge Exotics owner Kenneth Hetrick
can perform an independent inspection of his animals, which are currently being held in a state
The ruling was issued Wednesday by Judge Reeve Kelsey.
Late last month, Kelsey ruled in favor of Hetrick’s motion for an independent inspection of the Ohio
Department of Agriculture’s facility in Reynoldsburg where Hetrick’s animals are held, and ordered that
it be conducted by Hetrick’s veterinarian, Dr. Richard Carstensen.
However, in a document filed July 2, Hetrick requested that Carstensen be replaced by another
veterinarian, Dr. Tim Reichard. According to the document, Carstensen “does not feel that he is an
expert in exotic animals, even though he has cared for (Hetrick’s) animals for many years. He does not
want to be involved any further with Court proceedings.”
The document argued that Reichard “has an extensive background with exotic animals” and “was the chief
veterinarian at the Toledo Zoo for 22 years. He is well known and well respected… Dr. Reichard is
currently employed in a private practice which includes exotic animals.”
The ODA opposed the substitution, saying in a court filing that Reichard “has apparently never seen the
animals and has no first-hand observations to rely upon in evaluating the condition of the animals today
versus their condition on Hetrick’s premises;” further, he had not been cross-examined in the case
regarding his credentials.
The ODA also filed a motion this week to stay the court proceedings until an appeal by Hetrick to
Franklin County Court in a matter related to the case was decided. Kelsey denied that motion.
Kelsey ruled in a hearing on Reichard’s qualifications Wednesday that the veterinarian can perform the
inspection of the facility. He is to file his report by Aug. 3.
A late-June emergency motion by Hetrick for the return of his animals to Tiger Ridge is being held in
suspension by the court until Reichard’s report is filed.
In other news, a long-anticipated preliminary and permanent injunction hearing in the case scheduled for
Aug. 18 – concerning whether the animals are to be returned to Tiger Ridge – was vacated by the court
because of the expectation that some administrative processes would not be completed by that date. A
pretrial hearing was scheduled for that date instead.

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