A state panel has approved spending up to $3.5 million for a facility that could temporarily hold dozens of exotic animals confiscated under a new Ohio law.
Officials can seize animals if the owners don't meet state requirements or are found housing animals without permits. The Controlling Board on Monday approved money to build the warehouse-type facility in Reynoldsburg, east of Columbus. Two board members raised concerns about approving the funding ahead of planned public meetings about the facility. Ohio's agricultural director told them it's critical to start the construction process quickly. The new law came about after an eastern Ohio man released dozens of animals, including black bears, mountain lions and tigers, from his farm in Zanesville last October.