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Motivated in part by the escape and subsequent shooting of “Buddy the Chimp,” Senator Michael Roberson has said he will introduce a bill into the 2013 legislature prohibiting private ownership of chimps, large wild cats and other exotic animals.
At least one local seller of exotic animals thinks he’s capable of responsibly self-regulating his part in the transaction.
“I say no to people every single day,” says pet shop owner Ken Foose. “It’s like an interview. We find out their experience, where they live matters a lot to me, how they conduct themselves when they talk to me. Basically anyone who comes in and says the word ‘dude’ is automatically disqualified.”
Nicole Paquette of the United States Humane Society thinks stricter regulations are in order, however. The HSUS is working with Roberson on crafting the new legislation.
“A lot of unsuspecting individuals go out there, buy a cute cuddly little tiger and then that tiger grows into a 500 pound, 600 pound animal, and is doomed potentially to a life in a small enclosure,” says Paquette. “Nevada needs to do something to change the laws on this issue.”
Paquette adds that potential dog owners go through a screening process when adopting a pet.
“Basically you get more grilled if you go to your local animal shelter, and you will have more restrictions placed on you, if you adopt a dog than you will if you go out and purchase a monkey,” says Paquette.
Foose says that the Humane Society is exploiting the "Buddy the Chimp" episode to lobby for more restrictive regulations.
“The Humane Society, with all due respect, is a cult,” says Foose. “They believe that no one should own an animal, no one should eat animals, and we shouldn’t have any interaction with animals whatsoever.”
Do you think Nevada should regulate ownership of exotic animals? Ban ownership altogether? Share your comments.