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A northwestern Ohio man whose 6 tigers and other exotic animals were seized is getting back-to-back hearings as he fights the state

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BOWLING GREEN, Ohio — A northwestern Ohio man whose six tigers and other exotic animals were seized is getting back-to-back hearings as he fights the state.

The evidentiary hearings in Kenny Hetrick's case were starting Thursday in Wood County.

Hetrick is challenging the Ohio Department of Agriculture's decision denying him a permit to keep the animals at his home just outside Toledo.

Last year, Ohio took custody of the animals from Hetrick's roadside sanctuary after officials said he ignored warnings about needing a permit for the exotic animals. Inspectors also reported that his cages weren't secure enough to prevent an escape.

The state relocated the animals in August under contracts with facilities in Arizona, Florida and South Dakota.

Hetrick argued that violated his rights. The state said it was for the animals' benefit.

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