Six tigers and four other exotic animals are at the center of a custody dispute between their owner and the state of Ohio.

Agriculture officials seized the animals in January after saying the owner ignored warnings that he needed a permit and that his cages weren't secure.

Ohio has been tightening regulations on people who own animals typically found in a zoo ever since a suicidal man in eastern Ohio released dozens of his animals in 2011.

Kenny Hetrick is challenging the decision to take his animals and expects to continue his appeal at a state hearing next week.

He has spent more than 30 years caring for exotic animals at his home outside Toledo. Many neighbors are supporting him by raising money and helping rebuild his enclosures.