Hanna defended the sheriff against criticism that the animals should have been captured alive.
"What was he to do at nighttime with tigers and lions, leopards, going out there?" Hanna said. "In the wild this would be a different situation."
Ohio has some of the nation's weakest restrictions on exotic pets and among the highest number of injuries and deaths caused by them. The Humane Society of the United States has documented 22 incidents with dangerous exotic animals in Ohio since 2003, demonstrating risks to public health and safety and animal welfare.
The state requires permits for bears but doesn't regulate the ownership of non-native animals, such as lions and tigers.
A previous emergency order issued by former Gov. Ted Strickland, which expired in April, prohibited people convicted of animal cruelty from owning exotic animals. Thompson had been convicted of animal cruelty in 2005.