New York Yankees outfielder Mel Hall, charged with illegally bringing two cougars into Connecticut, said buying the cubs as house pets seemed natural to him. "It's not like I'm just a fly-by-night athlete who just wanted to spend some money to get a crazy pet," Hall said. "I love animals. I know animals." Hall faces a fine of several hundred dollars if convicted of possessing a dangerous animal and importing a wild animal without a permit. State officials confiscated the cubs in July and charged Hall on Saturday. Hall said he bought the cougars - one male, one female - from a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., dealer. Hall said he treated them like normal house pets and once took them to the Yankees' clubhouse to show his teammates.