PETA Awards California Couple Who Caught a Killer on Camera

Published by Katherine Sullivan.

Update: A Good Samaritan Award is on its way from PETA to Jadat and David Griffith, who had the presence of mind to start videotaping when they saw a local animal trapper named Lowell Miller shoot a terrified, yelping coyote more than 14 times in the head and face with a small-caliber firearm. Miller had captured the coyote in a trap at the Sierra Lakes Golf Course. Thanks to the Griffiths’ damning video evidence, Miller was convicted of cruelty to animals, to which he pleaded no contest.

Had it not been for the Griffiths’ quick action, watchful eye, and willingness to come forward, this abuser might never have been held accountable for the suffering that he caused this hapless animal. We’re sure that their example will inspire others to act if they see any animal being abused.

Posted March 20, 2020:

(WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT)

Earlier this week, we received disturbing video footage of a wildlife trapper repeatedly shooting a coyote, reportedly at the Sierra Lakes Golf Club in Fontana, California.

The coyote—who was ensnared by the foot, possibly via an illegal leg-hold set—was shot in the head over and over again. With each shot, the terrified animal jerks, yelps, and attempts to escape, eventually appearing to have been rendered immobile toward the end of a prolonged and torturous ordeal, although still writhing in agony while the shooter apparently reloads again.

The pain and fear that this coyote must have felt throughout this ordeal are hard to imagine.

In response, we sent a letter urging the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office to pursue cruelty-to-animals charges against the shooter, as the prolonged, bungled killing was in violation of California’s anti-cruelty statutes as well as state wildlife codes and regulations.

We’re calling on officials to hold this abuser accountable for subjecting an animal to such an agonizing and protracted death—and to intervene before he does it again.

Trying to use lethal methods to “control” wildlife isn’t just inhumane, indefensible, and often unlawful—it’s also ineffective. We’re the ones who’ve invaded wild animals’ territory, so of course, encounters with them are to be expected—but it’s up to us to take the steps necessary to live in harmony with our indigenous, wild neighbors. In this instance, deterring coyotes by strictly prohibiting feeding wildlife is an important and necessary step. Please, never feed wildlife. Habitat modification—that is, making areas unappealing via humane deterrents—will also encourage coyotes to move on naturally. The bottom line is that a nonlethal approach is the only effective means of coyote control—the terrible, needless suffering inflicted on this coyote never should have occurred.

Learn More About Living in Harmony With Wildlife

Did you know that coyotes are members of the canine (dog) family? Just like all animals, they deserve the same consideration and respect that we would give our own adored canine companions who are considered part of the family.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind