PETA Calls for Investigation Into Reported Use of Sodium Pentothal by Employee of Animal Pest Management Services, Inc.
For Immediate Release:
May 3, 2017
David Perle 202-483-7382
Arcadia, Calif. – This morning, PETA sent an urgent request to California law enforcement, the California State Board of Pharmacy, and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration seeking a formal investigation into what may have been the illegal use of sodium pentothal—a controlled substance—on coyotes by an employee of Chino-based Animal Pest Management Services, Inc. (APMS), one of the biggest exterminators in Southern California. Under federal and state law, sodium pentothal must be administered by or under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian—a certification that the employee doesn’t have.
In the letter, PETA references allegations raised from a constituent and discussed during an Arcadia City Council meeting on February 21 that a longtime APMS employee injected a trapped coyote with a mystery substance in a constituent’s backyard. This assertion is supported by a 2009 Los Angeles Times article that likens the employee, Jimmie Rizzo, to an “Angel of Death” and specifically mentions his use of sodium pentothal—a Schedule III controlled substance under state and federal law—on coyotes.
“Coyotes and other wild animals are being harmed and killed by ‘pest management’ companies while they’re already struggling to exist peaceably in an ever-shrinking environment,” says PETA Senior Vice President Lisa Lange. “PETA is calling on authorities to investigate immediately whether a controlled substance was used illegally and, if reports are true, to throw the book at those responsible.”
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—notes that “nature’s dogs” are an integral part of California’s ecosystem. In addition to eating vegetables and fruits, as predators, they help keep populations of smaller animals such as squirrels and rats in check. Trapping and killing them is both unnecessary and harmful, and residents can avert human-coyote conflict simply by using motion-activated lights or sprinklers at night to scare them away, not leaving pet food outside, and never leaving animal companions unattended outdoors.
For more information, please visit PETA.org.