Jake McChesney from Washington found a truly unexpected guest in his kitchen when he got back home one day in June. Both he and his dog were stunned to find a young pup hiding in the room and even more stunned to realize that the visitor was not a young dog at all but a baby coyote. The puppy was visibly in a poor shape and looked terrified, which spurred McChesney to act right away, The Dodo reports. He called a local animal rescue, but, unfortunately, they were not open. He then decided to call Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), certain that they would help with the scared and dehydrated coyote. But instead of being given assistance, he was advised to shoo the animal out of the house and when he suggested that it was not a good idea, the WDFW person he was talking to suggested to … shoot the animal.
Shocked by the conversation, McChesney managed to get a hold of Don Caraway, a state-authorized wildlife control officer, with the help of local police department. The officer came into the house, captured the coyote, and promised to release the baby into the wild where, as he said, the mother would be able to find the pup. McChesney finally felt like the animal was in good hands and he was sure that the wildlife control officer would take care to help the baby. But that was not what happened. For no reason other than cruelty alone, Caraway not only did not release the coyote but drowned and buried the young animal.
McChesney’s efforts to save the baby coyote were cut short by a senseless act of cruelty. The officer’s actions are completely inexplicable and cannot be tolerated, especially in a person holding Caraway’s position. The WDFW instructs its officers to euthanize animals, only via humane methods – what happened in this case was neither humane nor justifiable.
Coyotes and other wild animals being killed for no reason by Wildlife Services officers is, unfortunately, not a novelty. According to a report from the Center for Biological Diversity, in 2015, the US Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services branch was responsible for the deaths of 3.2 million innocent animals. What is even more alarming, is that the department kills even more animals than it reports. Officers typically kill predators, like coyotes, bears, or mountain lions, for the safety of livestock. In reality, nonlethal strategies for controlling livestock predation (like guard animals or chemical repellents) have been found to be more effective than lethal ones (killing of predators).
A person with no respect for wildlife, willfully lying about his intentions concerning a living being, and failing to provide an animal with the help they need should not be in a position that Caraway is in. Click here to sign a petition asking the WDFW to put the welfare of animals and their allies first and end their professional relationship with the officer who drowned the coyote pup.
Image source: jl1262/Pixabay