MEDIA RELEASE: 4 Months Jail for Illegal Coyote Killing on San Bernardino Golf Course
SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (August 5, 2021) — In Defense of Animals has welcomed the long-awaited sentencing of Lowell Miller for illegally trapping and shooting a coyote over 13 times.
On March 6, 2020, Miller, who was trained by the Humane Wildlife Control Operators in Northern California and owns Lowell’s Wildlife Removal, was filmed while he shot a coyote with an air pistol at Sierra Lakes Golf Club in Fontana, which hired him to remove coyotes from the property.
To capture the coyotes, Miller reportedly set up a possibly illegal leghold trap, which is designed to clamp down on animals' limbs with such incredible force that it tears through their skin, rips apart their muscles, and can even break their bones. Leghold traps were banned in California in 1998.
An unsuspecting coyote was caught by the trap and was shot by Miller at close range for over two minutes with a .22 air pistol, primarily in the skull. Air pistols are not an approved method of humane euthanization for coyotes. The coyote was forced to endure being shot at least 13 times while fully conscious.
Nearly 11,000 people signed In Defense of Animals’ alert urging San Bernadino District Attorney Jason Anderson to convict Miller of felony animal cruelty, and urging the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to revoke his trapping license.
A California Fish and Wildlife warden cited Miller for using an illegal trap. He was charged with one count of felony animal cruelty under Penal Code 597(a) which states "...every person who maliciously and intentionally maims, mutilates, tortures, or wounds a living animal, or maliciously and internationally kills an animal, is guilty of a crime..."
On August 4, Miller was sentenced to misdemeanor probation for one count of cruelty to an animal. Miller must serve 120 days, which are eligible for county jail weekend/work release program.
“We welcome the sentencing of Lowell Miller for the illegal trapping and brutal shooting of an innocent coyote under the guise of ‘wildlife removal.’ We condemn his actions and hope his sentencing serves as a warning to others that animal cruelty will not be tolerated or accepted,” said Lisa Levinson, Campaigns Director for In Defense of Animals. “Attempts to ‘control’ wildlife are ultimately futile, and we must work to ‘coexist’ instead. Wild animals were here first, and we should respect their rights to life and freedom.”
In Defense of Animals worked with PETA, Project Coyote, and Wildlife Emergency Services to raise awareness about this willful case of extreme animal cruelty and abuse.
Contact: Lisa Levinson, Campaigns Director, firstname.lastname@example.org, 215-620-2130
In Defense of Animals is an international animal protection organization based in California with over 250,000 supporters and a 38-year history of fighting for animals, people, and the environment through education and campaigns, as well as hands-on rescue facilities in India, South Korea, and rural Mississippi. www.idausa.org