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Wyoming Wildlife Abuse



In February of 2024, Cody Roberts, a Wyoming citizen, chased down a wild wolf on a snowmobile, ran her over, taped her mouth shut, and paraded her alive and injured around a local bar, before taking her outside and shooting her for her pelt.1


“Whacking” is a perfectly legal action that allows people to chase predators on snowmobiles to the point of exhaustion before killing them to “prevent damage to livestock”.1 Capturing a live wolf and parading her around a bar while allegedly using an electric shock collar on her any time she moved is, obviously, not legal. However, given the lack of charges from the local municipality, the state of Wyoming, or the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, this is not considered a felony act of cruelty because cruelty laws in wildlife are lax and wolves are not considered endangered in this area.


Cody Roberts received only a $250 fine for “Importation and Possession of Live Warm-Blooded Wildlife” based on the laws of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.1


This is a truly devastating and appalling statement on behalf of how the legal justice system views not only domestic animals but also wildlife. 


We at Worldwide Vets and, as a whole in the veterinary profession, dedicate our lives to maintaining the health and welfare of any animal regardless of species, breed, or size. So, to note these kinds of actions are only worth a $250 fine is devastating and must be addressed. 


Some of you may know me and my background already, but my name is Bailey and I am a Registered Veterinary Technologist (BAS-VT) and was a Certified Animal Control Officer and Humane Investigator for 5.5 years. 


I can attest with first-hand knowledge that our animal neglect and cruelty laws are NOT where they need to be in most places around the United States. In most circumstances, people only get a slap on the wrist for some of the most heinous treatments because “this was their first offense”. I can talk about this subject for ages, but the point I want to make in this case is that the laws of domestic animals are immensely better than the laws protecting wildlife cruelty and, as a profession, this is something that we need to address as a whole.


Veterinary professionals play a crucial role not only in the health and well-being of animals but also in advocating for their welfare. Speaking up against animal abuse is essential for our profession to maintain an ethical standard of treatment.


Veterinarians and veterinary professionals are often the first line of defense against animal abuse. They have the expertise to recognize signs of abuse or neglect, whether it's physical injuries, malnutrition, or behavioral indications. By speaking up and reporting suspected cases of animal abuse, they can intervene to protect vulnerable animals and, potentially, people from further harm or domestic violence situations.


Veterinary professionals have a duty to uphold ethical standards and promote compassionate care for all animals. They are entrusted with the responsibility of advocating for those who cannot speak for themselves, ensuring that their rights and welfare are respected and safeguarded.


Speaking up against animal abuse helps raise awareness and educate the public about the importance of treating animals with kindness and respect. Veterinary professionals can use their platform and expertise to influence policies, promote humane practices, and support initiatives aimed at preventing cruelty to animals.


In essence, by speaking up against animal abuse, veterinary professionals uphold their ethical obligations, protect vulnerable animals, and contribute to building a more compassionate society for both humans and animals alike.


Given the atrocity of Cody Robert’s punishment, I urge people within the veterinary profession to look at your local laws regarding animal cruelty. How are these laws enforced? Do they also pertain to wildlife? If the laws are not up to your standards, I urge you to raise awareness at city council meetings or by contacting your state representative. 


We cannot sit idly by while animals in these situations suffer. While it may not affect us directly, we CAN make a change with awareness of these issues because, unfortunately, these issues only get raised after something as devastating as the torture of a female wolf. 


If you would like to help urge Wyoming lawmakers to address wolf and coyote whacking, relist wolves as endangered species, and encourage Mr. Roberts to receive felony cruelty charges, you can find all information necessary in the links below. 




Resources:


1 Wilkinson, Todd. “Yes, It’s Legal To Run Down Wolves and Coyotes With Snowmobiles In Wyoming.” Yellowstonian, April 15, 2024. https://yellowstonian.org/yes-its-legal-to-run-down-wolves-and-coyotes-with-snowmobiles-in-wyoming/



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