Wyoming Residents Outraged by Wolf Tortured at Bar; Crime Must be Prosecuted Under State Anti-Cruelty Law, Welfare Groups Say

Animal Wellness Action urges Sublette County Attorney and Sheriff to bring felony-level animal cruelty charges against perpetrator

Pinedale, Wyo., April 08, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Animal welfare groups along with a steady stream of Wyoming residents who called them Friday, are expressing revulsion and outrage in the wake of news concerning a Wyoming man who ran over a wolf with his snowmobile, taped its mouth shut, tormented it, and paraded the injured animal around a local bar before finally taking it outback to kill it. 

Two groups, Animal Wellness Action and the Center for a Humane Economy, sent a letter to Sublette County Attorney Clayton Melinkovich and Sublette County Sheriff K.C. Lehr, urging them to prosecute Cody Roberts of Daniel, Wyo., and seek felony-level penalties under the statute.

The groups sent out a press release Friday and have been receiving a constant stream of calls from outraged Wyoming residents. 

Currently, Roberts, owner of C. Roberts Trucking, LLC, has faced only a $250 fine for possession of live wildlife. He has paid the fine, and his case is currently considered closed.

The letter, signed by Scott Edwards, general counsel for Animal Wellness Action and the Center, reads in part:

Roberts’ actions clearly warrant a punishment more severe than the $250 ticket he received for possession of live wildlife—such an anemic response on the part of law enforcement will be seen by some as tacit approval of his crime and can only motivate other like-minded individuals driven by hatred of wolves to engage in similar, repugnant behavior.

The letter cites Wyoming’s anti-animal cruelty law to encourage a more meaningful prosecution of Roberts, stating “Article 10, section 6-3-1005(a)(ii) makes it a felony to 'knowingly, and with intent to cause death or undue suffering, beats with cruelty, tortures, torments or mutilates an animal.'”

The letter continues:

While the term “torment” is not defined in the statute, dragging a wild animal into a bar with its mouth taped shut and subjecting it to the severe distress and anguish it must have suffered before being brought outside to be killed is a textbook example of torment.

Wayne Pacelle, president of Animal Wellness Action and who worked to make animal cruelty a felony in dozens of states and to make animal cruelty a federal felony, says that Cody should not escape prosecution under statutes designed specifically to address this sort of malicious crimes.

“The man who committed this atrocious act of animal cruelty cannot go without punishment under state or federal law, or both,” Pacelle said. “Running over and crushing an animal with a snowmobile, binding the battered and wounded animal’s mouth shut, and deciding to further torment the creature in front of an audience rather than putting him out of his misery is the textbook definition of malicious cruelty. A remorseless, cruel monster like this is a threat to other animals, and a threat to people. The law must speak.”

Violations of § 6-3-1005 are a felony offense subject to up to two years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000, punishments Roberts fully deserves given the sheer depravity and wanton disregard for common decency displayed by his actions.

The complete letter may be viewed via this link.

In addition to submitting the letter, the two groups are creating an online petition to compel the county officials to consider the felony charge of animal cruelty against Roberts. It will be available at www.animalwellnessaction.org and www.centerforahumaneeconomy.org

Scott Beckstead, who teaches animal law and ethics at Willamette University College of Law says people who conduct this sort of vicious cruelty to animals pose a very real danger to people and animals.

Wayne Pacelle and Scott Edwards are available for interview. Please contact Julie Marshall, Public Relations Director:

720-255-9831 or julie@centerforahumaneeconomy.org

Animal Wellness Action is a Washington, D.C.-based 501(c)(4) whose mission is to help animals by promoting laws and regulations at federal, state, and local levels that forbid cruelty to all animals. The group also works to enforce existing anti-cruelty and wildlife protection laws. Animal Wellness Action believes helping animals helps us all. X: @AWAction_News.

The Center for a Humane Economy is a Washington, D.C.-based 501(c)(3) whose mission is to help animals by helping forge a more humane economic order. The first organization of its kind in the animal protection movement, the Center encourages businesses to honor their social responsibilities in a culture where consumers, investors, and other key stakeholders abhor cruelty. The Center believes helping animals helps us all. X: @TheHumaneCenter.




Letter: Wolf torture must be prosecuted as animal cruelty felony

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