| For Immediate Release: July 16, 2020Contact: Randi Feilich, Project Coyote Southern Cal. Rep. (310) 498-2975, firstname.lastname@example.org|
Camilla Fox, Project Coyote Executive Director
Incident Under Criminal Investigation ~ Wildlife Protection Organizations Call for Justice
VALLEY VILLAGE, CA—California-based Project Coyote has released a video depicting a coyote pup captured in an illegally set leghold trap in the upscale neighborhood of Valley Village (adjacent to North Hollywood), and law enforcement agencies are currently investigating the incident for possible criminal violations.The video shows—in graphic detail—the coyote pup struggling in the trap, desperate to free itself, with no cover in the searing summer heat on the Fourth of July weekend when illegal fireworks and firecrackers no doubt terrorized the trapped pup further. According to neighbors, the pup likely suffered in the trap for days before local residents heard him crying. The animal’s injuries were so severe that he had to be euthanized by LA Animal Services.The coyote was trapped through a GoFundMe campaign organized by Valley Village resident Lisa Johnson Mandell who solicited money from neighbors for “humane wildlife removal.” “This was a reprehensible act of animal cruelty to a young coyote pup, separated from his mother, dying in a slow painful death,” said Project Coyote Southern California Representative Randi Feilich, and added, “Neighbors are shocked to learn that donations were used to hire a trapper to set cruel, indiscriminate and illegal leghold traps.” The GoFundMe page has since been deleted.The trapper is believed to have violated multiple state laws and is now under investigation by Los Angeles Animal Cruelty Task Force and the California Department of Wildlife. “Leghold traps were banned by California voters in 1998 so this trap set is clearly in violation of that law,” said Camilla Fox, Project Coyote Founder and Executive Director. “Moreover, California law requires that trappers check their traps daily and obtain written permission from property owners when setting traps less than 150 yards from a residence, which this trapper clearly failed to do.””Despite a state law banning leghold traps, many private trappers and ‘pest’ control businesses continue to use them in clear violation of the law,” said Fox. “Until these trappers receive more than a slap on the wrist, they will continue to flagrantly violate the law. We must crackdown on this unconscionable cruelty so another animal does not suffer such a painful and needless death.”Watch the video of the captured coyote here.Warning: Graphic ContentProject Coyote’s Coyote Friendly Communities program offers humane and proactive educational resources, tools and expertise to help communities peacefully and safely coexist with coyotes and other wild neighbors. Learn more here.