Press Release

Animal Groups Call on Wyoming Governor to Initiate Key Reforms to Protect Wolves from Abject Cruelty

Condemnations of Cody Roberts must be backed up with common-sense policies

Washington, D.C. — While animal-welfare groups today applauded Gov. Mark Gordon for expressing “outrage” about “reckless, thoughtless and heinous actions” from one individual, it is essential that the follow-up include practical legal reforms to prevent a recurrence of this kind of savagery. 

The governor was referring to recent outrage over Daniel, Wyo., resident Cody Roberts. Roberts ran over an adolescent female wolf with his snowmobile, bound the injured animal’s mouth with tape, tormented and tortured her, and paraded the battered animal in front of patrons at a local bar before dragging her out back and ending her torment. 

The sickening acts of unwarranted and serial violence against an innocent animal have provoked worldwide condemnation, as well as statements of disgust from many leading officials in Wyoming. Many sportsmen have condemned his behavior because it is at odds with norms of responsible hunting.

Wayne Pacelle, president of Animal Wellness Action and the Center for a Humane Economy, urged Governor Gordon to lead efforts to institute reforms by the state legislature and the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission.

“While no one could anticipate Cody Roberts’ savagery, the conscious attempt by policymakers to provide no protections from horrible methods of killing is not acceptable either,” Pacelle said. “Wyoming does not even forbid running an animal down in a snowmobile. Cruel practices must be forbidden, and limits and restraints must be enshrined in law.”

Specifically, Pacelle said, Animal Wellness Action and the Center for a Humane Economy are calling for four key changes to Wyoming’s wildlife policies. 

  1. Ban the use of snowmobiles, other vehicles as a means to legally kill animals. Blunt-force trauma and crushing by vehicle is neither humane nor sporting and should never be allowed under any circumstances.
  2. Abolish the “predator zone.” There should never be open wildlife killing zones, without license or limit, anywhere in the state. 
  3. Prohibit the use of hunting dogs. Using dogs to track and attack predators like wolves and coyotes is a form of legalized animal fighting that should never be allowed.
  4. Ban the use of wire snares. These snares are like landmines for wildlife, resulting in strangling and protracted misery. 

“In the vast majority of the state, there are no kill-limits on wolves and no restrictions on wolf killing methods, including siccing packs of dogs on wolves and setting out strangling neck snares,” Pacelle added. “These policies are out of alignment with sporting values and the proper utilization of animals. The absence of even modest protections for wolves betrays an attitude of hatred and intolerance that invites the Cody Roberts of the world to act in ways at odds with norms of decency.”

Roberts, owner of C. Roberts Trucking, LLC, paid a $250 fine for possession of live wildlife. He has not been charged, however, with felony animal-cruelty, though Wyoming state law applies to the case and does not provide an exemption for wolves. A legal analysis demonstrating that the fact pattern in this case warrants prosecution can be read here.

Animal Wellness Action has created an online petition to encourage local law enforcement to charge Roberts with the felony. That petition may be viewed here.

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. Twitter: @AWAction_News

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 and the degradation of the environment and embrace innovation as a means of eliminating both. The Center believes helping animals helps us all. Twitter: @TheHumaneCenter