Target: Sonny Perdue, Secretary of Agriculture
Goal: Demand justice for the family who lost their pet dog when a cyanide trap exploded near their house.
A boy and his dog, Casey, were walking near their home in Idaho when they discovered an object sticking out of the ground that resembled a sprinkler. After getting close enough to investigate it and see what it was, the object exploded and orange powder shot out.
The object was actually an M44 — a cyanide trap that is set out by the U.S. government to kill coyotes. When the trap was set off, the boy noticed his dog on the ground with red froth coming from the dog’s mouth, and ran to find his parents for help. By the time they returned, the dog had already died. The family had no idea these devices had been placed so close to their home.
Casey is one of many animals killed by U.S. Department of Agriculture’s program, Wildlife Services, every year. They are placed by the USDA to make room for human industries like raising livestock. Over 3,400 animals were mistakenly killed between 2006 and 2012 by M44s — including dogs, black bears, foxes, raccoons and more. This doesn’t include the number of coyotes that are killed as a result of being the target of these devices.
The USDA’s inaccurately named Wildlife Services should end their usage of these devices and make it their goal to find non-lethal ways of getting their work done. It is the only appropriate way to ensure this doesn’t continue to happen to more animals and that more families don’t have to endure losing their pet this way. Sign the petition below to demand these changes be made.
Dear Sonny Perdue,
The family who just recently lost their dog as a result of an M44 placed near their house deserves an apology from you and those at Wildlife Services. Not only that, but it is time to stop resorting to these devices and to find a non-lethal way of getting work done.
M44s have mistakenly killed thousands of animals, not just this family’s pet. These include black bears, raccoons, foxes and more. This is all in addition to the large numbers of coyotes that are killed as a result of being the primary target for these devices.
Wildlife Services should be aiming to protect these and all animals. Instead, you are allowing both wild animals and family pets to be killed. We encourage and ask you to stop using these devices as soon as possible.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Carla Nunziata