A Fontana man who specializes in animal removal was charged with animal cruelty after he was caught on video shooting a coyote more than 12 times, investigators said Monday.
Fontana resident Jadat Griffith says she and her husband David thought the man who was shooting a coyote outside their home was trying to tranquilize it.
“Because I know that we do have a coyote problem — how many darts does he have to use?” Griffith said. “It was so bothersome that when I went to work I was in tears.”
The couple soon realized the coyote was yelping in pain.
“The more he was shooting him the more frustrating it got, because we were thinking it should be over by now,” David Griffith said.
The couple reported the incident last march. That is when the Humane Society of San Bernardino Valley began investigating the case.
“If you are going to euthanize or kill an animal on the field, it should be prompt and swift,” Investigative Officer Francisco Padilla said.
The man in the video is Lowell Miller, the owner of Lowell’s Wildlife Removal. He was hired by a local golf course to remove the coyotes, according to Padilla.
Miller caught the coyote with a leg hold trap and then used a 22-caliber pellet gun to euthanize the animal. That gun-size is not powerful enough to kill a coyote with one or two shots, Padilla stated.
“We found out later that it’s actually intended for small animals and paper targets,” Padilla said.
The coyote was shot more than a dozen times, mostly in the head and it took several minutes for it to die.
Miller is now facing one count of felony animal cruelty. His attorney was not immediately available for comment.