A federal investigation cleared a Wildlife Services trapper of animal cruelty last December but the agency's top official later raised questions about the case, documents obtained by The Bee show.
The probe found that Wyoming trapper Jamie Olson, whose Internet photos showing his hunting dogs attacking at a trapped coyote stirred outrage among wildlife advocates, did nothing wrong.
Congressmen John Campbell (R-Irvine) and Peter DeFazio (D-Ore) asked to see a copy of the investigation but have not received one, their staffers said.
USDA investigators wrote that Olson was training his dog "how to `posture' when confronting a trapped coyote. By Olson's definition, posturing is when a dog keeps a coyote stationary."
But William Clay, deputy administrator of Wildlife Services, wasn't satisfied. "The more information that comes in on this, the more issues there seems to be," he wrote in an email. In a later email, Clay wrote: "If we want to truly prevent a dog from biting/mauling a restrained animal, the only way to do it is with a muzzle or a leash."
Clay asked investigators to re-examine the case but it is not known what they found. Agency spokesperson Carol Bannerman told Fox News this week the investigation is on-going.
Call The Bee's Tom Knudson, (530) 582-5336.