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  • Brooks Fahy / Predator Defense

    A male coyote is caught in a leg-hold trap in Oregon. Although this is not one of the photos by trapper Jamie Olson that sparked the new furor, the trap is typical of those used.


    U.S. wildlife trapper Jamie Olson is shown with Bear, his Airedale, on a website that also shows the dog approaching a coyote in a leg-hold trap. Another series of photos, on Facebook, was removed by Wednesday, after the photos were spotted by an environmentalist. Olson's agency, Wildlife Services, is investigating.

Documents show questions about Wildlife Services probe in animal cruelty

Published: Saturday, Jun. 15, 2013 - 11:38 am

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.

Read other stories in The Bee's wildlife investigation series.

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.

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Read more articles by Tom Knudson

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