Press Release

Cody Roberts Violated Wyoming’s Anti-Cruelty Law When He Tortured Wolf That He Took Into Home and Bar, According to Legal Analysis by Animal Wellness Action

No exemption protects Daniel man who bound, tortured an adolescent wolf, including parading injured animal at area bar before killing it.

Pinedale, WY — A legal analysis by the general counsel for two national animal-welfare groups says that contrary to news reports, no legal exemption shields Daniel, Wyo., resident and trucking-company owner Cody Roberts from felony charges and prosecution.

Roberts is making international news after it was revealed he had run over a young wolf with his snowmobile, bound the animal’s mouth with tape, tormented it, and then drove the creature to a local bar to mock its injuries. Only then did Roberts take the animal out back and put it out of its suffering.

A photo was leaked to a Wyoming paper in which Roberts is posing with the bound, defeated animal while holding what appears to be a can of beer. A relative later posted a photo on Facebook mocking the wolf by holding up a wolfskin and with tape around her own mouth. (attached).

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.

You can read the legal analysis by Scott Edwards, general counsel of Animal Wellness Action and the Center for a Humane Economy, in its entirety, at this link. In it, he says:

Local prosecutors have raised questions about whether the state’s animal cruelty provisions would apply to the actions of Roberts, citing exemptions in the law for “predatory animals” and suggesting that the laws only apply to domestic animals, like cats and dogs.

Such a narrow reading of the law is not accurate. The law’s reach is not restricted only to domesticated animals. The plain language of the statute makes it clear that once he took possession of the animals, he would be compelled not to violate the states prohibition on animal cruelty.

Wayne Pacelle, president of Animal Wellness Action and who worked to make animal cruelty a felony in dozens of states and to make animal cruelty a federal felony, says that Cody should not escape prosecution under statutes designed specifically to address this sort of malicious crime.

“Cody Roberts needs to be arrested for animal cruelty,” Pacelle said. “After he ran over and crushed an animal with a snowmobile, he used tape to bind the animal’s mouth shut and then he proceeded to torment the animal, psychologically and physically. That latter set of actions collectively amounts to a direct violation of the state’s anti-cruelty statute. He cannot be allowed to conduct this malicious mistreatment of an animal without legal consequence.”

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.

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

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