Fire USDA Wildlife Services Federal Trapper Jamie Olson for Animal Cruelty
  • Petitioning Tom Vilsack

This petition will be delivered to:

Secretary, U.S. Department of Agriculture
Tom Vilsack
State Director Wyoming Wildlife Services
Rod Krischke
Deputy Administrator for Wildlife Services
William Clay

Fire USDA Wildlife Services Federal Trapper Jamie Olson for Animal Cruelty

    1. Petition by

      Project Coyote

On November 2nd the Sacramento Bee and the Missoula Independent published graphic images of Wyoming-based Wildlife Services employee Jamie P. Olson's dogs tormenting and mauling trapped wildlife including coyotes, bobcats and raccoons. The articles detailed animal abuse and torture instigated by Olson, who posted these photographs (several of which are described as “work” indicating he took these while working for the government) on various websites including his personal Facebook Page and several hunting sites.

Gary Strader, a former Wildlife Services trapper in Nevada, reports in the Sacramento Bee (11.2.12) that such abuse is “very common” and was not surprised to learn about the photos. "It always was and always will be controversial. It has never been addressed by the higher-ups. They know it happens on a regular basis."

Such brutality and callous disregard for the welfare of animals is particularly egregious when done by a government employee in the course of his employment and must not be tolerated.

Please join Project Coyote, the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) and many other organizations and individuals in calling for Olson’s immediate termination and for an investigation into this and other reports of animal cruelty.

(Please click "Opt-In" when signing this petition and we will keep you informed on meaningful ways to protect coyotes and other native carnivores from wanton abuse and cruelty and to promote coexistence instead of killing.)
Thank you.

Recent signatures


    1. We're Making Progress! Important Update Below.

      Dear Petition Supporters,

      We want to provide you with an important update and thank you for signing our petition calling for an investigation into the culture of cruelty that exists within the USDA Wildlife Services (WS) agency and demanding that federal trapper Jamie Olson be terminated for his egregious abuse and torture of wildlife.

      We are very excited to announce our petition has exceeded 100,000 signatures thanks to each of you! Please help us reach—and hopefully exceed — our current goal of 150,000 signatures by sharing our petition through email and social networking sites.

      With our allies, we are making progress in efforts to expose the atrocities behind the USDA's Wildlife Services animal damage program. Last year, we filed a joint petition (with the Center for Biological Diversity and the Animal Welfare Institute) with the Obama administration to reform Wildlife Services. The petition was filed with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which oversees Wildlife Services. Astoundingly, this federal agency has no formal rules governing their practices and no public oversight! A response to the petition is required by law.

      An unprecedented audit of Wildlife Services is to follow, with several objectives, including but not limited to, "determine whether wildlife damage management activities were justified and effective". The audit of Wildlife Services by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Inspector General for reckless predator control, animal abuse and failure to account for costs was recently a nationally featured story in the LA Times.

      The secretive “killing agency” continues to receive national media attention and increased public scrutiny. In a recent Washington Post article by Daryl Fears, “USDA’s Wildlife Services Killed 4 Million Animals in 2013; Seen as an Overstep by Some,” Fears provides a partial list of some of the more than 4 million animals killed by Wildlife Services, included 75,326 coyotes, 866 bobcats, 528 river otters, 3,700 foxes, 12, 186 prairie dogs, 973 red-tailed hawks, 419 black bears and at least three eagles.

      We are also addressing this issue at the state and local levels. On June 30th, Project Coyote joined the Animal Legal Defense Fund and a coalition of conservation groups in sending formal letters to the Humboldt and Mendocino County boards of supervisors demanding the immediate termination of their contracts with the USDA's Wildlife Services program. Wildlife Services indiscriminately kills tens of thousands of native wild animals in California every year. Using a unique legal strategy, the letters make the case that the animal damage control programs operate without adequate environmental review under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and violate the Public Trust Doctrine. The letters ask the counties to undertake appropriate environmental review under CEQA and ensure proper protections. Under CEQA, the counties have a duty to review the impacts of activities that affect California's environment, including wildlife. Under the California public trust doctrine Mendocino County, Humboldt County and CDFW are obligated to regulate California's wildlife resources in a manner that benefits all citizens. The letters serve to inform the counties of their failure to follow the legal procedure mandated by CEQA and to fulfill their legal duties under the public trust doctrine. The letters also urge the counties to institute a non-lethal animal damage control program, similar to the one used in Marin County, which recognizes the ecological benefits of predators. Just one day after our coalition’s demands for contract terminations were submitted, the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors made the decision to delay renewal of their contract with Wildlife Services pending reevaluation of the issues.

      Again, we are so grateful to all of you for signing our petition and speaking out against this agency's unconscionable cruelty toward wildlife. Please share our petition with friends, family and colleagues and help us reach our goal of 150,000! Links to all news articles and news release referenced in this update can be found below.

      Thank you,
      The Project Coyote Team

    2. Humboldt and Mendocino Counties Urged to Void Contract


      A joint Press Release from the organizations listed below SAN FRANCISCO - A broad coalition of national animal and conservation groups sent formal letters to the Humboldt County and Mendocino County boards of supervisors today urging them to terminate their contracts with the U.S.

    3. Congressmen Question Costs, Mission of Wildlife Services Agency

      Congressmen question costs, mission of Wildlife Services agency

      The U.S. Department of Agriculture's inspector general will investigate a federal agency whose mission is to exterminate birds, coyotes, mountain lions and other animals that threaten the livelihoods of farmers and ranchers. The investigation of U.S. Wildlife Services is to determine, among other things, "whether wildlife damage management activities were justified and effective."

    4. Reached 100,000 signatures
    5. Feds: Investigation into Wyoming Trapper Will Remain Private

      Despite the public's right to know, the results from an ongoing investigation into Jamie Olson's alleged animal abuse and torture will not be made public following the completion of the investigation. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service claims the investigation cannot be revealed because of unspecified provisions in the Civil Service Reform Act, however public records' attorneys state there is nothing in the Act that prevents the release of information.

      As of today, Jamie Olson is still employed by Wyoming Wildlife Services, more than a year after he posted photos of hunting dogs attacking a live coyote in a leg-hold trap.

      Feds: Investigation into Wyoming trapper will remain private

      Results from an ongoing investigation into a Wyoming wildlife trapper accused of mistreating animals will not be made public upon the investigation's completion, a spokeswoman for the investigating agency says.

    6. Reached 75,000 signatures
    7. From Green Is the New Red ~ Homeland Security Warned Terrorism Officials

      Homeland Security Warned Terrorism Officials About a Petition

      A Department of Homeland Security center distributed a counter-terrorism bulletin to law enforcement warning about an online petition on the popular advocacy website The bulletin doesn't warn of any impeding violence or terrorist attacks. It begins: "A petition has been added to the website..."

    8. From The Sacramento Bee ~ Documents Show Questions about Wildlife Services

      Documents show questions about Wildlife Services probe in animal cruelty

      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.

    9. From ~ Federal Agency Gives Few Answers on Months-Long Probe

      Federal agency gives few answers on months-long probe of alleged animal cruelty

      This undated photo was allegedly posted to the personal Facebook page of Wildlife Services employee Jamie Olson.Wildlife Services/Jamie Olson This undated photo was allegedly posted to the personal Facebook page of Wildlife Services employee Jamie Olson.Wildlife Services/Jamie Olson This photo, provided by Gary Strader, shows three dogs attacking a trapped coyote allegedly as part of his work for the USDA's Wildlife Services.

    10. From The Sacramento Bee ~ Wildlife Services Tightens Dog Policy

      Wildlife Services tightens dog policy - The Sacramento Bee

      Stung by charges of animal abuse, Wildlife Services - the federal government's animal damage control agency - has adopted new guidelines for how its employees are to handle dogs in the field. The change comes after an agency employee's photos surfaced on the web in November showing his hunting dogs attacking a coyote caught in a leg-hold trap.

    11. Reached 50,000 signatures
    12. Response received from Wildlife Services

      AWI and Project Coyote received a response from the head of USDA Wildlife Services, William H. Clay, who thanked us for our letter and assured us that the allegations of animal cruelty and misconduct were being taken very seriously and that a thorough investigation of the matter is being conducted. He also stated that "WS does not condone animal cruelty and holds all employees responsible for representing Agency standards . . . WS personnel are expected to use approved and humane methods to euthanize captured or restrained animals wherever practicable, and in accordance with American Veterinary Medical Association guidelines."

      Obviously, Mr. Olson's actions were in direct violation of Agency standards and he must be held accountable. We will, of course, keep you informed of further developments and request that you please continue to share our petition with friends and family to help keep the pressure on.

      Thank you!

    13. From ~ Lawmaker accuses federal agency of 'stonewalling' attemp

      Lawmaker accuses federal agency of 'stonewalling' attempts to investigate alleged coyote torture

      This undated photo was allegedly posted to the personal Facebook page of Wildlife Services employee Jamie Olson.Wildlife Services/Jamie Olson This undated photo was allegedly posted to the personal Facebook page of Wildlife Services employee Jamie Olson.Wildlife Services/Jamie Olson A Republican congressman is accusing a government agency of "stonewalling" attempts to investigate allegations of animal abuse after graphic photos appeared online showing hunting dogs attacking defenseless coyotes.

    14. Reached 40,000 signatures
    15. Fire USDA WS Employee for Animal Cruelty, Demand Wildlife Advocates

      Latest News | Earth Island Journal | Earth Island Institute

      Fire USDA Wildlife Services Employee for Animal Cruelty, Demand Wildlife Advocates Public outraged over photographs showing hunting dogs mauling leghold-trapped coyotes, raccoons, and other wild animals Graphic images of wild animals trapped and tortured by a federal government employee went viral in late October, raising public outrage.

    16. Reached 10 signatures
    17. Background info. on this issue in the Sacramento Bee

      U.S. wildlife worker's online photos of animal abuse stir outrage - The Sacramento Bee

      Photos of animal abuse and suffering posted on a federal wildlife specialist's Facebook and other Web pages are stirring anger among wildlife advocates. The pictures show two dogs savagely attacking a coyote in a leg-hold trap and the employee posing with the tattered carcass of a coyote.

    18. Background info. on this issue:

      This culture of cruelty within USDA Wildlife Services was highlighted in a four-part cover story of the agency in the Sacramento Bee earlier this year by Pulitzer-Prize winning investigative reporter Tom Knudson that led to a Congressional request for a federal investigation and oversight hearings into Wildlife Services. Read the entire series here and see link below for letter to Congress.

      Wildlife investigation - The Sacramento Bee, Sacramento, California

      Wildlife Services is a federal agency that operates in secrecy, using brutal traps, poison and aerial gunning to kill thousands of animals, with accidental victims that include federally protected species, family pets and injured people. More than 50,000 non-target animals have been killed since 2000 with indiscriminate tools such as traps, snares and poison.


    Reasons for signing

    • Anna Java APT H03, FL
      • about 5 hours ago

      This person needs to be thrown in prison. Solitary confinement forever. No need for Barbarians.

    • Kristina Smith UPLAND, CA
      • about 10 hours ago

      This person should be in JAIL!

    • Samantha Srnsky THIEF RIVER FALLS, MN
      • about 22 hours ago

      Animals should be protected and this, is not protecting them.

    • Jessica Ruppert ANDES, NY
      • 1 day ago

      This is terrible and animals shouldn't be hurt. People like this are disgusting and should have a metal bat knock the sense into them.

    • Cara Parks WALNUTCOVE, NC
      • 3 days ago

      I love animals hate animal cruelty


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