Prosecute Steve Koltvet for the Unlawful Killing of Skunks
  • Petitioning Placer County District Attorney

This petition will be delivered to:

District Attorney, R. Scott Owens
Placer County District Attorney

Prosecute Steve Koltvet for the Unlawful Killing of Skunks

    1. Petition by

      an angry citizen

As outlined by the Auburn Journal, Steve Koltvet has admitted to unlawfully drowning "at least" 18 skunks in 2014 alone. In August of 2013 Assemblymember Das Williams was successful in passing AB 789 which amended California Fish and Game's Section 4004 part G to make it unlawful to drown trapped mammals (among other inhumane methods of causing death).

Mr. Koltvelt's blatant disregard for the humane treatment of wildlife and the law cannot go un-cited. 

On February 4th, 2014, the Auburn Journal made Mr. Koltvet's disgusting "hobby" into front page news-- glorifying his actions with the article title of, "

Auburn ‘skunk man’ finds sweet smell of success with handmade trap."

California Fish and Game Code 4004, sect. G:

4004. It is unlawful to do any of the following:
(g) Kill any trapped mammal in accordance with this section by intentional drowning, injection with any chemical not sold for the purpose of euthanizing animals, or thoracic compression, commonly known as chest crushing. 

MORE INFORMATION ON DAS WILLIAMS' AB 789: 8/26/2013 - Gov. Brown Signs Williams' Anti-Animal Cruelty Bill

SACRAMENTO — California Assemblyman Das Williams' bill to protect wildlife from a cruel and inhumane death is now law.

Gov. Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 789 today, a bill that will put an end to many of the cruel practices used by the nuisance wildlife trapping industry.

"We must take great care with all of our animals," said Assemblyman Das Williams. "Even so-called 'nuisance wildlife' deserves to be treated humanely. It is time we hold trappers to a higher standard and demand that they end their severely cruel killing practices."

Private nuisance wildlife control operators (NWCOs) provide trapping services to consumers for a fee under the auspices of damage control. Some of these operators employ particularly egregious tactics that result in the needless suffering and death of thousands of animals each year.

The bill includes important provisions aimed at protecting domestic pets from being inadvertently killed in Conibear kill traps and outlaws the most heinous methods of animal killing, such as drowning, chest crushing, and injection with toxic chemicals such as nail polish remover.

"We share this planet with wildlife," Williams said. "Animals cannot speak for themselves so we must speak for them and stop their torturous, slow and painful deaths."

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Reached 1,500 signatures
    2. 2/20/14 -UPDATE

      It has been just over 2 weeks since Fish and Wildlife heard about this illegal activity. To our knowledge no charges have been filed and no citations given. We plan to send a letter, some of this supplementary information, and the signatures and comments to the District Attorney no later than this Monday.

      We have contacted all of the organizations who supported the bill and have encouraged them to contact the DA. If you are willing an able, please contact the DA and ask why the law is not being enforced.

    3. Reached 1,000 signatures
    4. QUESTIONS TO BE SENT TO CA FISH AND WILDLIFE:

      1. Under what circumstances, if any, does a F&W Warden decline to issue a citation when they know a code or state law has been violated? Why are citations not given in this situation?
      2. If a private citizen gets incorrect F&W legal advice from County Animal Control, is the private citizen exempt/immune to prosecution?
      3. If a private citizen doesn't know an act is illegal under F&W Code & they then violate that code/law, are they immune due to "ignorance of the law"?
      4. If local F&W Wardens do not realize that a highly publicized act is illegal under their own code (and advise a local Police Dept. that this same act is legal AFTER the violation), is the violator then immune from prosecution because local wardens, local police officers, and the private citizen were "ignorant of the law"?
      5. If F&W opposes a bill on the Senate/House floor (and it is the documented on leginfo.ca.gov), but that bill is passed and made into law does F&W get to decide that they will not enforce the law?

    5. 2/10/14 UPDATE: HE ATTAINED LEGAL ADVICE FROM "DOG CATCHERS"

      Mr. Koltvet has noted in the letter below that he sought legal advice from Placer County Animal Control. PCAC must have taken time away from roadkill removal, picking up of stray dogs, and killing skunks themselves to give legal advice to their client. Does the old saying, "Never get legal advice from a cop," apply to Animal Control workers? If one gets advice from Animal Control on what size trout can be taken, does this get that person out of a ticket when the trout is, in fact, too small?
      http://archive.news10.net/news/statement-from-auburn-resident.pdf

      Notice "/regulations" in the below URL:
      https://www.dfg.ca.gov/regulations/
      This page is the California Dept of Fish and Wildlife website. (Not Fish and Game website). The below message on the above webpage makes perfect sense especially "There are additional local, state and federal laws . . ." because 4004 (g) is a state law no regulation.

    6. 2/9/14 UPDATE: PETITION WANTS YOUR HELP - PART 2

      SUPPORT, CONTINUED (See Below):
      Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals - Los Angeles
      Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals - Sacramento
      State Humane Association of California
      WildEarth Guardians
      Yolo County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

      OPPOSITION : (Verified 6/25/13)
      ------> The California Department of Fish and Wildlife <-------

      http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/13-14/bill/asm/ab_0751-0800/ab_789_cfa_20130626_105025_sen_floor.html

    7. 2/9/14 UPDATE: PETITION WANTS YOUR HELP

      Please also reach out to these organizations (petition will do so later) who supported the bill on the Senate floor:

      SUPPORT : (Verified 6/25/13)
      Born Free USA (co-source)
      Humane Society of the United States (co-source)
      Action for Animals
      American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
      Animal Place
      California Animal Control Directors Association
      Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association
      Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office
      Marin Humane Society
      PawPAC
      PEACE
      Project Coyote
      Public Interest Coalition
      RedRover
      Sierra Club California

      SEE NEXT UPDATE FOR MORE ORGANIZATIONS

    8. 2/9/2014 - F&W OPPOSED LAW; IS THIS WHY IT'S NOT BEING ENFORCED?

      From Santa Barbara's IndependentNews.com on 8/23/14:
      http://www.independent.com/news/2013/aug/28/dass-wildlife-trapping-bill-signed-law/

      Supported by 20 different animals rights groups and organizations — but opposed by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife — the bill prohibits the use of body-gripping conibear traps that are bigger than six inches by six inches (unless they’re in water) and mandates the posting of warning signs when they’re set on public land. Domestic dogs and cats, Williams said, are often accidentally killed by conibears.

    9. 2/8/14 - FACTS OF WHY WE WANT CHARGES FILES

      FACT 1: As of 1/2014 Fish & Wildlife Code 4004, Sect. G became law for California. This banned drowning mammals whether local wardens, police officers, or private citizens knew.

      FACT 2: This man openly and willingly shared that he has drowned 18 skunks, which are mammals, since the beginning of 2014.

      FACT 3: Any person who violated any F&W code has done something unlawful; in this case he has openly admitted to violating Code 4004, Sect. G which is a misdemeanor according to F&W offense schedule.

      FACT 4: All of this is public information, readily available on the internet.

      FACT 5: Our judicial system is set up in a way that if any person breaks any law/code that they are held accountable for it (whether the public agrees or disagrees).

      FACT 6: Using "Ignorance of the Law" is not a defense accepted by any US court. Allowing it now begs the question, "If we allow it this time, then how many other times do we allow it?"

    10. Reached 500 signatures
    11. 2/7/14 UPDATE: NEW LAW INFO IS READILY AVAILABLE

      F&W Warden claims that Koltvet searched for info on the legality of drowning. Three of the first five search results on Google for "fish and game code drowning animals California" point to this new code (AB 789 in 2013/SB1480 in 2012):
      View Image: http://i.imgur.com/soaC2QP.jpg

    12. 2/7/13 UPDATE: IGNORANCE OF THE LAW IS NO DEFENSE

      With the latest news article showing that Fish and Game is defending this man it raises the question of WHY?
      Fish and Game is embarrassed because they told the Auburn Police Department that his actions WERE legal the morning that reports began coming in. APD gave a report to a local radio station that this was legal. After this petition called, multiple times to multiple wardens, and told them about AB789, they retracted their previous statement to APD and said it is, in fact, illegal. F&G is embarrassed because APD gave another interview stating that F&G told them the wrong information about their own code on another radio broadcast.

      Even if all of the Wardens are ignorant of their own codes it is still not a defense of committing a misdemeanor 18 times --an angry citizen

    13. 2/7/13 UPDATE #2

      SEE UPDATE #1

      CA F&G Claims there is no info on their site about AB 789. This is not true; again no research:

      I found 2 links to trapping law 4004 (g) while visiting the California Fish and Game website.

      I also found the following advice:

      There are additional local, state and federal laws that may apply to fishing, hunting, and the use of firearms, including the California Penal Code and California Fish and Game Code, and many local ordinances. It is your responsibility to know and follow the law when participating in these activities.

      The above advice has a direct link to:
      http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/calaw.html

      FISH AND GAME CODE SECTION 4000-4012
      http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=fgc&group=03001-04000&file=4000-4012

      ARTICLE 1. Trapping Provisions [4000 - 4012]
      http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?lawCode=FGC&sectionNum=4004.

    14. 2/7/13 UPDATE: FISH & WILDLIFE DEFENDS SKUNK KILLER

      http://www.auburnjournal.com/article/fish-and-wildlife-investigating-auburn-skunk-drownings

      As a misdemeanor someone breaching AB 789 provisions faces a fine of up to $1,000.“While someone could technically do jail time, it’s not likely in any case,” Foy said.

      Koltvet said in Tuesday’s story that he had researched whether his methods were legal and could find nothing on the Fish and Wildlife Website indicating that drowning skunks was unlawful. Foy said that there is nothing on the state Fish and Wildlife site and the absence has been discussed within the department Wednesday and Thursday. The change had also not been advertised in the form of a news release, he said.

      SEE NEXT UPDATE-- THERE IS INFO ON FISH AND WILDIFE'S WEBSITE

      Fish and Wildlife investigating Auburn skunk drownings

      Local auburn news. Latest Current News. Breaking News, Local newspaper's online edition with news, classifieds, and editorials.

    15. 2/6/14 UPDATE: CHANGING PETITION RECIPIENT

      CA Fish and Wildlife is responsible only for the investigation. The Placer County District Attorneys will be the ones receiving these signatures.

    16. 2/6/14 UPDATE: KOLTVET DESTROYS TRAP

      South Auburn resident Steve Koltvet was visited by state Fish & Wildlife Department wardens early Wednesday after they learned he had trapped and drowned 18 skunks since early January using what he thought was a legal method.
      But Koltvet was informed Wednesday that state law had changed Jan. 1, with new restrictions that made it illegal to drown trapped skunks. Koltvet said he had destroyed the watertight trap by the visit and, reached by phone, declined Wednesday to make further comment.Share your latest development here.
      http://www.auburnjournal.com/article/auburn-skunk-solution-starts-live-and-let-live-placer-wildlife-rescue-group

    17. Reached 250 signatures
    18. 2/5/14 UPDATE: FISH & WILDLIFE TO HOLD RADIO INTERVIEW AT NOON

      Drowning Skunks as a form of Euthanasia is illegal in California.
      http://kahi.com/blog/2014/02/04/drowning-skunks-as-a-form-of-euthanasia-is-illegal-in-california/

      The story of a man celebrated for the luring, capturing, drowning and freezing of 18 skunks in about a month created a buzz in Auburn from residents disturbed about the notion of bating and drowning what many consider smelly pests. Warden Patrick Foy with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife says the taking of nuisance animals that have done damage to property is permitted but drowning skunks as a form of Euthanasia is illegal in California since the first of the year.

      LISTEN TO 950 AM KAHI AT NOON ON 2/5/14

    19. Reached 100 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Nancy Lojas WHITTIER, CA
      • about 1 month ago

      My neighbor just drown a skunk in his backyard.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • JUNE ZETTELMEYER CROSSVILLE, TN
      • 6 months ago

      Skunks are an integral part in the functioning of the environment. If he doesn't like skunks, he can move to a city, or some other place where the environment can withstand his ignorance.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Mark Wiley PORTLAND, OR
      • 6 months ago

      Skunks are nice animals if a little pesty,

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Bonnie Pond WILSONVILLE, OR
      • 7 months ago

      This is unlawful and inhumane!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Eartha Green PORTLAND, OR
      • 7 months ago

      No excuse for abuse!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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