A man who allegedly shot a coyote with a .22 air pistol in Fontana earlier this year will face animal cruelty charges, authorities said.
A complaint which was filed this month by the San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office alleges that Lowell Miller "did unlawfully, maliciously and intentionally kill a living animal" in the area of Sierra Lakes Golf Club.
The Humane Society of San Bernardino Valley (HSSBV) received a now viral video of the alleged incident on March 14, said Jill Henderson, director of development and outreach for HSSBV.
The video, which had been recorded earlier that month, showed the suspect shooting the coyote repeatedly for more than two minutes while the coyote was in a trap, Henderson said.
"Miller had been contracted by the Sierra Lakes Golf Club, through his company Lowell Wildlife Removal, to remove coyotes from the property," Henderson said. "Representatives from Sierra Lakes Golf Club stated they were not aware of the manner in which Miller was removing the coyotes and terminated services with him immediately once notified. They are not using any wildlife removal services moving forward, and are using recommendations from Fish and Wildlife to educate the community on measures to take to discourage coyotes from frequenting the area."
The weapon allegedly used by Miller is recommended for small game and targets, not for large prey or to be used as a means of humane euthanasia, Henderson said.
"Upon examination it was determined the coyote had been shot multiple times, primarily in the skull," Henderson said. "The only approved method of humane euthanasia for coyotes in San Bernardino County is by using C02 'kill box,' fire arm, or lethal injection."
There have been increasing numbers of coyotes being seen in residential neighborhoods in northern Fontana in recent years. Coyotes have been known to attack and kill small dogs and cats.