A Kennewick homeowner who found a coyote pup in his house is suing the trapper who drowned it.
Don Caraway violated animal cruelty laws and the rules of his state license, according to the lawsuit filed Thursday by Jake McChesney.
The suit filed by Bellingham lawyer Adam Karp in Benton County Superior Court also claims Caraway trespassed when he captured the animal and then drowned and buried it at his home in Kennewick.
Caraway is also accused of violating McChesney's right to stop the pup's death.
It's the second lawsuit involving the drowning of animals involving the state Department of Fish & Wildlife in less than a month.
Karp, who specializes in animal law, also is representing a county animal control officer in Whatcom County who wants state-licensed trappers to stop drowning squirrels.
That lawsuit is against the wildlife agency. The department is not named in the Tri-Cities case.
In the Kennewick case, McChesney found the young coyote in his kitchen June 18 and called the state agency.
Wildlife officials told him to kill it himself or call a trapper.
McChesney then turned to Kennewick police, who contacted Caraway, a state-licensed wildlife control operator for 17 years.
Caraway told McChesney and police that he planned to release the animal, but he instead drowned it in his yard off 27th Avenue in Kennewick.
McChesney said in the lawsuit that he would not have let Caraway take the pup if he had known he was going to kill it.
State rules for trappers ban the use of drowning in most cases, as veterinarians consider it inhumane. It also bans transporting wildlife away from where it's found without a permit. Caraway told the Herald he's not prepared to comment on the lawsuit.
Caraway previously told the Herald that drowning animals is the most humane way to kill them. He also told the Herald he didn't know he needed a permit to relocate the pup.
State Fish & Wildlife officials at the time said they are investigating Caraway's handling of the case and the pup's drowning. Officials could not be reached Monday about the status of that investigation.
The lawsuit also claims the state should have pulled Caraway's license following a 2010 domestic violence-related conviction.
Court records show Caraway entered a modified guilty plea called an Alford plea to violating a protection order with his ex-wife. Other domestic violence charges were dismissed, records show.
State law says a licensed trapper needs to be able to own a gun — a right that is revoked after certain felony and domestic violence convictions.
McChesney's lawsuit seeks to get Caraway's license pulled and asks for an unspecified amount for damages, Karp said.