Man Fights Custody Battle After Authorities Seize His Emotional Support Coyote

Matt Stokes from Waterloo, Iowa, is at odds with local wildlife authorities after they seized his pet coyote named Drifter.

Officers of “WildThunder Wildlife & Animal Rehabilitation Sanctuary” forcefully took away Drifter to their sanctuary, and are now planning to release him back into the wild.



Matt explains that Drifter was a part of a coyote litter who were being nursed by the mama coyote in his garage. One day, the mama coyote disappeared with her pups and left Drifter behind.

Matt kept feeding Drifter and caring for him hoping that his mother would return, but she never came back for him.

As Drifter was growing up, Matt fell extremely sick and the loving coyote became his only source of comfort.

Drifter’s life started revolving around Matt, and he eventually became a “dog in a coyote’s body”. Matt feels that a docile creature like Drifter needs to be loved and not caged.

He fears that the domesticated coyote won’t survive if he’s released into the wild.


Posted by Send Drifter home on Sunday, November 17, 2019


Matt argues that Drifter is his harmless emotional support coyote, and plans to apply for a license to keep the “wild animal”.

But the officers have refused to concede to Matt, and are waiting for Drifter’s “predatory instincts” to kick in soon.


Posted by Send Drifter home on Sunday, November 17, 2019


If you wish to donate to Matt and help in his legal battle, you can visit his GoFundMe page here.

Matt has also launched a petition to bring Drifter home. You can learn more about it on his petition page here.

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Click the video below to watch Matt’s struggles as he battles the authorities to get Drifter back.

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