Craig Miller is a 43-year old man from Minnesota. He is also one of the newest donors to PETA's membership database.
Miller pleaded guilty on Monday to three charges for illegally baiting and killing a black bear. As a result, a judge ordered him to donate $500 to PETA.
The charges stem from an incident on September 1st when Miller used dog food to bait a bear, then cut the bear's head off, took the fur and left the meat in the field. It seems like leaving the meat to rot is the criminal offense.
When Miller plead guilty, his lawyer probably told him to expect a sentence including probation, loss of hunting privileges and more than $5,000 in fines.
What Miller did not expect was for the judge to force him to make a $500 donation to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
A couple blogs that cover hunting news have called the judgement "ludicrous."
“We’ve had restitution ordered to our organization in the past,” said PETA spokeswoman Daphna Nachminovitch. “I would not say it’s common. It’s a gesture on the part of the judge to say this bear mattered and that a donation should be made in his memory. Five-hundred dollars isn’t going to make up for the suffering this bear endured.”
Since the money is going into the general fund, I bet Miller will show up in PETA's next annual report... and if he thinks the court's mandatory donation is tough, just wait until the organization tries to track him down for that renewal gift.