Famous Dog Trainer Plans Texas-Wyoming Motorcycle Rally For Tortured Daniel Wolf

Jonas Black, a dog trainer with millions of followers on social media, is organizing a 1,300-mile motorcycle rally from Texas to Wyoming in honor of a wolf that was tortured and killed in Daniel. He will donate all funds from the rally to wildlife groups.

Mark Heinz

May 09, 20246 min read

World renowned dog trainer Jonas Black of Austin, Texas
World renowned dog trainer Jonas Black of Austin, Texas (Courtesy: Jonas Black)

As reports of a wolf being run down with a snowmobile, tortured and killed in Daniel, Wyoming, continue to generate global outrage, a famous Texas dog trainer decided he needed to do something more than just be shocked and saddened.

Jonas Black is an Austin Texas-based trainer with a large social media audience with more than 1.7 million followers on TikTok. He decided to put that influence to use and do more in response to the Daniel wolf than just have hard feelings about it.

“I felt like I had to get off my ass and do something,” Black told Cowboy State Daily.

That something has turned out to be the Hogs for Hope motorcycle rally, an epic 1,357-mile ride — depending on the route.

He put out feelers to his social media audience, and the idea blew up. Hogs for Hope plans to leave Austin on May 23 and arrive at the Green River Bar in Daniel on May 26.

Black has named the wolf “Hope,” hence the title for the rally.

“Wolves have a strong presence in biker culture,” he said.

The bar is where the injured wolf was taken and shown off by Cody Roberts, 42, of Daniel, before being out behind the bar and killed Feb. 29.

Black has launched a Gofundme campaign in conjunction with the motorcycle trip. As of press time, it had raised $24,075 from 459 donations in less than two days.

During an informal gathering in front of the bar, Black plans to give the money raised by the rally to representatives of Wyoming Wildlife Advocates and Wolves of the Rockies.

Big Influencer

Black has the pull to make the rally a big event.

He’s best known as the founder and owner of the Austin-based K911! dog training program, and has millions of social media followers.

But even with his considerable influence, Black said he was shocked at how quickly the Hogs for Hope campaign has taken off and the amount of social media buzz it’s already created.

“This right here, it resonated with people a little more than we thought it would,” he said.

He added that he has no idea how large the group traveling to Daniel will end up being, but it’s likely to grow as the rally picks up riders along the way.

His plan is to leave Austin with only one companion, Austin Zumar, who Black describes as “my biker brother.”

“He always rides with me whenever I ride,” Black said.

Along the way, others are free to join in, he said. And not just bikers.

“People in cars, on scooters or with horses and buggies. Whatever it is, they’re welcome,” Black said.

‘Show Your Teeth’

The gathering in front of the Green River Bar will include an informal ceremony to honor the wolf, he said.

“We’re going to meet with the wildlife organizations in the spirit of honor for Hope,” Black said. “Basically, it will be a celebration of her spirit.”

He said he was particularly offended, yet touched, by video footage allegedly showing Roberts lifting the wolf’s head to kiss it, and the animal baring its teeth in response.

“The hashtag, ‘show your teeth’ honors that,” Black said. “In the last moments of her struggle, she was showing her teeth and still putting up a fight.”

Hoping For Change

The money raised through Hogs For Hope will go toward efforts to reform Wyoming’s predator hunting and animal cruelty statutes, Wyoming Wildlife Advocates Executive Director Kristin Combs told Cowboy State Daily on Thursday.

The wildlife groups want to see the practice of using vehicles to run down predators outlawed in Wyoming, she said.

Roberts allegedly ran the wolf down with a snowmobile and captured it.

“That’s not fair chase, and that doesn’t reflect Wyoming values,” Combs said.

In the hunting world, fair chase is broadly defined as hunting in such a manner that the animals have a reasonable chance of escape.

It’s also hoped that Wyoming’s animal cruelty statutes can be changed to include wildlife, particularly animals classified as predatory species, Combs said.

In much of Wyoming, wolves are classified as such and may be hunted or killed at any time, without licenses or bag limits.

Court records indicate that Roberts was cited by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department for illegal possession of a warm-blooded wild animal and forfeited a $250 bond.

Many were angry about what they perceived to be a light penalty. The Sublette County Attorney’s Office continues to investigate whether more charges can be brought against Roberts.

Will Things Turn Ugly?

Black said he’s aware of the intense emotion that the case has stirred up, but insisted he’s not planning on going to Daniel to stir up trouble.

“It’s a nonviolent gathering,” he said. “We don’t plan to linger in Daniel. We plan to present the donated funds to the wildlife organizations, have a brief ceremony and leave.”

Combs agreed that the intent of the gathering isn’t to confront or antagonize anybody.

“He (Black) is just coming to help raise awareness and raise funds and help do something about this situation where we have this gap in our laws in Wyoming. He’s made it abundantly clear that he’s coming in peace,” she said.

Black said that, as he expected, he’s received some nasty messages in response to organizing the rally, and even some “death threats.”

But he attributes those to online trolls and doesn’t think they’re representative of Wyoming’s people.

“It’s just stupid shit and stupid slurs, from anonymous sources behind burner accounts,” he said. “In a worst-case scenario, we’ll have to get the sheriff to escort us in and escort us out.”

The Sublette County Sheriff’s Office is aware of the planned event, public information officer Sgt. Travis Bingham told Cowboy State Daily on Thursday.

“We’re aware of it, and we are monitoring it,” he said. “We hope it stays peaceful.”

Mark Heinz can be reached at mark@cowboystatedaily.com.

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Mark Heinz

Outdoors Reporter