Traps are indiscriminate, which means that any person or animal, young or old, can get caught and killed in traps. These animals routinely include deer, birds, endangered species and even our dogs and cats.
The government doesn't collect statistics, so no one knows precisely how many dogs and cats are caught in traps across Canada. This is also problematic because there is no real incentive for trappers to report non-target catches, especially if they are companion animals, or endangered animals (which could result in penalization). One thing is for sure: the animal victims listed below prove that so long as there is trapping, our companions will be the collateral damage.
The following is a sample of incidents reported to the media involving companion animals being caught (and sadly often killed) in traps. It should not be treated as a complete listing.
EXAMPLES OF TRAPPING INCIDENTS ACROSS CANADA
February 2017, Alberta
Digger, a family pet who typically stayed on his own property, went missing for four days. He somehow returned home with a large Conibear trap clamped onto his head. Despite the devastating action of this trap, likely set for beaver, Digger is stable and expected to fully recover. (Source: Lac La Biche Humane Society, February 4, 2017)
January 2017, Quebec
A Boston Terrier named Buster had his neck broken by a Conibear-type trap while out for a walk with his owner in a public park west of downtown Montreal. At least two of the traps were set in the park - an investigation by regional authorities is underway. (Source: Global Montreal, January 30, 2017)
January 2017, Quebec
A resident of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu came across a small cat in a leg-hold trap near a street. A screwdriver and crowbar were used to free him, and a veterinarian revealed several fractures caused by the trap. A fundraiser was created to help pay for his recovery. (Source: TVANouvelles, January 24, 2017)
January 2017, Ontario
A woman watched her dog, Tanner, die in the grip of a Conibear trap. Krista Godbout was headed to her cabin on an ATV along a public trail when Tanner was caught by the baited trap. There were no signs or warnings of the trap - and the trapper she said hello to (and who saw her with Tanner) did not inform her of traps ahead. (Source: MyKawartha.com, January 23, 2017)
January 2017, Newfoundland & Labrador
A family pet survived a trap merely because he has a long neck. While out on a popular walking trail, a family pet - a 40-pound Setter - was caught by a snare. The dog's owner, a hunter and fisherman himself, said he thinks the snare is too close to a residential area to be safe. (Source: VOCM, January 10, 2017)
January 2017, Northwest Territories
A dog is lucky to be alive after he was caught by a snare in Hay River, NWT. Though his owner didn't want to speak to the media or public for fear of reprisal, a friend explained that the baited snare - and at least one other nearby snare - were alongside a popular trail commonly used by families and dogs. (Source: CBC.ca, January 10, 2017)
December 2016, Saskatcheawn
Sookie, a Great Pyrenees, enjoyed the large area available to her and another dog in Shellbrook, Saskatchewan. But on December 21, she didn't come home after a stroll. It was until Christmas Eve that Sookie managed to get home, her front paw entangled in a snare, which may have been set illegally close to her owner's home. The leg was amupated due to the impact of exposure and the snare. (Source: CBC.ca, January 1, 2017)
December 2016, PEI
Cooper, a Poodle-Yorkie mix, was killed in front of his owner after wandering into a Conibear trap set for beavers near Alaska, Prince Edward Island. Officials noted that the trap was set legally and by a registered trapper, so there is no recourse for Cooper's family. His owners had no idea traps were set in the area. (Source: CBC.ca, December 22, 2016)
December 2016, Newfoundland
A family lost their beloved adopted dog, Doug, when he was killed by a snare only 10 feet off a public road. The owners admitted that Doug was off leash, but noted they had no idea traps were being used in the area - and such knowledge could have kept Doug alive. (Source: CBC.ca, December 5, 2016)
November 2016, Newfoundland
A rescue organization was horrified to see deep gashes on the sides of an 8-week-old kitten who was found with a wire snare wrapped around her stomach. They asked the question: kittens are normally in groups - so where are the rest? (Source: The Western Star, November 25, 2016)
March 2016, NWT
A dog was lucky to survive after he was caught in a snare and broke free of its anchor point in a small community. It took rescuers several hours to free him and he is recovering from bloodshot eyes, a swollen face, and tissue damage. (Source: CBC.ca, March 17, 2016)
February 2016, Alberta
One dog was killed and at least one other injured by the same set of snares in rural Alberta. The snares were set around a large bait pile that included wildlife parts and livestock, and was likely set for coyotes. (Source: CBC.ca, February 15, 2016)
January 2016, British Columbia
A dog named Almoe who had protected his owner from a bear and helped him grieve the loss of his wife to cancer was killed by a baited snare set only 10 feet from a publicly accessible roadway. He died in the arms of his owner. (Source: CBC.ca, February 2, 2016)
January 2016, Newfoundland
Two beagles were found suffering in snares after a nearby homeowner heard their howls of pain throughout the night. The snares were set near a popular walking trail, and the two dogs - one of whom was described as unresponsive - were taken by animal control to a veternarian. (Source: CBC.ca, January 29, 2016)
November 2015, Newfoundland
A popular walking trail became a site of torture for a small dog and his owner when a leg-hold trap, likely set to catch beavers or muskrats, grabbed a hold of his leg. Though trapping is not permitted in the park, officials say they don't know if the trap was in the park or on private property. (Source: GulfNews.ca, Dec. 7, 2015)
August 2015, British Columbia
It took several weeks of rehabilitation, but a cat nicknamed trapper was eventually placed with a foster home. The rescue who saved him in Invermere say he was caught in a trap for as long as 10 days. His leg had to be amputated due to the severity of his injuries.. (Source: Inveremerevalleyecho.com, Sept. 2, 2015)
August 2015, British Columbia
A family cat dragged home a leg-hold trap in Penticton, confusing his owners. Fortunately, the feline was not injured by the trap, but it did lead the family to ask why such traps are still used - and why someone would choose to use them. (Source: Infotel.ca, August 12, 2015)
July 2015, Northwest Territories
A dog disappeared from the home of a Hay River, NWT family and was found days later, dead in a snare. The trap was thought to have been an abandoned wolf snare, which had been sitting unchecked for years. (Source: CBC, July 15, 2015)
May 2015, Quebec
A woman had to watch her duck tolling retriever suffer in a Conibear trap only 15 feet from a paved path in Trois-Rivières. Passersby were able to help remove the trap and he was treated by a local veterinarian for injuries around his neck and ears. (Source: LaPresse, May 28, 2015)
January 2015, Rigaud, Quebec
Eighteen-month-old Greater Swiss mountain dog Mackenzie was on leash with her owner in an area where snowshoers were commonly seen. After examing a tree trunk, Mackenzie's head began entangled in a Conibear type. It took 30 minutes for her owner to pry her loose from the trap, causing significant damage to her mouth. The estimated veterinary bills are $800.
(Source: Montreal Gazette, February 3, 2015)
January 2015, West Kelowna, BC
A cat was brought to a rescue with a severe leg wound. It is believed he had been caught in a leg-hold trap and then released by a trapper with no further aid. A West Kelowna veterinarian volunteered services as the cat, who was named Phoenix, had to have his leg amputated.
(Source: Castanet, January 29, 2015)
January 2015, Prince Edward Island
Two dogs went missing while their owner worked in her barn. After a frantic, 30-hour search, they were discovered in snares by a local trapper. In an interview, the Chief conservation officer for PEI indicated that at least five other dogs had been caught in traps since the season opened in November.
(Source: CBC.ca, January 15, 2015)
December 2014, Kawartha, Ont
Another dog was killed in a Conibear trap only 20 feet off a public trail. The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources began warning residents to keep their dogs on-leash when using any public trails as trappers do not need to post signs.
(Source: MyKawartha.com, December 20, 2014)
December 2014, Wabush Lake, Nfld
Lucky lived up to his name when he was out for a run around the popular lake with his family. A leg-hold trap captured the dog, whose family was fortunately able to remove it before any injuries were incurred. The owners noted that the area where the trap was set is popular for children, families and dogs.
(Source: CBC.ca, December 18, 2014)
December 2014, Stirling, Ont
The Belleville Intelligencer reported the death of a mid-size dog in a Conibear trap on the Heritage Trail, a popular all-season multi-use trail. The kill-trap was set within 30 feet of the trail.
(Source: Intelligencer.ca, December 12, 2014)
November 2014, Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Nfld
Bella, a labrador mix, was caught in a leg-hold while out for a walk. A good Samaritan passerby was able to get tools to help free Bella, but she still broke 17 teeth and injured her paw while in the trap. The medical bills and associated travel costs are estimated at over $5,000.
(Source: CBC, November 25, 2014)
October 2014, Kings County, NS
While walking on a rural road, Fletcher the dog was caught in a leg-hold trap set for coyotes. Fortunately, Fletcher was well-trained and did not panic until he was released from the trap by a family member who arrived on scene later.
(Source: The Chronicle-Herald, October 21, 2014)
August 2014, York, ON
A cat named Minour came home bleeding from both sides of her mouth, with portions of a twisted wire snare still encircling her tiny neck. Despite her injuries, the cat survived.
(Source: York Region News, August 22, 2014)
June 2014, Sherwood Park, AB
Hudson, a purebred dachsund, was caught by a Conibear trap while walking with his family in a popular trail in the Sherwood Park, Alberta area. The vet bill totalled $3,000, and his owner, Merideth Ball, said she wasn't informed by the county that trapping of any kind was occurring - nor were there any signs indicating such activity.
(Source: Sherwood Park News, June 19, 2014)
June 2014, Campbell River, BC
A young cat came home dragging a leg-hold trap in the small town of Campbell River, BC. Bowser, a six-month old kitten, had a severe, open wound half way between his toes and his ankle; due to his small stature, amputation was not necessary. The trap was deemed illegal - it did not have the minimum rubber strips or off-set now required.
(Source: Courier Islander, June 13, 2014)
June 2014, Saskatoon, SK
A domestic cat was seen terribly injured in an illegal leg-hold trap. The trap - an older model of modern leg-holds, had crushed her paw. Two passersby were able to catch her and remove the trap, but she got away before any medical attention could be acquired. The cat was seen in a public park - it is unknown if that was the original location of the trap.
(Source: CTV Saskatoon, June 4, 2014)
January 2014, St. Mary's Lake, BC
Rosie, a three-year-old German shepherd/Siberian husky cross was caught and severely injured in a Conibear trap. Designed to be "quick-kill", the Conibear trap is touted as by the industry as being "certified humane". Luckily, Rosie was not killed instantly, but she suffered in the trap for hours before finally being released. The trap was located only 30 metres off the road and was concealed and baited with meat.
(Source: DailyTownsman.com, Jan 16 2014)
July 2013, North Vancouver, BC
A woman running on the Grouse Grind trail was tripped by a snare trap. She managed to untangled the wire around her leg to set herself free. The RCMP were contacted.
(Source: North Shore News, July 21, 2013)
June 2013 Creston, BC
A dog was killed in a 330 Conibear that was set to kill beavers. Ariel, a collie-shepherd cross was found dead, tossed aside in a dyke, with the trap removed from her neck. The family is devasted.
(Source: CBC news, June 7, 2013)
April 2013 Yellowknife, NWT
A year-and-a-half old Labrador retriever was caught by the neck in a snare trap near the Kam Lake area. The dog's owner was able to free her using a pair of wire cutters.
(Source: Northern News Services, Apr 3, 2013)
March 2013 Lunenburg County, NS
Parker, a 9 year-old Beagle, was killed in a trap. The trap was set only 140 yards from the dog's home.
(Source: CBC News, Mar 23, 2013)
February 2013 Bridgewater, NS
A dog named Tiko, a cocker spaniel, was trapped in a snare. The snare was so tight owner Karen Dorey says her dog started to foam at the mouth. Luckily, she was able to free her animal.
(Source: CBC News Nova Scotia, March 2, 2013)
February 2013 Bridgewater, NS
A dog named Indy, a six-year-old Siberian Huskey, was trapped in a snare. The dog was then shot and killed by a trapper who mistakenly thought the dog was a coyote.
(Source: CBC News Nova Scotia, March 2, 2013)
February 2013 Timmins, ON
A dog named Brutus was caught in a Conibear trap in a residental area. The owner was able to free his dog and the animal survived his injuries.
(Source: CTV news, Feb, 2013)
January 2012 Kelowna, BC
A cat was found with her leg slammed shut in a Conibear trap. The cat sustained severe nerve damage and required extensive veterinary treatment, which was paid for by the Kelowna SPCA. Named ‘Miracle”, the cat will be put up for adoption once she is fully healed.
(Source: Kelowna SPCA)
January 2012 Hemmingford, QC
Leila Basen and Don McEwen were walking their dog, Lola, along a recreational trail. Suddently, Lola became caught in a Conibear trap that was placed near the path. Don managed to get the dog free and rushed to a veterinarian. Sadly, due to her extensive injuries, Lola was euthanized.
(Source: CBC News Montreal, Jan 31, 2012)
February 2012 Calgary, AB
The Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society (AARCS) responded to a call about an injured dog in rural Alberta. The dog, Jeannie, was found with her leg bone protruding out from the hock. The attending veterinarian believes the dog chewed off her leg to escape a trap. The wound was so severe, the dog’s right hind leg was amputated. Jeannie is expected to make a full recovery and will be up for adoption once she is fully healed.
(Source: CNews Calgary, Feb 14, 2012)
February 2012 Winnipeg, MB
Cam Abell's five-year-old chocolate lab dog, Charlie Brown, became caught in a snare trap near his home near Richer. Charlie Brown bit Abell as he tried to free him from the trap. The frightened dog survived, but the owner received 25 stitches on his arm that he sustained during the dramatic rescue.
(Source: Winnipeg Sun, Feb 21, 2012)
February 2012 Surrey, BC
A barred owl was found dragging a leg-hold trap on his talons in Kennedy Park near a popular walking trail. The trap cut the bird’s skin down to the bone. The owl was transported to a wildlife rehabilitation centre and at this time his future remains uncertain.
(Source: Surrey Now, Mar 1, 2012)
March 2012 Carman, MB
An RCMP received a complaint of a dog caught in the Dead Horse Creek area. The dog owner discovered three traps in the creek and removed them with the intention of giving them back to the trapper. The trapper was intending to trap raccoons but the dog was trapped instead. The dog is now recovering and is expected to survive. No laws were broken by the trapper.
(Source: Carman Valley Leader Manitoba, Mar 6, 2012)
March 2012 Merritt, BC
The two-year-old golden shepherd cross named Marley had been missing from his home since for weeks. Passers-by on Highway 8 were alerted to his situation by his cries on March 25. Experts believe the dog was struggling for at least two days because he was dehydrated and malnourished. Marley is still not able to put his full weight on his leg as a result of the trap.
(Source: Merritt Herald, Apr 3, 2012)
April, 2012 Yahk, BC
A 3-year old miniature pinscher named Rocky was trapped in a Conibear trap, set by a licensed trapper. The dog survived but sustained severe injuries to his nose/snout. Media reports suggested the man was using the trap in an effort to kill neighbourhood cats.
(Source: Rocky's guardian, Apr 2012)
April 2012 Dartmouth, NS
A border collie became tangled in a snare trap in Shubie Park. Dog owners were warned through social media that other traps could be in the area.
(Source: Chronicle Herald Nova Scotia, April 16, 2012)
April 2012 Calgary, AB
The Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society (AARCS) rescued a German shepherd with a large metal leg hold trap on her leg. The dog is now recovering in foster care.
(Source: AARCS, Apr 2012)
April 2012 Dorintosh, SK
A cocker spaniel-cockapoo cross was killed when he walked into a baited Conibear trap that was set in a local resident’s yard. The trap was intended to kill skunks.
(Source: Meadow Lake Progress Saskatchewan, May 9, 2012)
May 2012 Cowichan, BC
A dog was caught in a snare trap set near McClure Lake. The dog was quickly freed by his owner and managed to survive.
(Source: Cowichan Newsleader, May 4, 2012)
July 2012 Montreal, QC
A neighbourhood cat receives emergency medical care after being found under a Montreal North balcony with its front paw caught in a leg-hold trap.
(Source: Global Montreal, July 12, 2012)
November 2012 Grand Beach Provincial Park, MB
Rob Shura and his dog Pippin were walking through the park on Nov. 22, about 10 metres off a main trail, when she was caught in a Conibear trap. Shura tried to free the dog, but she died in his arms.
(Source: CBC News Manitoba, Dec 2, 2012)
December 2012 Oyama, BC
Leaf Angrignon and his dog Sofie were walking on a forest service road near Oyama Lake Road. Sofie got caught in a Conibear trap. Just before Sofie started to lose consciousness, Leaf and a companion managed to pry open the trap and saved her. Local conversation officers spoke out in the media saying while this incident is unfortunate, warning signs are not required under the law and it is completely legal to set traps on crown land.
(Source: Central Okanagan News, Dec 18, 2012)
December 2012 Okanagan BC
An 11 year-old yellow labrador named Niki was killed in a Conibear trap near Baerg Forest Service Road in the Okanagan. The dog was walking with her owners when she went into the forest and was trapped and killed.
(Source: Castanet News, Jan 3, 2013)
January 2011 Smith Falls, ON
An 11-year-old golden retriever dog ran into a neighbor’s baited 8-inch Conibear trap. The dog died. The owner of the farm had no warning signs on his property, but after the incident agreed to post “no trespassing” signs. The owners of the dog had no idea that the farmer was trapping.
(Source: yourottawaregion.com, Jan 3, 2012)
April 2011 Sechelt, BC
A three-year-old dog named Sammie was caught in a leg-hold trap while out walking along a trail in West Sechelt with her owner, Vicki Starfire. The veterinary bill for Sammie was $680.
(Source: Coast Reporter, Apr 9, 2011)
June 2011 Gibsons, BC
Mui Mui, a black cat, was caught in a Conibear trap on a neighboring property. The trap was attached to the fence by a hook and the cat was ensnared between the trap’s clamps. The cat survived and the vet bill was reported to be over $1000. That same month, the Town of Gibsons passed a bylaw to ban the use of the leg-hold, Conibear and snare trap.
(Source: Coast Reporter News, Jun 24, 2011)
December 2011 Mount Pearl, Newfoundland
Robert Emberly was walking along a moose trail on a path off George’s Pond Road in St. John’s when he came across a trail of meat leading into a small clearing in the brush. Following the meat, Emberley suddenly got his foot caught in a snare. He was able to untangle himself and contacted the local media to voice his opposition to trapping.
(Source: The Telegram St. Johns, Dec 1, 2011)
December 2011 St. John's, Newfoundland
Riley, a Labrador-terrier mix, died after being caught in a coyote snare while on a walk. Owner Mark Furlong said the snare wasn't marked and was located about 1 kilometre from the highway.
(Source: The Telegram St. Johns, Jun 19, 2012)
February 2010 Kelowna, BC
A six-year-old German shepherd mix named Sasha was killed in a Conibear trap. The trap was set 10-15 feet from the road. Sasha’s owner was reported as saying, “I couldn’t get the trap off, and there was nothing I could do. I was trying my hardest to get the trap off her head, but I couldn’t. I just held her until she died.” The trap was legally set.
February 2010 Casselman, ON
A border collie, Koby, and her owner were both caught in a leg hold trap. The owner had to drag the entire tree branch home with her with the dog attached to it in order to get help. They both survived but the owner had fingers cut to the bone. The log had 3 traps set to it, which are believed to be for coyotes.
March 2013 Hagensborg, BC
Two dogs, a german shephard cross and her 10-month old puppy were out walking in a nearby forest. Sadly, the dogs went 'missing' and the owner was not aware there was an active trapline nearby. A skull of the puppy was later found with top head shot bullet holes. The owner believes both dogs were trapped and killed.
June 2010 Parksville, BC
While on a leash walking alone on a logging trail, a rottweiler named Little Buddy had both front paws caught in a leg hold trap (one paw in each trap). The dog was rushed to a local veterinarian. While the dog survived his injuries, the owner says the dog now suffers from emotional trauma/post-traumatic stress/behaviour disorders.
(Source: Rob Adams, Little Buddy's guardian)
December 2010 Smith Falls, ON
A border collie dog, Mocha, was off leash in a golf course and died in a Conibear trap. Mocha’s neck was caught in the trap and her owner could not release it. There were no warning signs on the golf course but the director assured the public that there will now be signs indicating the presence of traps.
(Source: yourottawaregion.com, December 21, 2010)
December 2010 Yellowknife, NWT
A border collie named Heidi died alone on a Back Bay island after her left foot was caught in a leg-hold trap, which had been illegally set within city limits. Heidi was found by a family friend on one of the three islands near Ndilo. She appeared to have dragged the tree the trap was tied to, trying to get home.
February 2009 Manitoba, MB
A border collie dog, Sula, was caught in a leg-hold trap. She managed to chew off her front leg, but did manage to survive after receiving extensive veterinary care. The trap was illegally set.
(Source: Winnipeg Free Press, Feb 21, 2009)