Baxter, an adorable little beagle, is ready for a new home. But he’s one of the lucky few. Western Nova Scotia is the stomping grounds of many abandoned dogs who meet unfortunate fates in the grip of leg-hold traps, Conibears and snares.
Baxter is one example.
He was found with a serious injury from a snare, a legally-set trap targeting coyotes. Fortunately for Baxter, Nahleen Ashton, a supporter of The Fur-Bearers, was there to help. She was able to get him into a veterinarian to treat the lacerations and bruising from the snare, and set him up with Good Bones Dog Rescue.
This isn’t the first time Nahleen has helped dogs injured by snares. It isn’t the first time a dog, likely abandoned by a hunter, was injured by traps. And it, unfortunately, won’t be the last.
The story of Baxter highlights two pressing issues in rural Nova Scotia: trapping and the treatment of domestic dogs.
New regulations are underway in the Atlantic province. Last week the province announced a draft policy that would limit the time dogs are allowed to be tethered outdoors, outdoor care and even abandonment of companion animals. These are all positives – but this is also the province that announced new regulations for fur farmers, which were then rewritten by fur farmers.
The issue of snaring – let alone the use of leg-hold traps and Conibears – is a significant one in Nova Scotia. Stories of dogs being caught and injured or killed are becoming common. There remains no tracking of these incidents, no use of warning signs and no protection for fur-bearers – be they coyotes, non-targets, or domestic dogs.
We are strong proponents of supporting local rescues and shelters – we hope you are, too. But volunteers and non-profits can only do so much. The province of Nova Scotia needs to take a long, hard look at their future and decide what’s important: trappers, or the thousands of animal lovers who vote.
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