On the day when many Canadians were spending time with family and enjoying a much deserved day off, one woman in Prince Edward Island was living a nightmare.
The CBC reported that Kim Critchley was out for a walk on December 26 with her dog, Caper, who was running in and out of a wooded area near Bolger Park Road. She found Caper, dead, in a snare not far from the road.
“There was a pile of freshly cut pig hooves and a pile of six or seven snares all around the pig hooves. [Caper] just got caught in the snare and died," Critchley told the CBC. "It was horrific to find my dog that way."
The CBC spoke with a government official who noted despite the proximity to the road and provincial walking trails, the traps were set legally by a licensed trapper. The only potential legal issue could be related to the minimum 300 metres from a home a trap must be setback, as the official said it was “very close” to that limit.
Critchley told the CBC she was surprised trapping was legal so close to trails and roads, and asked that signs be put up so pet owners can be warned of the potential danger. As usual, however, the officials stated that trappers worry their traps could be vandalised or sabotaged if signage is posted; and through their support of this logic, the political leadership of PEI must think that the loss of an inexpensive metal snare is greater than the suffering and death of a family pet.
The official also noted that he was aware of at least three other incidents of dogs being caught in snares in PEI since the snaring season opened in December 2015.
Write to Member of Legislative Assembly Robert Mitchell, who leads the Ministry of Communities, Land and Environment and oversees trapping regulations. Tell him that as a resident of PEI, you want updates to existing trapping policies that will protect all residents, not just trappers. These changes can be simple: mandating signage in the area of traps (not exact locations), tagging to ensure all traps can be identified by a government investigator, and increasing the setbacks from publicly accessible or multi-use recreational trails and roads.
If you’re not a resident, make it clear that you’re a potential tourist – and that you won’t be spending your vacation money there until these kinds of changes make it safe for all residents – including furry family members.
Work like our growing Living With Wildlife campaign is only possible with the support of monthly donors. Please consider become a monthly donor – for as little as $5 a month – and help us create a Canada that is truly fur-free.