A dog was trapped in a killing neck snare last week in the Town of Hay River, Northwest Territories, according to a story from CBC News. Thankfully, the dog’s guardian was able to release the snare and the dog (Odin) without major injuries. A CBC interview with the dog’s guardian, Ken Latour, about the incident can be heard by clicking here.
According to the news report and radio interview, the incident happened on an off-leash, forested trail within town limits. For a moment, Ken wasn’t able to locate Odin but eventually found him caught in a snare. He was found in an area that had beaver carcasses cut up (likely used as bait), with seven killing neck snares set up in a ring of trees around the carcasses. Snares are commonly used to kill wild canids like coyotes and wolves, but because they are indiscriminate and often baited, dogs can become trapped in them, sometimes fatally.
Fortunately, Ken was able to release Odin from the snare, but this isn’t his first encounter with these traps. According to the radio interview, he lost one of his dogs around 20 years ago to a snare on a trapline.
There is a history of dogs becoming caught in traps in Hay River. In 2017, a dog also became trapped in a baited snare on a walking trail in the town. One dog was killed by a snare in 2015 in Hay River, set 50 meters from the guardian’s property.
Need for municipal trapping bylaws
This incident highlights the importance and need for municipal trapping bylaws to protect the public. The Fur-Bearers tracks incidents of pets becoming caught in traps on this page, and many of these incidents happen within municipal boundaries. The risks and harms that traps pose to wildlife, pets, and people in areas frequented by the public have prompted many municipalities across Canada to restrict or ban traps. A list of municipalities with trapping restrictions can be viewed on this page or in the table below.
Trapping Bylaws in CanadaTable displaying Canadian municipalities that have passed trapping-related restrictions.
We urge the citizens of Hay River to contact their council and advocate for trapping restrictions to keep the public safe and stop these incidents from happening. Contact information for Mayor and Council is listed on this page. Fortunately, Odin survived this incident, but many dogs aren’t so lucky. These are preventable injuries and deaths, but governments need to do more to protect the public from the dangers of trapping. If your municipality allows trapping, contact your local council to advocate for trapping restrictions in your community.
If you find yourself in an emergency situation and need to release your dog or cat from a trap, The Fur-Bearers created an educational video on the most common types of traps used in Canada and how to free your pet if they get caught in them. Please share the video below, as it is now trapping season in Canada which brings a higher risk to dogs and cats across the country.