Dog trapped in killing neck snare in Hay River, NWT

Photo credit: Hellstone / Getty Images

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 Canada

Table displaying Canadian municipalities that have passed trapping-related restrictions.
Province/TerritoryMunicipalityBylaw #Bylaw Name
AlbertaBonnyville1466-17Animal Control Bylaw
AlbertaCanmore19-2011Hunting and Trapping By-Law
British ColumbiaCoquitlam967A By-law to prohibit the use of leg-hold traps within the boundaries of the District of Coquitlam
British ColumbiaGibsons1147A Bylaw to ban the use of Body Gripping Traps within the Town of Gibsons
British ColumbiaNorth Cowichan3740Animal Responsibility ByLaw
British ColumbiaNorth Saanich751Animal Control By-Law
British ColumbiaNorth Vancouver6611Parks Regulation Bylaw
British ColumbiaPort Hardy19-2005Parks and Beaches Bylaw
British ColumbiaSurrey13480Surrey Parks, Recreation and Cultural Facilities Regulation By-law
British ColumbiaVictoria11-044Animal Responsibility Bylaw
ManitobaWinnipeg92/2013Responsible Pet Ownership By-law
New BrunswickWoodstock120A By-Law to Prohibit Hunting & Trapping
Northwest TerritoriesYellowknife3904Snare and Trap By-Law
Nova ScotiaHalifaxP-600Respecting Municipal Parks
OntarioCambridge171-13Animal Control By-Law
OntarioFort Erie73-2021Animal Welfare By-law
OntarioFort Frances50-17Animal Control By-Law
OntarioGuelph18709Trapping Bylaw
OntarioGrimsby10-06Animal Control By-Law
OntarioNiagara Falls2019-35Animal Control By-Law
OntarioVaughan066-2020Animal Control By-Law
QuébecBaie-D’Urfé1063By-Law Concerning animals
QuébecBeaconsfieldBEAC-009Animal Welfare By-Law
QuébecHudson650-2014By-Law Concerning Pets
QuébecPointe-Claire1495By-Law Concerning Nuisances
SaskatchewanFort SaskatchewanC7-16Animal Control By-Law

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.

To learn more about snares, read our post, Killing neck snares: simple design, significant suffering.

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