Dogs and cats caught in traps

Two pictures, one of a dog, one of a leg-hold trap
Left, a Golden Retriever sits happily on a snowy Canadian trail. Right, a common leg-hold trap.
Dog photo by Chema Velasco / Getty Images

Walking along a public trail with a furry family companion should be peaceful and enjoyable; but because of traps, it can become a harrowing experience.

It’s difficult to know how many dogs and cats are caught, injured or killed in traps across Canada because it’s not mandatory for trappers to report these incidents, nor do governments proactively collect or publish this information.

Trapping regulations, though different in each province, do not require:

  • Posted warnings of trapping activity
  • ID tags allowing for law enforcement to contact trappers
  • Setbacks from publicly accessible trails
  • Warnings to pet owners, despite use of bait

In 2023, The Fur-Bearers published data in our brief, Collateral Damage – The Unreported Victims of Wildlife Trapping: Cats and Dogs, revealing that dozens of companion animals are caught in traps every year in Canada. Although the data is incomplete and the actual number of incidents is expected to be far higher, this research provides a critical starting point into the scale of this problem. One thing is for sure: the animal victims listed on our Dogs and Cats in Traps page prove that so long as there is trapping, our companions will always be collateral damage.

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Established in 1953, The Fur-Bearers is a charitable, non-partisan organization whose goals are to end the commercial fur trade and promote solutions for wildlife coexistence in communities. Your donation is tax-deductible. Charitable registration number: 130006125RR0002

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