“Miraculous” that dog survived BC trap – but suffering will continue

Gracie is at home and recovering after a harrowing incident that left her nearly dead in the British Columbia interior.

The CBC has reported that Gracie, an 8-year-old Maremma sheepdog, was snowshoeing with her family – Dana Switzer, her husband, and another dog, on the Seven Sisters Trail on January 10.

“We just heard this god-awful scream," Switzer told the CBC. Gracie has become ensnared in a baited Conibear trap beneath the snow near the trail. The family dog and livestock guardian was bleeding from her mouth and was struggling intensely against the crushing trap. Despite their best efforts, Switzer and her husband were unable to release it – and then Gracie stopped struggling.

Believing their beloved pet to be dead, a devastated Switzer, her husband, and their other dog, headed out to find a conservation officer and report the incident.

But miraculously, they later received a call – Gracie was at a BC SPCA branch, recovering from injuries.

It appears that someone – possibly the trapper – released Gracie, who was injured with broken teeth, a punctured tongue, and trauma to her upper lip. Because she was wearing a collar with proper ID tags, the BC SPCA was able to contact Switzer and arrange Gracie’s return home.

"It is actually quite miraculous given the type of trap involved,” noted Marcie Moriarty, Chief Prevention Officer and Enforcement Officer for the BC SPCA. Moriarty is investigating some of the circumstances around the time Gracie was in the trap and her release, but the trap itself was registered and legally set on Crown land.

This isn’t the first time dogs in BC have fallen victim to legally set traps – in fact, the government is well aware that every year, several dogs are maimed or killed by them. But nothing has been done to address this, from our requests to meetings with Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources Steve Thomson to simply increasing setbacks from publicly accessible roads and trails or increasing signage requirements.

TAKE ACTION

Your elected officials need to know that for you, trapping and family pets are election-time priorities, and without new solutions, your vote will go elsewhere. We are asking that you write your MLA (as a resident of BC) or the Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources and Minister of Jobs, Tourism, and Skills Training (as a resident outside of BC) and demand that the solutions listed above are put into place.

You can find your BC MLA by clicking here, or write to Steve Thomson (Forests, Lands and Natural Resources) at steve.thomson.MLA@leg.bc.ca, and Shirley Bond (Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training) at shirley.bond.MLA@leg.bc.ca.

WRITING TIPS

Stay on point: this is about the use of traps near or around publicly accessible trails and roads and how it impacts the growing multi-use outdoor recreational industry.

Stay polite and use spell check: if you’re rude, aggressive, misspell words, or use incorrect grammar, readers may become disengaged or dismissive of your points.

Provide solutions: rather than just say what’s wrong, say what’s right. Offer solutions or alternatives to help move forward conversations.

Identify yourself: it’s important to include your address when writing politicians so they know who you are, where you’re from, and that your vote will affect them in the next election.

Include relevant details: make sure you cite the appropriate petition, proposal, or government policy (providing a link doesn't always count) so it is recognized by the right people.

Let us know what you hear: if you receive a message back from your representative, or they would like to discuss the issues in greater detail with us, please let us know by emailing fbd@thefurbearers.com.


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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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