By guest blogger, Rob Shura
On November 22 my six year old dog Pippin was killed by a Conibear 220 trap within thirty feet of a hiking trail while we were walking in the Grand Beach Provincial Park, Manitoba. She died in my arms after a few agonizing minutes of struggle. Trapping is allowed within the 24.9 sq km Park.
MB Conservation is looking for the trapper to see if they have a license, otherwise, there were no regulations, only “guidelines” for trappers to follow.
I have been walking our two dogs in the South end of the Grand Beach Park three to four times per week for the past number of years. On November 22 we went to get the mail from our rural post office and go for our regular walk in the Park. We went in a short distance, approximately 75 meters when Pippin, my 80 lb Rottweiler cross let out a yelp. I ran to her aid and immediately saw a trap around her head. Within seconds she was on her knees fighting for breath.
For the next few minutes I fought to get the trap off, but could not release the springs. I called to her and worked feverishly to release her but could not.
For nearly thirty minutes I wept over her body in the snow in complete shock. Eventually I untied the trap from the tree it was fastened to and carried Pippin with the trap still on her, back to my vehicle. I reported the incident immediately. I was unable to emotionally deal with getting the trap off her that day and on the next day was finally able to remove the trap with the aid of some heavy tools and an angle grinder. My wife and I were in shock for a long time and the grief is still unbearable. Our dogs are precious to us. They are like our young children. The incident itself was the most horrific experience I have ever had. I don’t wish it on anyone.
Having completed much research on the subject of trapping over the past few days, and especially after having personally experienced Pippin being killed, I can tell you that these traps are absolutely horrendous. They are made to kill and it is agonizing for the victim. Many people use the Park and the Department of Conservation and Water Stewardship has failed:
To protect animals by allowing trapping within the Park. Some studies show that there are as many as four to ten times the numbers of “trash” animals killed and discarded for each “target” furbearer. Traps do not distinguish which life they will maim and/or kill;
To protect the public. This is a small Park and this trail area can be no greater than 18 sq. km. It is a labyrinth of trails.
To enforce existing rules and laws. People have dumped garbage (including major appliances and furniture), they cut live standing forest down and are allowed to trap – which endangers not only people and a positive experience, but potentially endangered species and rare wild-life.
I wish to bring awareness of the negligence of Premier Greg Selinger and Minister Gord Mackintosh (Minister of Conservation and Water Stewardship). This Park is not a place to frequent with family or pets.
We will never take our grandchildren back into that area for fear of injury and exposure to a horrifying scene.
Trapping must be better regulated and banned from this Park, on our crown lands, on public lands and across the nation.
I have included several pictures of Pippin when she was alive, with the trap on her, the trap itself, garbage dumped in the Park and a fresh cut stand of birch.
For more information about this incident please contact:
We have also started a Facebook Page called “Pippin’s Life” to address this issue. It would be appreciated if you could spread the word on this as well.
I am committed to addressing this issue and would appreciate any assistance you would like to offer. Your interest will be greatly valued. I have many more pictures and details to add.
Photo: Pippin and her beautiful smile.