OPEN LETTER: Minister McGarry: will you protect Ontarians on trails?

Dear Minister McGarry,

The tragic news reportof a resident, Krista Godbout, who is mourning the horrific loss of her dog, Tanner, who was killed in December near the Kawarthas by a baited killing trap on a publicly accessible trail, must have reached your office.

We spoke with Krista, and she shared with us the harrowing tale of Tanner running alongside her ATV, smiling, then suddenly screaming in pain. The body-gripping trap, which was legally set within a few metres of the trail, crushed the life out of Tanner, while Krista held him in her arms, unable to free the trap. This isn’t the first time a trap set near a public trail has injured or killed a dog in Ontario, and it won’t be the last – unless you take action.

The Fur-Bearers recognize that at this time you are unlikely to prohibit the use of these inherently inhumane devices, despite the pain and suffering they cause to wildlife and domestic animals. But reasonable precautions can be put in place – such as required setbacks from publicly accessible trails, and signage warning recreational users of traps set nearby, similar to the demands from an online petition that has garnered 80,000 signatures.

More non-consumptive residents are using land that was once exclusive to trappers, and updated regulations to reflect this are long past due. In the memory of Tanner and all the other dogs killed by these indiscriminate devices, please, show your compassion and create increased setbacks and signage requirements for trappers using publicly accessible trails in Ontario.


Lesley Fox

Executive Director

The Fur-Bearers

Take Action

Send a letter to Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry Kathryn McGarry ( and show her you want common sense regulations in place to protect non-consumptive recreation users and families on Ontario’s trails. You can copy and paste our letter below, or click the following button to have an email open automatically in your email client. Please add your name and address to your letter, and copy your local Member of Provincial Parliament.


Sample Letter:

Dear Minister McGarry,

It is obvious that the current regulations about traps near trails are not effective, especially with more people using trails and parks than ever before. It is no longer safe to assume that only trappers are in these areas, or that the public knows traps are being used. Please make immediate updates to regulations such as requiring trap awareness signs and increased setbacks to protect pets, children, and other users.

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About Us

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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