“He was just out on his morning walk and my mom thought he was in a fight with an animal. By the time she got help it was too late. He was gone."
It is a nightmare from which they can’t escape. The Penney family, who live near Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Newfoundland & Labrador (where Bella was injured by a leg-hold trap in 2014), spoke with the CBC to share their experience of a beloved family pet, Doug, being killed in snare only 10 feet from a public roadway in November.
“We live up off the highway, on a road that doesn't have much traffic," Jaclyn Penney told the CBC. "So we do take our dog up there off-leash. Just because we know everybody up there and we never thought this would happen."
Doug wouldn’t have been off leash if they had known traps were nearby, Jaclyn said. Perhaps he would be in their home with them today. But there were no signs, and snares can’t differentiate between a dog and a fox or a coyote.
Politicians have shown an unwillingness to ban traps, despite outcry from communities across the country. They can, however, put in place common sense measures that will reduce the number of family pets – or people – from being injured by torturous traps.
Setbacks of at least 10 metres (32 feet) from public roads or trails, as well as signage warning of traps being in the area would go a long way in preventing such incidents. What is now necessary is politicians who have the courage to do this.
Write to Newfoundland & Labrador’s Minister of Environment and ConservationPerry Trimper (email@example.com) , and demand that he take action to put in place these common sense policies. Remember to use compassionate language, offer solutions, and ask for a response as to the Minister’s intentions. If you live in Newfoundland & Labrador, also contact your MLA and local council to request similar changes.
We can do little for the Penney family, but offer our deepest condolences on the loss of Doug. But we can do our best to make sure no other family must suffer such a tragic, unnecessary loss.