Traps are indiscriminate, which means that any person or animal, young or old, can get caught and killed in traps. The reported numbers are consistently distubing. For example, the American Veterinary Medical Association reports that 'non-target' animals (or 'trash' animals as they are referred to by industry) account for up to 67% of total catch. These animals routinely include deer, birds, endangered species and even our dogs and cats.
The government doesn't collect statistics, so no one knows precisely how many dogs and cats are caught in traps across Canada. This is also problematic because there is no real incentive for trappers to report non-target catches, especially if they are companion animals, or endangered animals (which could result in penalization). One thing is for sure: the animal victims listed below prove that so long as there is trapping, our companions will be the collateral damage.
The following is a sample of reported incidents over the past 12 years involving companion animals being caught (and sadly often killed) in traps. It should not be treated as a complete listing.
EXAMPLES OF TRAPPING INCIDENTS ACROSS CANADA
April 2013 Yellowknife, NWT
A year-and-a-half old Labrador retriever was caught by the neck in a snare trap near the Kam Lake area. The dog's owner was able to free her using a pair of wire cutters. (Source: Northern News Services, Apr 3, 2013)
March 2013 Lunenburg County, NS
Parker, a 9 year-old Beagle, was killed in a trap. The trap was set only 140 yards from the dog's home. (Source: CBC News, Mar 23, 2013)
February 2013 Bridgewater, NS
A dog named Tiko, a cocker spaniel, was trapped in a snare. The snare was so tight owner Karen Dorey says her dog started to foam at the mouth. Luckily, she was able to free her animal. (Source: CBC News Nova Scotia, March 2, 2013)February 2013 Bridgewater, NS A dog named Indy, a six-year-old Siberian Huskey, was trapped in a snare. The dog was then shot and killed by a trapper who mistakenly thought the dog was a coyote. (Source: CBC News Nova Scotia, March 2, 2013)
February 2013 Timmins, ON A dog named Brutus was caught in a Conibear trap in a residental area. The owner was able to free his dog and the animal survived his injuries. (Source: CTV news, Feb, 2013)
January 2012 Kelowna, BC A cat was found with her leg slammed shut in a Conibear trap. The cat sustained severe nerve damage and required extensive veterinary treatment, which was paid for by the Kelowna SPCA. Named ‘Miracle”, the cat will be put up for adoption once she is fully healed.(Source: Kelowna SPCA) January 2012 Hemmingford, QC Leila Basen and Don McEwen were walking their dog, Lola, along a recreational trail. Suddently, Lola became caught in a Conibear trap that was placed near the path. Don managed to get the dog free and rushed to a veterinarian. Sadly, due to her extensive injuries, Lola was euthanized.(Source: CBC News Montreal, Jan 31, 2012) February 2012 Calgary, AB The Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society (AARCS) responded to a call about an injured dog in rural Alberta. The dog, Jeannie, was found with her leg bone protruding out from the hock. The attending veterinarian believes the dog chewed off her leg to escape a trap. The wound was so severe, the dog’s right hind leg was amputated. Jeannie is expected to make a full recovery and will be up for adoption once she is fully healed. (Source: CNews Calgary, Feb 14, 2012) February 2012 Winnipeg, MB Cam Abell's five-year-old chocolate lab dog, Charlie Brown, became caught in a snare trap near his home near Richer. Charlie Brown bit Abell as he tried to free him from the trap. The frightened dog survived, but the owner received 25 stitches on his arm that he sustained during the dramatic rescue.(Source: Winnipeg Sun, Feb 21, 2012) February 2012 Surrey, BC A barred owl was found dragging a leg-hold trap on his talons in Kennedy Park near a popular walking trail. The trap cut the bird’s skin down to the bone. The owl was transported to a wildlife rehabilitation centre and at this time his future remains uncertain.(Source: Surrey Now, Mar 1, 2012) March 2012 Carman, MB An RCMP received a complaint of a dog caught in the Dead Horse Creek area. The dog owner discovered three traps in the creek and removed them with the intention of giving them back to the trapper. The trapper was intending to trap raccoons but the dog was trapped instead. The dog is now recovering and is expected to survive. No laws were broken by the trapper.(Source: Carman Valley Leader Manitoba, Mar 6, 2012) March 2012 Merritt, BC The two-year-old golden shepherd cross named Marley had been missing from his home since for weeks. Passers-by on Highway 8 were alerted to his situation by his cries on March 25. Experts believe the dog was struggling for at least two days because he was dehydrated and malnourished. Marley is still not able to put his full weight on his leg as a result of the trap.(Source: Merritt Herald, Apr 3, 2012) April, 2012 Yahk, BC A 3-year old miniature pinscher named Rocky was trapped in a Conibear trap, set by a licensed trapper. The dog survived but sustained severe injuries to his nose/snout. Media reports suggested the man was using the trap in an effort to kill neighbourhood cats.(Source: Rocky's guardian, Apr 2012) April 2012 Dartmouth, NS A border collie became tangled in a snare trap in Shubie Park. Dog owners were warned through social media that other traps could be in the area.(Source: Chronicle Herald Nova Scotia, April 16, 2012) April 2012 Calgary, AB The Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society (AARCS) rescued a German shepherd with a large metal leg hold trap on her leg. The dog is now recovering in foster care.(Source: AARCS, Apr 2012) April 2012 Dorintosh, SK A cocker spaniel-cockapoo cross was killed when he walked into a baited Conibear trap that was set in a local resident’s yard. The trap was intended to kill skunks.(Source: Meadow Lake Progress Saskatchewan, May 9, 2012) May 2012 Cowichan, BC A dog was caught in a snare trap set near McClure Lake. The dog was quickly freed by his owner and managed to survive.(Source: Cowichan Newsleader, May 4, 2012) July 2012 Montreal, QCA neighbourhood cat receives emergency medical care after being found under a Montreal North balcony with its front paw caught in a leg-hold trap.(Source: Global Montreal, July 12, 2012) November 2012 Grand Beach Provincial Park, MBRob Shura and his dog Pippin were walking through the park on Nov. 22, about 10 metres off a main trail, when she was caught in a Conibear trap. Shura tried to free the dog, but she died in his arms.(Source: CBC News Manitoba, Dec 2, 2012) December 2012 Oyama, BCLeaf Angrignon and his dog Sofie were walking on a forest service road near Oyama Lake Road. Sofie got caught in a Conibear trap. Just before Sofie started to lose consciousness, Leaf and a companion managed to pry open the trap and saved her. Local conversation officers spoke out in the media saying while this incident is unfortunate, warning signs are not required under the law and it is completely legal to set traps on crown land.(Source: Central Okanagan News, Dec 18, 2012)December 2012 Okanagan BCAn 11 year-old yellow labrador named Niki was killed in a Conibear trap near Baerg Forest Service Road in the Okanagan. The dog was walking with her owners when she went into the forest and was trapped and killed.(Source: Castanet News, Jan 3, 2013)
January 2011 Smith Falls, ON An 11-year-old golden retriever dog ran into a neighbor’s baited 8-inch Conibear trap. The dog died. The owner of the farm had no warning signs on his property, but after the incident agreed to post “no trespassing” signs. The owners of the dog had no idea that the farmer was trapping.(Source: yourottawaregion.com, Jan 3, 2012) April 2011 Sechelt, BC A three-year-old dog named Sammie was caught in a leg-hold trap while out walking along a trail in West Sechelt with her owner, Vicki Starfire. The veterinary bill for Sammie was $680.(Source: Coast Reporter, Apr 9, 2011) June 2011 Gibsons, BC Mui Mui, a black cat, was caught in a Conibear trap on a neighboring property. The trap was attached to the fence by a hook and the cat was ensnared between the trap’s clamps. The cat survived and the vet bill was reported to be over $1000. That same month, the Town of Gibsons passed a bylaw to ban the use of the leg-hold, Conibear and snare trap.(Source: Coast Reporter News, Jun 24, 2011) December 2011 Mount Pearl, Newfoundland Robert Emberly was walking along a moose trail on a path off George’s Pond Road in St. John’s when he came across a trail of meat leading into a small clearing in the brush. Following the meat, Emberley suddenly got his foot caught in a snare. He was able to untangle himself and contacted the local media to voice his opposition to trapping.(Source: The Telegram St. Johns, Dec 1, 2011) December 2011 St. John's, NewfoundlandRiley, a Labrador-terrier mix, died after being caught in a coyote snare while on a walk. Owner Mark Furlong said the snare wasn't marked and was located about 1 kilometre from the highway.(Source: The Telegram St. Johns, Jun 19, 2012)
February 2010 Kelowna, BC A six-year-old German shepherd mix named Sasha was killed in a Conibear trap. The trap was set 10-15 feet from the road. Sasha’s owner was reported as saying, “I couldn’t get the trap off, and there was nothing I could do. I was trying my hardest to get the trap off her head, but I couldn’t. I just held her until she died.” The trap was legally set. February 2010 Casselman, ON A border collie, Koby, and her owner were both caught in a leg hold trap. The owner had to drag the entire tree branch home with her with the dog attached to it in order to get help. They both survived but the owner had fingers cut to the bone. The log had 3 traps set to it, which are believed to be for coyotes.March 2013 Hagensborg, BC Two dogs, a german shephard cross and her 10-month old puppy were out walking in a nearby forest. Sadly, the dogs went 'missing' and the owner was not aware there was an active trapline nearby. A skull of the puppy was later found with top head shot bullet holes. The owner believes both dogs were trapped and killed. June 2010 Parksville, BC While on a leash walking alone on a logging trail, a rottweiler named Little Buddy had both front paws caught in a leg hold trap (one paw in each trap). The dog was rushed to a local veterinarian. While the dog survived his injuries, the owner says the dog now suffers from emotional trauma/post-traumatic stress/behaviour disorders. (Source: Rob Adams, Little Buddy's guardian) December 2010 Smith Falls, ON A border collie dog, Mocha, was off leash in a golf course and died in a Conibear trap. Mocha’s neck was caught in the trap and her owner could not release it. There were no warning signs on the golf course but the director assured the public that there will now be signs indicating the presence of traps.(Source: yourottawaregion.com, December 21, 2010) December 2010 Yellowknife, NWT A border collie named Heidi died alone on a Back Bay island after her left foot was caught in a leg-hold trap, which had been illegally set within city limits. Heidi was found by a family friend on one of the three islands near Ndilo. She appeared to have dragged the tree the trap was tied to, trying to get home.
February 2009 Manitoba, MB A border collie dog, Sula, was caught in a leg-hold trap. She managed to chew off her front leg, but did manage to survive after receiving extensive veterinary care. The trap was illegally set.
January 2008 Owen Sound, ON A dog, Fi, was caught in a leg-hold trap at a golf course while the owner had to watch her struggle and eventually die. The trap was legally set so no action could be pursued. January 2008 Owen Sound, ON A cat was caught in a snare set for rabbits. The cat managed to chew free but had wire in her stomach as well as frostbite to her body. The cat came home after missing a week in the cold. The cat lived and the man who set the trap was fined $200 for setting an illegal trap and also received probation for a year.(Source: Owen Sound Times, May 31, 2008) February 2008 Williams Lake, BC An Australian Shepherd Mix named Oneida was caught in a leg-hold trap and gnawed her hind leg off below the hock. Part of her leg was amputated and the $1300 bill was paid for by the SPCA Biscuit Fund. She was later up for adoption through the SPCA.(Source: Williams Lake Tribune, Feb 1, 2008) March 2008 Saskatoon, SK A cat, Lenny was caught by a leg-hold trap around her abdomen. She managed to come home with the device around her abdomen, gasping for air and in much pain. After the trap was removed, Lenny eventually recovered from her injuries.(Source: CBC Saskatchewan, Mar 17, 2008) May 2008 Creston, BC An 11-year old dog, Rosie, was caught in two leg-hold traps - one on each leg. After being transported to the nearest veterinary clinic (23 kilometers away), the attending veterinarian reported that both of the bones in Rosie’s legs were crushed. Her injuries were so severe she had to be euthanized. A biologist for the wolf recovery program set the traps and unfortunately it was set legally so no action could be taken. May 2008 Saanich, BC Two neighbours were involved in a trapping incident. One neighbour trapped a cat named Ginger in a Conibear trap. Ginger’s owner discovered her and released her. Sadly, the cat died and the trapper was investigated for animal cruelty. (Source: The Times Colonist, May 9, 2008) November 2008 Montreal, QC A dog died in a trap that was intended for beavers. The traps were set on the waters edge between two condos. The developers hired trappers to catch the beaver’s causing the destruction but instead the dog was caught. His head was caught in the trap that been set at water’s edge. (Source: The Gazette Montreal, Nov 7, 2008) December 2008 Windsor, ON A kitten was found with her leg in a trap and the Windsor Essex County Humane Society suggested it had been on her leg for about a week. She was dehydrated, sick and would need a leg amputation so she was euthanized. Conservation officers believe it was an illegally set trap.(Source: The Windsor Star, Dec 26, 2008)
January 2007 Hillsborough, NB A 6-month-old German shepherd, Abbey, died in trap. She let out a horrifying cry but could not be saved. Her owner carried her out of the trail with the trap still around her neck. The dog was walking off leash when the incidence occurred. The trapper felt remorse and removed the traps he had set. Feb 2007, Tupperville, NSA dog, Rufus, did not return in the night. The family went looking for him and found him in an unknown trap. He survived with scratches.(Source: The Chronicle Herald Nova Scotia, Feb 4, 2007) August 2007 Victoria, BC A cat, Lola, was trapped by a neighbour in his yard. Upon searching for the missing cat, the owners were informed by a different neighbour that someone was trapping. Upon confrontation with the particular neighbour he admitted that he released a cat matching Lola’s description at a park nearby in Oak Bay. She is back safe at home and recovering.(Source: Vancouver Province, Aug 17, 2007)
December 2006 Guelph, ON Harper, a 3-year old Jack Russell Terrier, was killed in a Conibear trap. In 2008, The City of Guelph passed a bylaw to ban Conibear traps because of the outcry. The trap was set on the property line between the park and a technologies company by a licensed trapper hired to deal with nuisance animals. December 2006 Waterloo, ON A dog, Daisy, died on the trails of a mutually shared path. The neighbours set the trap and the dog died a slow painful death.(Source: Waterloo Chornicle, Dec 5, 2006)
January 2005 Lyons Brook, NS A dog, Ben, was found with a trap around his neck. He had to be carried to the vet, with the trap still on his nose. He was caught in his own back yard.(Source: Halifax Herald, Jan 27, 2005) February 2005 Maple Ridge, BC A golden Labrador cross, Abigail, was found with a snare around her neck. The dog suffocated to death. The trap is believed to have been set by a professional trapper. He claims he does not own a trap of that kind and denies it being his doing. He owns 700 conventional traps.(Source: Maple Ridge News, Feb 16, 2005) March 2005 Burnaby, BC A cat named Angus was caught in a leg-hold trap and suffered severe leg injuries. The trap was set by a neighbouring elderly man in his garden. The veterinary bill was $1,000, which the neighbour refused to pay for. The trap was set on private property and as such legal but public outcry ensued and the neighbour has received threatening phone calls.(Source: The Province, Mar 3, 2005) May 2005 Cape Breton, NS A dog, Bear, was trapped in a snare by the side of the road. The owner found him while horseback riding. The snare was baited with a dead dear carcass. The dog was struggling and whimpering but by the time she could get to him he was already dead.(Source: Canada.com May 12, 2005) June 2005 Cowichan Valley, BC A cat was found dragging a leg-hold trap. She was discovered by the SPCA and was later euthanized.(Source: Cowichan Valley Newsleader, Jun 15, 2005) August 2005 Kelowna, BC A cat was found in a leg-hold trap. The wounds were so severe the leg was amputated. It is estimated that the cat was in the trap for 2 days. The SPCA Biscuit Fund paid for the bill. The cat, dubbed Trapper, was put up for adoption.(Source: The Province, Aug 4, 2005)
January 2004 Crystal Falls, ON A black lab dog, Menodae, spent 19 days in the bush with a snare around her snout. She later found her way home and was 20 pounds lighter with worn teeth from gnawing at the snare, which had cut to her windpipe.(Source: Kingston Whig Standard) December 2004 Port Coquitlam, BC A four-year old rottweiler named Brutus suffocated from a Conibear trap set up for killing beavers. The trap was set up by a contractor hired by the City of Port Coquitlam beside a stream, about 100 meters from the road. They were set legally but due to public outcry the traps have since been removed.(Source: The Province, Dec 23, 2004) December 2004 Halifax, NS A border collie was trapped near her house. She was about 10 feet off the trail and got her neck snapped in a trap. She could not be rescued and her owners had to watch her die. The trap was set legally and so unfortunately nothing could be done.(Source: Nova Scotia Herald, Dec 10, 2004)
January 2003 Yellowknife, NWT
A man set a Conibear trap in a wooded area near Sir John Franklin High School with the intention of protecting his dog from foxes. Instead, the trap sprung and caught the head of his neighbour's pet dog, Sam, as he was being walked by his owners.
January 2003 Port Perry, ON A trap was set by a neighbour who set it legally but had been warned by other neighbors that it was dangerous to their pets. A few weeks later a neighborhood cat was found in the trap dead. The trapper has been hired in the past by the municipality to trap but it is unsure why he was trapping at this particular time.(Source: Port Perry Weekend Star) January 2003 Montreal, QC A german shepherd dog, Grace, was lured into a crate full of dead birds on a public walking trail. A trap (with teeth) clamped on her neck and she died. The owners had no idea there was trapping on this trail.(Source: CTV Montreal) January 2003 Cornerbrook, NF A dog had a snare blown through her mouth. She was weak and feeble and could not make any noise but managed to recover. More snare traps were found in that location believed to be intended for foxes. November 2003 Powell River, BC A reported missing dog was found by the SPCA. The dog had one leg missing. The attending veterinarian reported that they were certain she was wounded from a leg-hold trap.(Source: Powell River Weekend, Nov 29, 2003) December 2003 Bear River, NS A border collie dog, Biko, was caught in a Conibear trap and died within minutes while his owner comforted him.(Source: The Regional Magazine)
April 2002 Abbotsford, BC A 13-year-old boy had his foot smashed in a Conibear trap in Abbotsford while he was playing near a local park. He saw the chains and pulled on them out of curiosity. He experienced extreme pain to his foot but recovered. November 2002 Aerobic Corridor, QC A dog, Grace got her snout caught in a Conibear trap baited with dead birds. She went through extreme agony and pain. She died on the way to the hospital. The traps were set on public property and no warning signs were present. December 2002 Pitt Meadows, BC A six-year-old Labrador/Shepherd cross, Jake, was killed in a Conibear trap while out for a walk with the Hartford family. He was off leash and sniffing in the river embankments when his head was caught in the trap. The trap was intended for so-called nuisance beavers. The trap was set illegally and investigators are trying to find out who set it. (Source: Harford family, Dec 2002) December 2002 Greenmount, PEI A german shepherd, Big Ben, was caught in a snare trap, which was only discovered when he came back home. It is believed he was cut free by the trapper but due to the pressure swelling on his head he had to be euthanized. He faced tremendous fear of anyone approaching him and charged when people tried to get the wire free.
January 2001 Kelowna, BC A cat got her front legs caught in a steel leg-hold trap. The owner went looking for her cat and heard noise coming from the neighbour’s shed. The trap was set by a neighbour and was intended to catch domestic pets. Due to her injuries, the cat was later euthanized. January 2001 Grand Falls, NF A small dog got his snout caught in a snare trap. He was able to break free but residents say there are a lot of them intended for foxes. Residents have claimed that many traps are set all around public walking spaces, but officials say it is legal as there are no regulations as to where they are set so long as they are legal traps. December 2001 Harrington, NS Dog (Spencer) spent 40 hours in a rabbit snare trap but made his way back home crawling and pulling himself to his doorstep. He was swollen and his leg needed to be amputated, but he did survive. The trap is believed to have been only 2 km away from his house.
March 2000 Gananoque, QC A cat was caught in a leg-hold trap for 3 hours and needed amputation on the front leg. It took the SPCA 3 hours to coax the cat to come out from under a porch. He had the trap stuck to his foot. July 2000 Edmonton, AB A German shepherd was caught in a beaver trap. The owner called fire medics and they tended to him but were unable to save him. The trap was legally set. October 2000 Yarmouth, NS A cat was found dragging a leg-hold trap in a heavily populated area. The cat was in excruciating pain and difficult to approach. All of the bones in the foot were broken off and skin was holding the foot together. The SPCA had to euthanize the cat due to extensive injuries.