The leg hold trap was less than 10 feet off the trail and baited with strips of elk meat. The young men who set the trap were still in the area. I heard them above me and they came running down as soon as Orion was trapped. Though I was upset, scared and angry that my dog was caught in a trap I was also thankful they were there because I didn’t know how to release the trap. We were able to get Orion out of the trap with minimal damage to his hind leg. I informed them that Hyalite might not be the best place to set up a trap line, as it’s a heavily used recreational area. Orion could have been a child sledding, hiking, skiing and playing in the snow. I encourage all dog owners to educate themselves on the removal of leg hold traps and suffocating wire snares. I have gone to multiple web sites to collect information on trapping regulations and how to remove a leg hold trap. Is there a reasonable way for Fish, Wildlife and Parks and the trappers to warn the public that there are traps in the area? Dog owners could then decide whether or not to recreate in the same area. As for Orion he’s doing fine, but I’m going to start carrying a wire-cutting tool. Please educate yourselves about traps and trapping regulations so your dog doesn’t die or sustain a life threatening injury.
Dr. Kari Swenson, DVM
Click HERE to watch a video on releasing traps.