Dog Town Canine Rescue, Lahontan, NV, Sept. 16, 2014: “Back in 2008, we saved this dog we came upon just east of the Lahontan Reservoir. He was in tough shape, looked like this trap had been on his head for a while. Thank you for what you are doing to bring awareness to this cruel activity, and for working to end it in Nevada.”
El Mirage, AZ, Feb. 5, 2013: Russell Files, a 44-year old man who works for the U.S. Wildlife Services (a tax-payer funded services funded by the USDA) was arrested on suspicion of injuring a neighbor’s dog with a trap. Officers found the 2-year old Australian Cattle dog named Zoey covered in blood with her left front and back feet entangled in a the trap. Zoey also lost 17 teeth trying to gnaw her way out. [ed note: while this is not in Nevada, it’s especially telling that the perpetrator was a Wildlife Services employee.]
Galena Creek Regional Park, NV, Feb. 11, 2007: A steel trap snapped shut along Jones Creek, pinching the folds of flesh on a retriever’s face and causing the dog to yelp in pain. The dog was freed unharmed. The trap was set legally. [ed note: it’s been estimated that 80% of trapping in NV is illegal, either due to trappers failing to accurately file the required reports, or failing to visit the traps at least one every 4 days, or both.]
Edith G., Reno, NV, Sept. 7, 2014: “I heard the eerie screams of my dog and immediately new that something was terribly wrong. Yes, screams not barks! I envisioned a rattlesnake bite or an attack by coyotes and immediately called her, but she did not come. Instead, her screams kept filling the air and that is when I knew that something was seriously wrong. Heart racing, I ran up the hill where I found her bucking like a wild horse, eyes open in terror, and defecating in fear. Her front left leg, right above the paw, was caught in a steel jaw trap. Adrenaline flooded my system and I was alternatively swearing and screaming for help, while at the same time pushing down hard on the lever at the side of the trap. Yet, no matter how hard I tried, I did not have the required strength to open the trap. It would open slowly and then snap back shut. The third time, Bailey turned and bit me in the face. A gentle bite when considering the fact that the trap kept snapping back shut on her leg; though 2 of her teeth left marks that could be seen for a couple of days. Her desperate attempt to get me to stop hurting her snapped me into focus. I studied the trap more carefully and realized it was a double loaded spring that had to be pushed from both sides. It is something I learned from reading The Loop by Nicholas Evans. Even so, it took all my strength to open it and Bailey had the wits to pull her paw back just in time.
That day, as was our daily habit, I had walked her along the bike path behind the houses of West Brookdale Dr. in Northwest Reno. About 50 feet behind the houses, above the bike path is an outcropping of rocks where on several occasions I have seen children scramble about and play. After taking Bailey to the vet, I called several organizations, the police, the ranger station, the wildlife organization, but nobody could give me any clear guidance as to what actions to take. I still remember the anger born from frustration and the fear experienced in those moments. My only consolation was that Bailey recovered nicely from her injuries. Several years have past. The injury, as injuries tend to do, has caught up with my girl as she has grayed and slowed down. After longer walks, she limps and licks her left front leg, right above the paw. I wonder if she remembers that day…I sure do! To this day, I hear the echo of Bailey’s terror and pain when I walk by that outcropping of rocks. How would events have unraveled, if that day a child had stepped on the trap instead?”
Reno, NV, Jan. 18, 2012: A couple took their two young pups for a walk next to a popular sports complex when one of their pups got caught in a coyote box trap. While the guardian was trying to release her from the box trap, she was caught in the snare trap that was set inside of the box trap. Her guardian was able to release her after retrieving pliers from his car. The pup was passed out from a lack of air and barely breathing. [ed note: trappers routinely set multiple traps in close proximity. One trap catches, for example, a rabbit, and that acts as bait for the other trap. While baiting is illegal in NV, this practice is both legal and common.]
Rebecca M., 2005 (incident), 2014 (reported to us), near the Yuba River. If it wasn’t for the sharp eye of a friend, I would have stepped in a trap myself. It was the kind that snaps shut on an animals leg, Judging from the sound it made, I never would have walked right after that. The fact that there is denial that animals suffer, or that traps don’t harm people is unbelievable. I am on board with doing whatever I can to bring an end to trapping.
Betsy S., Aug. 31, 2014: “My husband was bird hunting with our yellow lab and he got caught twice in one day in traps!!!! Luckily my husband was able to free him but as our dog got older he developed bad arthritis in the joint where the traps snapped on him. I called to complain to the NDoW and requested that people post signs that traps are in the area. There response was they don’t because people will go and steal the traps! They suggested that we stick to just walking our dog on pavement!!!! Hard to hunt birds on paved streets in town.” [ed note: trapping advocates often respond that dogs should be leashed. Harder still for a bird dog to do his job on a leash.]
Virginia City Highlands, NV, Feb. 7, 2007: While the dog’s caregivers walked along a road just two miles from their property, the dog ran into a little cave and was caught in a leghold trap on her front right paw pad and toes. Both caregivers were bitten as they worked to get the dog out of the trap. The trap was set illegally on private property and Nevada Department of Wildlife authorities investigated the crime.
Steven C., Incline Village, NV, Aug. 31, 2014: “I will repeat my story to emphasize how cruel and inhumane trapping is. When I was a teenager, my dog got caught in a trap which was illegally placed on OUR property. She was crying in pain, trying to bite her paw off and she was so upset that when my brother and I tried to release her paw from the trap she tried to bite us. She hobbled for several days. But it could have been worse. She could have broken the bones I her leg, and if we weren’t there she might have chewed her paw off.”
Nevada Trappers Assoc spokesperson: “A SMALL number of pet dogs are caught in traps set for wild animals every year….” [Best estimates are at least 330 Nevada dogs and cats each year, and that’s from fewer than 20% of the trappers reporting; you decide if that’s “small”.]
NDoW Game Warden: “Trappers tell me they trap dogs ALL THE TIME but usually claim none are injured…”
Las Vegas, NV, Dec. 31, 2006: A pet dog was caught in a trap less than 4 feet off of a trail while trail riding with it’s possessor. About 5 minutes after she was released from the first trap, she was hit in her face by another trap that was triggered. The dog sustained permanent eye damage.
Reno resident who asked to remain anonymous out of fear for his safety: “Every person I know has either had a dog trapped or knows someone who has.”
Carolyn M., Mogul, NV, Aug. 30, 2014: “I lost my cat on the Mogul Ranch to trappers. She came home with 3 legs. I am embarrassed to be a Nevadan. We’re 49th in education. We’re 49th in Mental health care. We have idiots being trusted with the care of wild animals in our state. Ye ha’ cowboy wannabes. We need new blood here!”
Steven T., Reno, NV, Aug. 29, 2014: “It [trapping] is cruel. Our dog got his leg snapped in one 2 years ago when we were out hiking. Go hunt like a real man. Trapping is for pansies.”
Reno, NV, Feb. 28, 2007: 10 year old pet dog caught in trap on a well-traveled road. [ed note: in NV it is legal and common to set traps on or adjacent to roads and trails.]