We had to carry Cosmo over two miles through rough terrain after he was trapped

We had to carry Cosmo over two miles through rough terrain after he was trapped

-By Marie Girouard

Here is a picture of my little guy, Cosmo, the day after- they shaved his leg to make sure he didn’t have any puncture wounds. 

On February 11th, 2023, my husband and I were out enjoying a beautiful day of hiking. It was one of those perfect days in Las Vegas when the sun was shining, and the breeze was just right. and we were all in high spirits. We invited our friend to join us as we wanted to show her a beautiful area we discovered just a few weeks prior. We headed out to a trail located about 1.5 miles northwest of the Little Red Rock area. I am not able to find any trail names on a map, however, I have marked the exact location of this issue on Google Maps

As we were walking along a single-track trail, our beloved dog, Cosmo, suddenly cried in pain. We rushed over to him and found that he had stepped into a leghold trap. It was a horrifying sight, and we were all in shock.

We were incredibly fortunate to be able to immediately free Cosmo from the leghold trap. Cosmo was probably stuck for a little under a minute, however, in that time he had blood around his mouth and on his leg. We were able to wrap an ace bandage around his leg, however, it was clear that he would not be able to hike back to the car due to the injury and pain. The only option was to carry him out of the area ourselves. I wish I would have thought to get pictures of carrying Cosmo out but that was the last thing on my mind. I also should  have taken picture of his gums- but again, I think I was just in shock.

It was a grueling and painful task. Cosmo is not a small dog; he weighs just over 50 pounds. We had to carry him for over two miles through rough terrain. The footing on the trail was steep and when carrying a 50-pound dog, a bit treacherous. We had to take lots of breaks because carrying him was just too much for one person to handle. As we walked, we tried to comfort Cosmo as best we could, but it was clear that he was in a lot of agony.

Cosmo is my favorite hiking buddy, and I felt especially devastated to see him in such pain. We’ve been on countless hikes together, and he’s always been such a loyal and adventurous companion.

It was a traumatic experience that we will never forget. Seeing our beloved dog in so much pain was heart-wrenching.

When we finally reached the trailhead, we rushed Cosmo to the vet. We are so incredibly fortunate; he survived the ordeal and is now on the road to recovery. But the memory of that day will stay with us forever. 

The most shocking thing about this whole experience was finding out that trapping is legal in this area. There were no warning signs, and this is a multi-use area with lots of people and families enjoying the outdoors.

It’s hard to believe that such a dangerous and inhumane practice is allowed in a place where so many people come to enjoy nature. We were completely unprepared for this, and it’s a tragedy that it took our beloved dog getting hurt for us to learn about this issue.

I did report this with BLM- officer Lewis took my info. It didn’t seem to do much, but I wanted this issue documented. 

Please let me now if there is anything else I can do to be helpful. My goal is to help bring an end to this horrible practice. 

Child steps in trap; high top boots protect his foot

Child steps in trap; high top boots protect his foot

Told by child’s grandmother who was busy at work and could not take the time to tell all the details. Watch this space as effort will be made to contact her at a more convenient time.

Approximately 2011, my grandson stepped into a leghold trap while hiking with his family. Fortunately his father was able to remove the trap. The child was not injured thanks to his high top boots. This was in the Winnemucca Ranch Road area.

Duke Trapped near Galena Park

Carol Grigus and Duke

Reno Gazette Journal February 11, 2007: A steel trap snapped shut, pinching the folds of flesh on the retriever’s face. Owner Carol Grigus heard her pet’s yelps of pain and rushed to his side, horrified. 

“It was very frightening,” Grigus said of the Feb. 1 incident just outside Galena Creek Regional Park popular hiking area.

This was one of three known dog trappings in that area that season

Carol Grigus’ outrage led to further organization and growth of TrailSafe Nevada. She is another co-founder. Here is her initial letter to the editor of Reno Gazette Journal:

I’ve been hiking the Galena Park area of trails for 15+ years, (I live across the highway from the Galena park) and have never come across any of these….I was taking a side trail West to the Jones Creek loop trail; stopped there and then turned around and came down…A short hike that I have done hundreds of times before, but lost the trail on the way down and had to ‘bushwack’ my way back down.. that’s when Duke got into trouble..He was with me the whole way, except when he must have smelled some bait….O gosh, I hope the bait wasn’t poisoned!!…….!  The Ranger wasn’t sure that this trap was in the park or not..

Before the ranger  came, I managed to untie the wire that fastened the trap to the tree there and we were able to walk with the trap on Duke’s neck…Later, the ranger arrived, released the trap and so we walked to my car together…Not 50′ from that trap I spotted another one….(the playing card attached to a wire above the trap) and showed her. However, we didn’t stop to inspect that one…Didn’t see any animal there….both traps were on a ridge of Jones Creek not more than an eighth mile west of Mt. Rose highway just north of the “north” Galena Park entrance…

Please tell me what can be done to avoid this “incompatible” use for such an area….OUTRAGEOUS that we even have to worry ourselves with this possibility in this location!!!!!!!

My children used to play hide and seek in this same area while growing up here…..with adults watching them!!!!!!!!!

Traps Close to Residences

My dog recently stepped in a trap while we were out hiking in the desert less than one-half mile from my house. The trap was set in an area bordering a road frequently traveled by equestrians,  while their dogs run off leash.  Unfortunately,  the trap he stepped in, and the trap next to it, did not have any identification on them.  I find this absolutely unacceptable.  First that someone would set traps so close to residences, and then that I am unable to hold the person accountable.

Trap registration allows Department of Wildlife Game Wardens to do their jobs. How can trap law be enforced unless violators can be identified?

In 2013, SB213 passed and became NRS 503.452. Trappers are required to register traps,  as it should be, and as it should remain.

Assigned numbers on traps protect public safety and assist law enforcement.

Please make my comments part of the public record,  as I am unable to attend the legislative session tomorrow.

Thank you for your consideration. Debbie Tayler, April 6, 2015

Dog Gives Birth While Trapped – She and Pups Survive

From the Mason Valley News, Friday January 29, 1999

Government trapper rescues injured dog and her pups
By Kay Jenney 
A government trapper saved the life of a dog and her seven puppies after the mother dog had chewed off her foot to get out of a trap near Bishop, CA.
Wildlife Service Specialist Frank Homan was on the job near the Fish Lake area between Bishop and Tonopah when he discovered the injured animal. He spent three days winning her trust, feeding and giving her water.
“l came back home to Yerington and just got to feeling sorry for her, so I went back and got her,’  said Homan.
The crippled dog was starving and a half-mile from water, Homan said. But even though she was in such a bad condition, she was still nursing and caring for her seven puppies, he said.
“This was in November when it was really cold,” Homan added.
Shelly Dillwith, owner of Mrs. Pickles’ Home Pet Care Service, took the dogs in almost a month ago and has been caring for the mother and pups since then.
The adult dog is a mix of Aussie and McNab. The pups also are mixed with Border Collie. Dillwith suggested the injured dog was a cow dog, possibly lost by cattle herders passing through the area.
And she said the-real heroes of this story are Homan and veterinarian Lisa Infantino.
“It’s Homan’s job to keep the ecosystem in check by trapping coyotes, but he has a heart”,  Dillwith said.
“He drove many hours on a Sunday, hauling a horse trailer, to bring the canine family back to Yerington. Then, Infantino opened her clinic and treated the injured mother dog, on Sunday. without charge,” said Dillwith.
The dog has been named ,”Amazing Grace” by Dillwith. The courage of this dog to survive was just amazing, Dillwith said enthusiastically.
Infantino provided a timeline of the dog’s suffering to Dillwith from examining her injuries and condition.
Apparently, she was first caught in the trap; chewed her foot off; gave birth; then suffered hunger, thirst and medical complications. The dog was crippled and stranded with her litter. Homan said the area
is the most desolate country you can find.
Dillwith said Amazing Grace also suffered from internal problems; and Infantino clarified the dog’s internal complications as a severe uterine infection, probably resulting from  her state of malnutrition.
Moreover, her foot injury would best be described as missing fingers up to the knuckle, with the bone of one index exposed.
“She is such a brave dog to have taken care of her puppies so well. The puppies looked so good and beautiful, ” said Infantino.
“She was only 10 months old, probably impregnated during her first heat. She was just a baby herself while delivering and mothering these pups. People don’t think about what they are doing (the consequences for the animals) when they don’t spay or neuter their animals,” said Dillwith.
Infantino performed additional surgery on the dog’s foot and performed a complete ovarian hysterectomy to spay her and treat her complications.
Dillwith said the dog understands when humans are helping her and is very cooperative when the bandages need changing. The dog is healing well.and may be adopted by “a very special person,” said Dillwith.
Two of the puppies have been adopted, and the other five are ready for new homes. [How ironic that the government trapper goes to great lengths to save a dog and pups, while earning a living killing coyotes. Some canids are more equal than others.]

Three-Legged Cats

April 21, 2013, Earth Day Told in person

In Cold Springs, Sand Piper Drive, there were several 3-legged cats noted in the neighborhood. There is one back yard that is semi-fenced. Evidently this neighbor considered cats a nuisance, so set traps for them. Now the neighborhood is over-run with mice and all the feral cats are gone. There had been about 10 cats. This process happened over a 4-year period.

Topaz-Fallon Cat Trapped in Neighbor’s Yard