Veterinary Office Sees Plenty of Trap Injuries

Told in person July 6, 2013

I worked in a veterinary office for 17 years. We saw plenty of trap injuries.[Veterinarians are reluctant to report such cases, so the numbers are all but impossible to obtain. Because trappers are considered “sportsmen”, and because they are clients, veterinarians do not want to alienate them. Nevertheless, TrailSafe heard statements like the one here.]

Trapper Jane had two toes amputated after trap injury.

$1,000 Vet Bill

March 30, 2013 email 

I live at the northern edge of Spanish Springs. All of the houses around me are on 40 acre parcels or larger. A few years ago one of my neighbors had a young male Australian Cattle dog. Very nice friendly dog. One day he went on a walk about and didn’t come home. After about 3-4 days he showed up back home. His left front leg was mangled and almost cut completely off above the first joint. His skull above one eye was crushed right above his eye and he was a bloody mess. The neighbor rushed him to the vet and they were able to save him, after spending over $1000,00. 
The Vet figured that the Dog got trapped by a steel leg trap and couldn’t get loose. When the trapper finally checked his trap, he found the dog and tried to club him to death, emptied the trap and left the dog to die. The dog woke up and found his way home. 
We could never find the trap or the trapper but we are confident that the trap was set within a few miles of this populated area..
I see this poor dog at least every week and he still has his mangled foot/leg and limps around. 
These trappers have to be regulated more closely. The traps need to be registered and the public needs to know where these traps are. 
I have horses and dogs. I ride the mountains all around this area meany times with my dogs. The trappers need to place the traps away from populated areas and they HAVE to be required to check the traps every 24 hours.
Trapping is a barbaric practice and there is no reason any animal should be forced to remain trapped for more than 24 hours just because the trapper doesn’t want to have to check the traps every 24 hours !

Thank you for your work to help protect our wildlife and pets !!

Since passage of SB364, law requires trapper ID or NDOW registration number on all traps set on public land. And the public has the right to disturb a trap that poses obvious risk.

Animal Emergency Center Memorable Case

Letter to Wildlife Commission Sep. 16, 2011

Dear Commissioners,

My name is Terri Levy and I have been a resident of Reno for 15 years. When I moved here from Mississippi I was expecting a place that was more advanced in it’s policies and actions taken towards many things. Sometimes I have been quite impressed and other times I have been mortified, as in the case of the “snap” traps.

Unfortunately I have seen first hand what these traps can do to an innocent animal. I worked at the Animal Emergency Center in Reno for 5 years. There is one incident that will forever stick out in my memory:

We had a lady bring in her dog who had gotten caught in one of these horrific traps. He had gotten in to the neighbor’s yard previously and to “teach” the dog not to do that, the neighbor set out 5 traps. Apparently the man didn’t have to answer to anyone when doing this because he never would have gotten approval. The owners found the dog still in the trap (after the neighbor went to work),cut it off and sprung the other 4 that they found. The best guess was that the dog had been in the trap roughly 24 hours. It had an open fracture (bone sticking out of the skin) and had started chewing at it’s leg trying to free itself. Because of the rust and dirt, infection had already set in. We had to amputate the leg and the dog spent several days on I.V. antibiotics to ward off a system wide infection that would have killed it.

The dog owners were in the wrong. They should have had control of their pet. But there were other ways this could have been handled. The man who set the trap also had horses. They were apparently in a different pasture at the time of the incident but what if someone had let them out? The parties mentioned above live in a populated area near the Harrah’s Ranch off Neil Rd. What would our leaders have to say if a neighbor child had gotten caught in that trap?

These traps are barbaric and non-discriminating. If we can build a space station and design GPS systems then we can certainly find better ways to handle the situations where these traps are “so necessary”.

Thank you for your time,

Terri Levy

Stella Trapped Near Pleasant Valley School

Stella at the lake

Personal Conversation July 12, 2015

About three years ago, my friend and I were walking our dogs about 1/4 mile from Pleasant Valley School. We came upon a nest of traps. I heard my dog Stella squealing and whining from under a tree. Her left front paw was caught in a trap. It took both of us working on it, but finally we managed to open the trap and free her.

Veterinarian exam showed that only the squishy part of her paw was held by the trap, thereby avoiding worse injury. She will probably have arthritis in that paw as she ages.

-Linda Anderson