Trapping Reform in Wyoming

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Wyoming Untrapped teaches pet safety after traps catch dogs

Dave Pauli demonstrates how a common snare trap works during a trap release workshop in 2016 at the Old Wilson Schoolhouse Community Center. Wyoming Untrapped will hold another trap released workshop this weekend in light of recent incidents in Idaho.


Wyoming Untrapped responded to three dog trappings in three days over the past month, the organization’s co-founder and president, Lisa Robertson, said. All three were in Idaho: one in Victor, one in Driggs and one in Tetonia.

“The phone’s ringing off the hook,” Robertson said. “This is trapping season and things pick up.”

In response to the busy stretch, Wyoming Untrapped will offer a workshop from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Teton County Library. The session will focus on trap safety for pet owners.

The event has come together — details are still being ironed out — in less than a week as the nonprofit responded to the recent incidents.

The aim, Robertson said, is to educate pet owners about regulations like those that allow traps to be set almost anywhere in Wyoming, including along trails.

Carter Niemeyer, an author and retired U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wolf recovery coordinator for Idaho, will host a portion about what to do if a pet is trapped.

Niemeyer will show people how traps work, what kind of traps are out there and the damage they can do. He will also focus part of his presentation on showing attendees how to release some traps.

That sort of hands-on experience is key, Robertson said.

“That’s really what you need,” she said. “If you got the tools and the knowledge and you practice it and you know what to do, you’re going to handle it a lot better.”

In one of the recent incidents, Robertson said, a trapped dog bit its owner when they tried to release it. She suggested that could have been avoided by putting a jacket over its head.

The workshop aims to provide people with that sort of practical knowledge.

“There’s a lot you can do that’ll make it easier [so] that you don’t have to go through that trauma,” Robertson said.

Contact Billy Arnold at 732-7062 or

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