Trapping Reform in Wyoming

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Dog Snared in Strawberry Canyon | Afton, WY


Soldier, an Australian Shepherd mix, was caught last week in a snare in Strawberry Canyon in the Bridger Teton National Forest. The killing snare was roughly 15 yards off the road in thick brush and so tight around the dog’s neck, it almost suffocated. Fortunately, Michael was able to get to his dog and loosen the snare just enough to allow breathing. He stated, “I almost lost my best friend that day”.

Just about every pet owner in Bedford, WY (Star Valley) uses the mouth of this canyon to exercise and walk his dog. But traps of all shapes and sizes are legal directly on these favorite walking trails with no accountability by anyone for the harm, including death, to your pet. Trappers are not required to report pet trapping incidents, and anyone can buy and set a trap without a license or trapping education. There are no setbacks on trails and no trap-free areas except in National Parks and other small areas. Basically, wherever it is legal to walk your dog, there is no safe place to do so. Traps can be anywhere every day of the year, set to maim and kill without any warning to the public. If traps are possible in the area, we always recommend keeping a dog on a leash, on voice command, or in sight. But even with a leashed dog, the possibility of traps on or adjacent to the trails exists.

These incidents raise the question of whether more popular recreation areas on public land should be off-limits to trapping. Every dog, other domestic animal, and wild animal is a possible non-target of these steel contraptions in a state rated one of the worst for its lack of trapping regulations. Trapping reform is urgent!

Until we can create safe areas for recreation, please know what to do if your dog is trapped – it may save your dog’s life. Wyoming Untrapped has published a “Trap Safety for Pet Owners” brochure,…/upl…/2016/02/UntrapYourPet.pdf
available in hard copy or downloadable to a cell phone. To increase safety of the public, and awareness, we ask that you document these incidents with date, location, photos and report to and, and post on our and share your story publicly.


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