A family pet is recovering after near strangulation after being caught in a wildlife trap in northern Maple Ridge, Sunday morning.
Nina Gardner had just finished giving Sage her breakfast outside and went to call her in, only to find that Sage had wandered off.
She went out looking for him and after a few minutes, heard a faint, but deep, whining noise. She kept following the noise but couldn’t locate it. She thought about giving up and almost went back home, but decided to keep searching. She eventually found Sage in the carport of a neighbouring property.
“I looked down, and there’s my dog.
“She was caught in this trap and totally immobilized, limp, dead on the floor, it looked like,” Gardner said on Monday. Her dog wasn’t struggling or trying to escape but was lying still on the floor, with the jaws of the trap clamped around her neck, unable to move.
“It was just a fluke that I found her.”
It took an agonizing several minutes before the resident who set the trap was on site. It took him and Gardner’s husband and brother in law to pry loose the jaws of the trap.
Sage was lucky to make it through with just bruises.
B.C. Conservation officer Sgt. Todd Hunter said an investigation is ongoing into the incident but couldn’t confirm details. But people don’t have to worry that there are other traps out there that could snare other dogs.
“It was an isolated incident.”
But he warned dog owners that residents can lawfully set wildlife traps on their property, though he couldn’t say what these particular circumstances are. “The intent was not for dogs. There was an attempt to capture raccoons.”
Dogs off leash can end up in lawfully set traps, he added. “It’s always best to ensure your pets are not wandering off to other people’s property.”
Gardner accepts that her dog shouldn’t have been loose but is upset the homeowner took too long to respond.
There are legal trapping seasons for raccoons and exemptions for trapping raccoons if they’re causing property damage, Hunter pointed out.
He said that area of Maple Ridge is often used by residents for releasing raccoons that they have been trapped in other parts of Maple Ridge.
But instead, people who have raccoon problems should call a pest-control company to remove them.
The best thing is to prevent raccoons from coming on to your property in the first place by removing food attractants.