2 dogs caught in snare traps

Glasgow, Montana

More innocent victims of snares in Montana. Snares are a favorite of trappers since they cost only a couple of dollars. Some trappers are pushing for more snares to be set and left unattended across our landscape wanting snares to be legal to trap wolves. Never mind the suffering or who they strangle, wolf, mountain lion, dog. This dog was lucky it appears it shut around the dog’s snout and not the dog’s neck.

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Posted by Valley Veterinary Clinic of Glasgow

Ralphie doing well and adjusting to amputation

Laurel, Montana

Update on Ralphie another recent Montana victim of trapping. He is reportedly doing well and adjusting to the amputation of his leg managing to learn how to play and keep up. Look at that sweet face!
No animal should have to go through this!

It is unknown if the trap, or most likely a snare, was set illegally on private land. Ralphie ran off to play with another of the family dogs on Wednesday morning but did not return with her. He was finally found on Friday. His distraught and searching owner said, “if the trapper had only checked his trap on Wednesday or Thursday, Ralph, trapped and unable to return home might not have had to lose his leg.”

One of our bills for the Montana legislature requires 24 hr trap checks. Only with 2 exceptions, we have NO required time frame trappers need to check their traps and snares so animals can suffer trapped legally for days, even weeks.

Thanks to decent and caring people, our supporters donated $1,000 to our affiliate, Trap Free Montana, towards Ralph’s vet bill.
Trappers $0.

His owner has expressed her tremendous gratitude to all of you who helped! We also want to thank the Veterinary Clinic for all their treatment and care of Ralphie.

Montana Trappers Association has probably 10 times the amount of funds we have. This is blood money from the profits they received from the trapping, suffering, and destroying of your wildlife. When will they ever contribute to all the monetary costs they cause?

Sorry, Ralph, you won’t be able to run and play like you use to but glad you are alive and as animals always are, forgiving of our kind.


Australian shepherd caught in a leghold trap set for bobcat was just found and released by a former trapper

Libby, Montana

An Australian shepherd caught in a leghold trap set for bobcat was just found and released by a former trapper, Robert, in Libby. Robert filmed the release and expressed his anger at the trapper for being so irresponsible and for not checking his traps. The dog was apparently trapped for days. FWP determined though all was legal so no charges were filed. Montana Trappers Association went after Robert threatening him and he took the video down. Below is another video, Robert did. Robert wants to help us achieve 24 hr trap checks and supports our other bill for mandatory trapper education! The trapper responsible has not offered to pay any of the medical expenses for the dog and the dog’s owner has not been found.

Maria, the little dog, missing, caught in a trap overnight

Helena, Montana

Maria, the little dog, missing, caught in a trap overnight, on a popular Helena trail makes the nightly news. Maria broke three teeth biting frantically at the trap trying to escape. Imagine her terror and bitter cold being trapped exposed to the elements overnight and injured after apparently trying to run down the familiar trail back to the car.

We have no mandatory trap check time intervals and no mandatory trapper education. Trappers can legally set as many traps and snares as possible and leave them unattended and unchecked for days, even weeks. The only exceptions are for traps set for wolves require 48 hr visual checks and sets for bobcats in designated lynx protection zones. Although the trap and nearby snare found were illegally set, anyone can trap in Montana no educational training required. Trap Free Montana Public Lands is working to change all that! Stay tuned!
Note trapping is legal year round in Montana!

The traps were illegally set along this popular trail in Helena. A snare, which easily strangle animals to death, was found nearby.

After removing the untagged, illegal traps, the FWP warden left a note for the trapper. No reflection on the game wardens but this is what enforcement of our limited regulations looks like for trapping. It is hidden, secreted, no training, no education, no testing required and only the trapper knows their whereabouts. Heck Montanans don’t even need to purchase a $29 trapping license to trap! The license is only required to trap some species. The indiscriminate damage trapping does, legal or not, is then either stumbled upon, inflicted on the public and their pets or bragged about on social media. Do the trapper’s get caught breaking the law? Rarely, very very rarely. And even then, some are not charged.

Representative Bob Brown has submitted a bill for the Montana legislature to reimburse trappers. For what? Where is a bill to reimburse the petowner’s medical expenses for their trapped animals and worse, for the deaths of them courtesy of trapping?

To read more on the illegal traps that harmed this little dog:

Game wardens seize illegal traps near Helena after dog gets caught at popular hiking area
Dog was caught in a illegal leg hold trap near Helena, owner cautions

Poor abandoned terrified kitty found in a leghold trap in the city of Great Falls, Montana

Great Falls, Montana
The Dodo Tells Bear’s Story!
March 28, 2018 – Sarah V Schweig

Cat Found In Wolf Trap Gets All The Head Scratches He Wants Now

Update March 19, 2018

Just over a week ago, we didn’t know if Bear would pull through or if it would be deemed best for Bear to try and see.

Look how far Bear, this poor abandoned terrified kitty found in a leghold trap in the city of Great Falls, Montana, has come in just less than a week after his amputation! When found, he was in pretty bad shape and just so fearful of people.

Bear has discovered that there are good people, those that will help and not hurt him anymore. Clearly, he is loving it!

His case is now under investigation by the Great Falls city police. According to Sgt. Wells, “There are several possible laws that could pertain to the case, including animal cruelty and setting a trap in the city limits.” His case might be rare but not the first in the city. Also, where there is one trap, you can count on it that there are more.

TFMPL is offering funds that exceed Bear’s medical costs as a reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of his trapper. Otherwise, the additional funds will be held for future trapped victims in need of financial aid for medical care.

To all our wonderful supporters that contributed to us to cover Bear’s medical costs, you are a very big part of this once tragic but now increasingly positive story!

Keep up the good progress, Bear! When you are all healed, that extra special home for you is sure to be found!

This poor cat was found Friday night, March 9, 2018, lying in the road. The woman and her daughter who found him thought he was dragging a snake. She told us they never see cats around anymore. Upon closer discovery, they were horrified, never imagining it was a chain to a leghold trap. This was within the city limits of Great Falls, Montana, completely illegal and about a block and a half from a public playground.

Nicknamed “Bear” by staff, three days later, no one had claimed him at the City of Great Falls Animal Shelter.

Trap Free Montana Public Lands offered to cover Bear’s medical costs, knowing he almost definitively would need his mangled trapped leg amputated if he was to survive. We did not want the costs in any way to be a factor in determining this poor frightened and abandoned injured cat’s fate.

WARNING: Viewer discretion

We were delighted, relieved and yet worried when we received the call from the shelter, Tuesday morning, that Bear was going into surgery!

The day after his front leg was amputated, we were told Bear was resting comfortably on antibiotics and pain medications and eating, well you know, like a bear! Good sign! When appropriate, Bear will be up for adoption for that extra special place where he will be loved, cared for and only know kindness hereon from humans.

Bear has also made the news. His suffering hasn’t been in vain by helping increase awareness of the undeniable and indiscriminate cruelty that’s inherent in trapping.
Leghold trap catches domestic cat in Great Falls
Trapped Great Falls cat named Bear hanging on after leg amputated

From our facebook post his story, too, had reached over 20,000 in less than 24 hours and was shared well over 200 times.

To the best of our knowledge, Bear’s trapper is still out there perhaps trapping. Maybe the trapper is even mad believing someone stole his/her trap. Well we know who had little option but to take it. Bear! We haven’t received any word back from Montana FWP on the status of any investigation.

Thank you to Gisela, her daughter, animal control, the shelter, veterinary clinic and all who have helped including those who have already made a monetary contribution to us to help poor Bear!

Any funds received exceeding his costs, will be earmarked for future trapping victim’s medical needs.

Lost overnight in a trap in the frigid cold, the dog’s paw amputated

Plentywood, MT

Another dog in Montana, the victim of trapping. Lost overnight in a trap in the frigid cold, the dog’s paw had to be amputated.

Owners, too, pay the emotional and financial costs. Unlike most wildlife, trapped pets often have someone who cares and can legally help them, if they are fortunate.

Trappers are now required to report within 24 hours any dogs they trap other than their own. However, they don’t have to check their traps for days or weeks unless set for wolves. They also don’t have to assist the dog in any manner.

Recently, we were reminded of a Montana trapper who shot and killed an innocent dog stating he was sick of finding dogs in his traps. He had other options but chose to kill instead.

Do you know to check with the area FWP office if you dog is missing as it could have possibly been trapped or snared?

Photo Jamie Hitchcock

Cat missing, make way back home with body crushing conibear trap attached

Along with the cold, Montana trapping season is intensifying. Here is one of the first known pets in the state for the start of the “furbearer” season. It doesn’t matter the animal, the suffering inflicted or the unnecessary act of trapping itself.

This unfortunate cat was missing for days only to make its way back home with this body crushing conibear trap attached. In response to the pain trapping causes, conibears were designed as “quick kill” traps. They are challenging to decipher how to open causing death quickly if it closes on the neck, spine, snout. Trappers say there is no need to check them within any time limit as the animal is dead. As with all body gripping traps, on what body part they shut and on whom is all up to chance.

For safety and longevity, it is best to keep cats indoors. However, some are barn cats. No one keeps track of the number of cats in Montana that are caught in traps. This one is not the first or the last.

Think this trapper will care or only about getting his/her trap back to resume more trapping?

Cat caught in trap, will lose her mangled leg and her home

Kila, Montana
Another Montana known victim of trapping. It took her a week to escape and get home with the trap still attached and half of her body weight left behind. She will lose her mangled leg and her home. She needs an indoor home and best if she is the only cat. No records are kept in Montana of the number of cats caught in traps and snares. No one knows.

Calm Animal Care Veterinary Clinic

Some cats are tigers on the inside. Raised by a caring family, living the good life chasing mice on a hillside in the Montana woods, this one met with disaster in the form of an irresponsibly set leg hold trap. It caught in the brush but she managed to free herself, dragging the trap, the chain and a mangled leg. It took a week to get home, but she did it, using every bit of strength she had and losing half her body weight in the process. Tomorrow she’ll have surgery to remove the leg, and she will be an indoor tiger from here on out. I think she’s a hero. Her family has to give her up, unable to keep her safely inside, and we are taking applications for her new home. She is affectionate and gorgeous and still playful. Seriously, this cat is awesome.

Reese , believed to have been trapped finds his way back home

Dog believed to have been trapped finds his way back home. We thank whoever likely released him. It would have been better if they had gotten him to a shelter, a vet, called the owner, contacted us, something, but at least Reese is now home! Kalispell, MT. Trapping is going full blown in Montana for trappers to get the best furs possible even for the low, low prices. Traps and snares are not marked. They are secreted with lures and bait to draw any unsuspecting creature in. We have no required trap check time interval, except for wolves are permitted to suffer in traps for up to 48 hrs. Trappers say the number one reason they trap is for the fun of it.

Akita was caught for days in a leghold trap set for wolves

January 18 Akita was caught for days in a leghold trap set for wolves near Westside Ninemile Rd, Alberton, Montana. The trapper was cited for not checking his wolf trap sets in the required 48 hours. Ice reportedly had to be chipped away from around the trap. The dog will almost certainly lose its leg after this horrendous ordeal.

Photo courtesy: Brian Deschamps

January 19 The Akita, Darby, found caught for 5-6 days in a leghold trap for wolves, with its paw and trap frozen in the ground, is in need of a new home and help with vet bills. Our question is since the trapper was cited for not checking his traps set for wolves in the required 48 hours, why isn’t he being made to pay the vet bills? Look at this poor dog’s leg and tell us again how traps don’t do damage and inflict suffering? From the blatant publicized vocal hatred some have for wolves, clearly trappers don’t care what our trapped wildlife endures. They were among the ones that denied this happened to Darby in the first place.

Photo courtesy: The Humane Society of Western Montana

January 19 Darby’s surgery was done. They did not amputate her entire leg. We have an inkling of the pain and fear she endured for a reported 5 days trapped frozen in a large leghold trap set for wolves. Now Darby has had to go through this, too, as a result. To think, unlike what happens to wildlife, she is considered a lucky victim of trapping. What will the trapper have to endure for his failure to check his traps in the 48 hr requirement applicable ONLY for sets for wolves?

What of his conscious and will he stop trapping or will the courts decide that for him?

Photo courtesy: The Humane Society of Western Montana