Trapped Montana Pets

Trapping is no way to treat man’s best friend! Curious to learn more? Read the Montana stories.

On average dozens of dogs are reported trapped in Montana, annually. We help pay for their medical bills.

Trappers are required to report trapped dogs, other than their own, to Montana Fish Wildlife & Parks (FWP) within 24 hours. However, they do not have to assist the dog, contact the owner, or turn the dog in. They can simply let thee dog go. We have no required trap check interval in Montana, other than trap-sets for wolves and in designated lynx protection zones, trap-sets for bobcat must be visually checked every 48 hours. Therefore, lost and trapped pets can linger and suffer legally for days even weeks. Some trapped pets never get reported and others never make it on the report.

Pet owners are not required to report the trapping of their pet, but we strongly encourage they contact the area game warden and report it. We always want to know of any trappings in our state and will respect your privacy and maintain your confidentiality.

Annually, particularly during the winter and the high trapping season, we cringe learning of missing and lost dogs and fear for their safety.

To help try to find your missing pet, be sure to contact your regional Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks office regarding any reported trapped.

Note: trappers are now required to report the trapping of domestic cats, too.

Region 1 (Kalispell)

Region 2 (Missoula)

Region 3 (Bozeman)

Region 4 (Great Falls)

Region 5 (Billings)

Region 6 (Glasgow)

Region 7 (Miles City)


Accidentally Trapped Dog Reports Received by FWP 2012-2013


Accidentally Trapped Dog Reports Received by FWP 2013-2014


Accidentally Trapped Dog Reports Received by FWP 2014-2015

Incidental Captures 2012-2017 Report Including Dogs

per Montana Fish Wildlife & Parks furbearer coordinator, Bob Inman

Incidental Captures 2012-2017 Report

Summary Non-Target Captures Report including Dogs, 2018-2020

per Dr. Bob Inman, Montana Fish Wildlife & Parks, furbearer coordinator

Summary Non-Target Captures Report, 2018-2020

104 dogs reported TRAPPED in Montana in less than 30 months, 9/2012 – 2/2015 according to FWP reports.

21 dogs in 3 months reported trapped from the start of 2014/2015 Montana furbearer trapping season. One was killed, without an owner present reported “at large”. Was it a beloved missing pet or one that never even knew what that was like?

We are extremely sorry many of you suffered this horrendous unforgettable tragedy! We applaud you for giving testimony and sharing with us, the legislators, the media, your painful experience. We are sorry this indiscriminate and unnecessary suffering will continue until we stop it at least on our public lands whereby only the trapper knows the whereabouts of these hidden baited landmines that legally can and do stretch for miles!

Representative Wagoner sponsor of HB 212 “reaffirming trapping is a form of hunting protected under the Montana constitution”, testified in closing on Tues 2/10 before the Senate Fish and Game department that from 2008-2010,  there were 4 reported mortalities of dogs according to FWP reports. Previously, Rep. Wagoner said traps are harmless.

What Rep. Wagoner failed also to testify or did not know, is in just the last few years, Montana FWP trapping regulations state, “To improve understanding of accidental dog captures in traps or snares, trappers must report such captures, excluding trapper’s dog to FWP regional office”, within 48 hours. For 2014 it was shortened to within 24 hours.

Trappers leave these baited and lured indiscriminate cruel devices unattended and lay the blame, responsibility, and cost on you to avoid them! Montana FWP has no jurisdiction over the trapping of species classified as predators and nongame and therefore setbacks of traps from roads and trails we are told legally need not apply.

Dog owner’s testify, the haunting frantic memories of their trapped pets, but what, too, of those that are never heard, snared and rapidly silenced, and all those that never get to come back home, uninjured, alive with owner or “at large”?

This is no way to treat man’s bestfriend!

Trapping destroys our best friends!

Curious to learn more about these trapped Montana pets and their stories?