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BC Conservation seeks person of interest in dog snared by wolf traps incident

Fire dept. cut two leg holds off domestic dog Feb. 15
BC Conservation are looking to identify a person of interest relating to three wolf traps set without authorization next to Saunders Hill Road in Kitimat. The traps ensnared a resident’s dog on Feb. 15. (BC Conservation Service photo)

BC Conservation is looking for a person of interest believed to be responsible for setting unauthorised wolf traps next to a rural road in Kitimat last month. The traps ensnared a local woman’s dog, sparking an investigation that has now revealed the leg holds were not set by the trap line’s registered owner.

Officials are now hoping to identify a person caught on trail cameras at the site on Feb. 17 and 22.

“We’re just looking to talk to that person and sort things out,” said CO Michael Geuze. “The photo isn’t the best quality and you can’t see the person’s full face, but we’re asking the public to take a look and let us know if they might know that person.”

He added it’s too soon to speculate if any fines or charges could be laid.

“We don’t know if this person has a licence, but after talking with the trap line owner we know they don’t have approval to be setting traps there. I’ll have a better idea once we talk to the person.”

BC Conservation was alerted to the situation on Feb. 15 after one of three dogs, belonging to Kitimat resident Alexis Toews, fell victim to the traps while walking off-leash along Saunders Haul Road, an area popular with snowmobilers, hikers, and dog walkers. Attracted by a bait pile of raw fish, the animal veered into the bush and out of sight, triggering a toothless leg-hold trap almost immediately. The dog’s struggle led to the activation of two additional traps.

READ MORE: Close call — dog owner warns of hidden traps near walking trail

In order to avoid further injury to the animal, the assistance of the RCMP and Kitimat Fire Department was needed to cut two of the holds from the dog’s front and rear paws.

The dog has since recovered without any broken bones or lasting injuries.

Authorised trappers are not required to post signage around traps near populated areas, and often don’t volunteer to give up their location over concerns of vandalism and theft.

Despite Toews’ understanding of trapping practices through her partner’s involvement in the field, she has called for a review of trapping laws in areas such as this.

“If there was a sign at the beginning of this road, which is far away from the traps, I would not have run my dogs there. Neither would other dog owners,” Toews said at the time.

BC Conservation urges anyone with information about the identity of the person of interest to contact the BC Conservation RAPP line at 1-877-952-7277.

The front paw of Kitimat dog owner Alexis Toews is caught in a non-lethal wolf trap Feb. 15 in Kitimat. BC Conservation is looking to speak with a person of interest over the incident. (Alexis Toews photo)

About the Author: Quinn Bender

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