Animal rescue group calling for a ban on leg hold traps
Roxy, a two-year-old healer cross, is adjusting to life with three legs. She recently had surgery to amputate a leg after it was severely injured in a leg hold trap.
"Leg hold traps are non specific. Whatever animal crosses their path, they're going to get stuck in there whether it be a raccoon, a dog, a bird, and to whatever animal gets stuck, it's a horrific death, or injury, which we see often in the dogs we rescue," said R.J. Bailot with Pound Rescue.
Leg hold traps are legal in Alberta and are often used in rural areas. Animal rescue groups like Pound Rescue are seeing a spike in the number of cases of animals getting caught in the traps.
"In the last year, we've rescued about a dozen animals," added Bailot.
South Point Pet Hospital veterinarian, Dr. Laina Knorr, says treating animals like Roxy is very costly.
"Splinting, x-rays, bandage changes, amputation, surgeries, medications, all that kind of stuff can run well over a thousand, two thousand, three thousand dollars," said Dr. Knorr.
Dr. Knorr treated Roxy's injuries and tried to save her leg, but decided amputation would be best. She says she too is seeing more dogs with injuries from leg hold traps.
"Especially this time of year when there are a lot more stray dogs out there, the weather is nice, they're scavenging for food and they'll go to any lengths to find it, and so they do get themselves into some pretty tough situations," said Dr. Knorr.
Pound Rescue says rising medical costs from leg hold trap amputations are threatening its spay-neuter program, so it's in desperate need of donations. The group is also calling for legislative changes to ban the traps.
"The average person doesn't know that these still exist, and if they saw some of the animals that get stuck in these traps, they can go days without anyone checking them, and it really is the most cruel, horrific death," said Bailot.
Roxy is currently up for adoption.
For more information about leg hold traps, or how to adopt Roxy, click on the web links to the right of the story.