“I had no idea such a cruel and inhumane practice was happening in my very own backyard.”
Jessica Manners, her husband Dylan Vaske and two kids had a weekend like many others. They took their Golden Retriever and Husky, Frankie and Floki out for a walk in a popular recreational area outside of Las Vegas.
Shortly after the family started hiking, Manners heard a loud snapping noise. She turned to see her Golden Retriever standing next to a steel leg-hold trap that had just been set off. Before she could react, she heard a loud screaming noise coming from the other direction.
The family ran over to investigate and found an injured fox that was stuck in another leg-hold trap. Manners thought that they had stumbled across something highly illegal.
“Our kids looked up at us with so much concern in their eyes as if to say ‘what are we going to do?’ and we knew we had to do something,” she said. “To us, walking away from that animal would have been like killing it ourselves, and we just couldn’t do it. So we ran home and gathered all the supplies we could think of.”
When they got back to the scene, supplies in hand, the fox was curled up around the trap looking lifeless. “It was heartbreaking,” she said. “We knew that no matter what, we were going to get this animal free.”
Using a makeshift dogcatcher and plastic laundry basket, the family began to release the fox.“He was so calm, it was like he knew we were there to help,” Manners said. “I gently placed the laundry basket over him so that just his arm and the trap we’re sticking out. My husband opened the trap and released his paw, allowing the fox to run back into his den.”
The trap was placed three feet from the fox’s den leaving no way for the fox to come out without stepping on it.
When Manners reported the incident, they were shocked and horrified at what they learned. “Not only is trapping legal in Nevada, but its practices are outdated, barbaric, and inhumane.”
In Nevada, trappers only have to check their traps every 96 hours. That means an animal can be stuck in a trap for 4 days with no food or water, exposed to the elements and predators with no way of defending itself. Often trappers stick cattle prods up the animal’s orifice to kill it, if the animal hasn’t already chewed off its own limb out of desperation.
“Hunters have a duty to make sure an animal doesn’t suffer,” she said.
Nearly two weeks after the incident, the family had two game wardens show up their home this and cite them for disturbing a trap. They were each fined $355. The wardens told the family that the trapping community was putting a lot of pressure on them to have them arrested.
From the original story at https://trailsafe.org/family-frees-fox/.