Last year, over a dozen dogs and cats were caught in foot-hold and body-gripping traps in Vermont. At least two dogs and one cat died. Vermont’s Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules (LCAR) is currently reviewing proposed changes to trapping rules that are intended to reduce the danger posed to pets by traps placed near roads and trails, which is a common trapping practice in Vermont.

Just this October 3, 2023 a woman was walking her German shepherd on the Castleton University trail system when the dog was caught in a body-gripping trap set only seven feet from the trail by a licensed nuisance beaver trapper. Vermont Wildlife Patrol is asking dog owners to exercise caution in areas where traps might occur, especially in areas near water with beaver activity. Cat owners should also not leave animals out overnight where they might roam and encounter a recently set trap. There have been two reports this October alone of cats being caught in nuisance animal traps set for skunk and other wildlife, one in Barre and the latest in Williston on October 24th.

How to release your pet from a body-gripping trap:

LCAR’s next hearing is November 2, 2023. For information from the October 5th & 19th sessions:

Read the latest memorandum from LCAR to the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department and Board about the need to make the public safer from the consequences of legal trapping and the hunting of coyotes with hounds in Vermont.

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