Salmon Arm man loses dog to coyote snare within city limits

Owner questions use of snares near publicly accessible trails

Jeff Zakus lost his dog, Molly, after she was caught in a coyote snare in the bush near his home, unable to recover from the damage to her throat. Zakus and roommate Sheldon Gray are questioning the use of these traps near a publicly accessible trail. (Image contributed)

A Salmon Arm man lost his beloved dog, Molly, to a coyote snare trap set on private property within the city.

Jeff Zakus lives along the northeastern edge of Salmon Arm, bordering thick trees and bush shared by several properties in the neighbourhood near 35 Street and 20 Avenue NE. He has taken Molly on walks through the forest near his property for six years, and says many others walk these trails with their dogs. Nothing bad had come of it until last Tuesday.

Read More: Wildlife photographer turns lens on wolves killed with neck snares

Zakus and his roommate Sheldon Gray were first concerned when Molly didn’t return home after exploring the bush. The pair set out for one last look in the morning and were shocked by what they found.

“It’s just by the grace of god that I saw her, she was in the snare for so long she had no response when we were calling, she didn’t make a peep or anything,” Gray says.

Molly was off the trail quite a ways and had been caught with a wire around her neck. While struggling to break free she had caused the wire to tighten further around her neck and cut her mouth badly trying to chew through the wire.

“We found her and those beautiful blue eyes were bugged right out of her head. I bolted back home as fast as I could and got some snips, snipped that line off, got her out of there and brought her home. We thought, okay lets just lie her down and maybe she will be alright. But she wasn’t alright, the breathing was really bad,” Gray says.

While initially hopeful Molly’s condition would improve, Zakus was later told by vets the damage to her throat and complications from oxygen deprivation were too much to recover from.

Read More: B.C. veterinarian wants 2,900-km wildlife death trap removed

Conservation officer Tanner Beck responded to the call, and says these traps were legal within the province’s regulations; they were set to address the problem of coyotes killing livestock in the area.

In this particular situation, Beck notes that a lack of communication from the trapper to neighbours, combined with a dog roaming without owner supervision, came together to produce this tragic outcome. Beck said it is the trapper’s responsibility to ensure they are trapping on the property they have permission for but also noted that the dog had travelled quite a distance from home to get into the trap.

Setting traps on private property is legal in B.C., with regulations stating snares cannot be located within 200m of a private residence and must be set by an approved trapper. Because of the 200m restriction Beck says snares are not common within city limits, but the deep bush behind this particular property allowed for legal snare use. Municipalities can prohibit trapping through bylaws, but Salmon Arm has no such bylaw.

Read More: Conservation group blasts B.C. for targeting predators to protect sheep

While the traps were set legally, Zakus still questions their use within city limits and in an area frequented by pet owners.

“The use of those snares within the city of Salmon Arm, it’s just outrageous, the guy could have easily just put a live trap. Every day people walk their dogs in there. Any dog could have gotten that scent, and people might have no idea where their dog ended up,” he says.


 

@Jodi_Brak117
jodi.brak@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Jeff Zakus lost his dog, Molly, after she was caught in a coyote snare in the bush near his home, unable to recover from the damage to her throat. Zakus and roommate Sheldon Gray are questioning the use of these traps near a publicly accessible trail. (Image contributed)

Just Posted

Doctors dispute need for Salmon Arm urgent and primary care centre

Medical professionals would rather see investment in local Primary Care Network

Plan in works to keep Salmon Arm’s homeless people warm in extreme weather

Advocate aims higher, wants a 24/7 friendship centre operating in city

CSRD’s plan to create economic development society meets resistance

Electoral Area E director wants to withdraw area from the proposal

A Salmon Arm mortgage investment corporation faces BC Securities hearing

Securities commission alleges misrepresentations and false or misleading statements in documents

Salmon Arm prepares for Rogers Hometown Hockey

Businesses and residents encouraged to wear jerseys, show their hockey spirit

UBCO students raise funds for those affected by Philippine volcano eruption

All proceeds will be donated to the Philippine Red Cross

B.C.-based Coulson Aviation C-130 crashes in Australia

Three people are confirmed dead in the crash in New South Wales

New nasal spray launched in Canada to combat hypoglycemic shock in diabetics

Baqsimi is a nasal spray contains three milligrams of glucagon

Prices for recreational marijuana in B.C. down from a year ago

New inflation figures show gasoline, housing and certain kinds of food cost more

B.C. RCMP spent roughly $750K on massive manhunt for Port Alberni men

Manitoba RCMP helped with 17-day search through the province’s northern terrain

Future space homes could be made of mushrooms

NASA explores use of fungi to build structures in space

Empty speedboat sinks off Kelowna shore on Okanagan Lake

This is the third report of a boat found in the lake in the past two weeks

Most Read