If these cruel traps were judged by the agony they inflict, they would never be justified.

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 The Traps

                       Conibear Trap

                                       Snare Trap

 Click on the name                                 Leg Hold Trap


   M44 Poison

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Leg hold traps are the most common, the least likely to injure your pet (provided you are near at hand) and the easiest to open. If your pet is struggling so much that you can't get at the trap, put your jacket, shirt, anything, over his head both to quiet him and to prevent him from biting you. Once your dog (or cat) is controllable, kneel down, place a hand on each spring at the side of the trap, and press down. If you can't depress the springs this way, stand with your feet on the ends of the trap as shown below. The jaws will relax and the paw will pull free. Most injuries occur when the animal bites at the trap, at his paw, or struggles so hard that he injures his leg.  

Snares set for furbearers are generally made of steel aircraft cable and have a locking device, which prevents the snare from loosening after the animal is captured. As a result, the harder the animal fights the snare, the tighter the locking device closes. The intent of this design is to kill the target animal quickly. Due to their size, snares set for fox, coyote or bobcat may present a risk to dogs in wildlife habitat.

Some of the information on snares and leg hold traps comes from the Nova Scotia Natural Resources Department.

Insert a finger between the cable and the dog’s neck so you can insert the wire cutters.

Use a good pair of wire cutters to cut the steel cable.


These instructions do not mention that the dog may be struggling violently and that the noose may be embedded in the neck's flesh.


 Leg Hold Traps

 M44 Poison

M44 is a device that ejects cyanide into the mouth of an animal and is commonly used to kill coyotes. They are not selective and therefore kill non-targeted animals including dogs. Most states have banned this brutal device for use by the public, but it is used by the Federal Wildlife Services. M44 is deployed on both public and private land.

 Read the story of a dog  killed

  by M44 in Oregon

Photo by Predator Defense Institute

Learn more about M44 at Predator Defense Institute







Man poisoned by M-44  in Utah

 Learn about Compound 1080

Pet-release Brochure


Download and print a brochure (pdf) on how to free your pet from a trap.

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