B.C. family dog loses leg after spending days caught in leg-hold trap

B.C. family dog loses leg after spending days caught in leg-hold trap

A B.C. family is speaking out about their dog that had to have her leg amputated after getting stuck in a trap for days.

B.C. family dog loses leg after spending days caught in leg-hold trap

Pearl is a working livestock guardian dog on the Hartley’s Farm, located northwest of Fort St. John.

“We live and are surrounded by Crown land with nothing, nothing out there but the wilderness so she protects us from bears and wolves and all the big predators,” owner Ricki Hartley told Global News.

The three-and-a-half-year-old Anatolian Shepherd was out patrolling the property earlier this month and never made it home for dinner.

The family says they found her a few days later, stuck in a leg-hold trap near their property.

“We feed all of our dogs at 7 p.m. sharp,” Hartley said.

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“Pearl had never not once been home for dinner. So we started to get worried. The sun had already gone down so we made a plan for Sunday to go out and search for her. Sunday morning my husband got the snowmobile and snow shoes and he went everywhere that he could.”


Pearl had to have her leg amputated after she got caught in a leg hold trap near her home.


Submitted by the Hartley family

Hartley said her husband came home around 6 p.m. when the sun went down and still, Pearl was nowhere to be seen.


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“We live in a valley so your voice carries,” she said. “So I started hollering for Pearl in my largest voice possible and heard her howl back to me. So we we drove up the road, we kept stopping and kept calling for her. Couldn’t find her, she wouldn’t come but we could hear approximately where she was.”

The next morning, Hartley said they could hear Pearl was in the same spot so her husband got back on the snowmobile and was able to track her down.

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Hartley said her paw was stuck in the trap when her husband found their dog. It was frozen, swollen and indented. Her husband freed Pearl and they rushed her to the vet, which is two hours away.

The vet gave them two options – euthanize or amputate – and the Hartleys chose to amputate.

“Knowing how long Pearl was out there and it was caught, like it’s awful, it’s absolutely awful,” Hartley said.

“Let alone being your own dog. It should not happen to any dog owners.”


Pearl is a member of the family and helps keep wolves and bears away from the property.


Submitted by the Hartley family

The family said they didn’t know trapping was happening in the area. It’s believed the trap was set to target wolves but the family said they were not informed, nor were any signs posted.

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“Under the regulations, a trap can be set to 200 metres from a dwelling,” Lesley Fox, executive director of Fur-Bearers said.

“And the regulations are quite frankly outdated regulations favouring trappers, not the general public.”

According to the Fur-Bearers, a wildlife protection charity, at least 10 pets are trapped in B.C. every year.

“I’d never thought about trapping until Pearl and now I’m looking around and wow, absolutely appalled at the lack thereof for ensuring public safety,” Hartley added.

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