Trapper could faces charges
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
DUNLAP, Tenn. — Wildlife officers said Tuesday that the owner of a
trap that decapitated a family’s dog could face charges after more
snares and another dog carcass were found nearby.
“We found more stuff ... and after further investigation by an
officer who is a seasoned trapper himself determined that the traps
were set illegally,” said Dan Hicks, spokesman for the Tennessee
Wildlife Resources Agency.
The investigation began after a Dunlap family reported that their
3-year-old golden retriever had its head cut off Sunday while they
were on a walk.
Natalie Milhollin said the trap was on unmarked, private property
near a home they rent.
“I think the person who did this should go to jail,” Mrs.
Milhollin said. “The dog didn’t do anything wrong. We didn’t do
anything wrong. The person who set it did something wrong and it’s
Mr. Hicks said the trapper could face up to eight misdemeanor
charges for various violations.
He said another dog was killed by the same trap and its carcass
was discarded nearby. The owner of the second dog hasn’t been
located, Mr. Hicks said.
“Apparently (the trapper) came and checked his trap and it had a
dead dog in it, and he just took it out and laid it on the ground
next to the trap and then put more bait it and went on and it caught
a second dog,” Mr. Hicks said.
The conibear-style steel trap was baited with bacon and illegally
placed only two inches inside a box, Mr. Hicks said. State law
requires the traps to be set back at least 12 inches, he said.
Mr. Hicks said two other traps also were improperly set, and none
of the traps had required identification tags.
Investigators originally thought the traps were set for coyotes,
but Mr. Hicks said it’s more likely the trapper was trying to catch
raccoons, foxes or bobcats for their fur.
Pierre Gryzybowski, deputy manager of the Fur-Free Campaign of
the Humane Society of the United States of America, said the traps
are “like land mines for animals.”
Kraig Kaatz, president of the National Trappers Association, said
the devices help control wildlife population. He said it is uncommon
for pets to be caught in traps and that the case in Dunlap “is a
HOW TO HELP
The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency asks anyone with
information on illegal traps set in Dunlap to call 1-800-262-6704.