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Hunting Accident File > VIOLATIONS > 2008

AK: Illegal trapping kills dog

Man charged with cruelty for trapping dog

THROAT CRUSHED: Conibear had been baited and set on man's porch.

By JAMES HALPIN
Anchorage Daily News
December 18th, 2008

A man suspected of killing his neighbors' pet dog with an animal trap set on his front porch has been hit with cruelty to animals and illegal trapping charges, Anchorage police said Wednesday.

Christian Kasprzyk, 41, faces the charges stemming from the death of Grizzly, a 4-year-old Rottweiler owned by Tony and Natalie Lazenby, on Nov. 26, police said.

Grizzly had been playing with another dog in front of the Lazenbys house that morning, the day before Thanksgiving, when at one point the dogs wandered off. Grizzly ran back minutes later, shrieking and thrashing wildly, his head locked in the death grip of a Victor Conibear 220 coil spring trap, police said.

Unable to remove the trap, the Lazenbys called animal control, whose officers took Grizzly to a veterinarian. He died there a few hours later, his throat crushed.

"Tony and I are suffering still a great deal of grief over this loss," Natalie said Wednesday evening. "It's the indelible images more than anything ... We still have blood stains on the carpet that we can't get out."

The trap is designed for use on small game like groundhogs, woodchucks and coyote. The device had been set up and baited in a laid-down plastic bucket, which held the trap in place, on the front porch of a home near the Old Seward Highway and Dimond Boulevard, Lt. Dave Parker said.

Police have not released the reason Kasprzyk allegedly had the trap set on his porch, including whether he was targeting the dog or something else, though Parker noted the charges Kasprzyk is facing require criminal negligence.

"Even if you don't know, you should know that a dog could come along and get his head caught in there," Parker said. "Why would a person set an animal trap on their porch on an area that is surrounded by houses and pets? That's the question that has to be answered."

Natalie Lazenby said Kasprzyk has not offered her family an apology or explanation for an incident that has shocked the neighborhood.

"There's been quite an astounding ripple effect," she said. "There's no children playing in our neighborhood."

Kasprzyk could not be reached for comment Wednesday night. He has been issued a citation pending an appearance in court, police said. If convicted, Kasprzyk faces a maximum of one year in jail and a $10,000 fine on each count.

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