Canetta also says WU is engaging in public education efforts, such as hosting trap release workshops where dog owners can learn how to release their dogs from traps.
And while the safety of pets is of considerable concern for WU, Robertson says all wildlife suffers far too frequently in the painful traps set across the state.
There are two groups of animals generally targeted by trappers. One is fur-bearing animals, like minx, badgers, beavers and bobcats. There are limits on seasons, location and population on furbearing animals who can be trapped.
The other group of trapped animals is "predators," says Canetta, who are not designated fur-bearing animals. Predators include certain fox species, coyotes, jackrabbits, porcupines, raccoons and stray cats. The distinction is a regulatory one and allows people to trap these animals as often as they like, without a license. Robertson adds, "There's no official data on how many [predator] animals are trapped annually. If you trap a coyote or a fox, for example, you don't have to report it. It's totally indiscriminate: Bears have been trapped. Moose have been trapped. Bald eagles have been trapped. Mountain lions can be trapped."