Dog killed in beaver trap
SUMMIT COUNTY – A pair of fishermen set out Sunday into a waterway north of Silverthorne to cast their lines in the water for a relaxing afternoon in the sunshine.Their day took a sad and unfortunate turn when their dog was killed by a nearby beaver trap.”The people were out fishing on private property with permission,” said Sgt. Dave Lynes of the Silverthorne Police Department. “The dog was with them, and it poked its nose into a bush and got caught. It was just awful – something I never considered could happen.”According to district wildlife manager Shannon Schwab, the device that caught the dog was a Conibear Gripper trap, which is designed to kill beavers. It has a square, heavy steel frame about 10 inches across, with two strong, V-shaped springs.Opening the trap on Sunday required the help of three people, Lynes said. “People shouldn’t come across them too often, because they’re illegal without a permit through the county or the Division of Wildlife,” Schwab said. “They’re used for agricultural purposes on private land when beavers are clogging up irrigation ditches.”Schwab is investigating Sunday’s incident to determine whether a permit had ever been issued for the trap. “I’m guessing we’ll have it concluded in the next couple days,” Schwab said.In the meantime, Lynes is hoping other dog owners will be able to avoid a similar accident.”My concern is over another dog or possibly someone’s kid. I don’t want people to be overly paranoid about it, but if you’re in an unfamiliar area, your dog should be on a leash,” Lynes said.