An Idaho hunting dog caught in a lethal coyote trap survived by simply staying calm.
Leslie Soderquist lived through a dog owner’s nightmare during the holidays. She took her dog Maggie, a five-year-old Weimaraner, for a run near the edge of her family’s property on Dec. 28 and began to worry when Maggie didn’t come home. After searching along the canal that borders the property, she finally found Maggie.
“I was hollering and heard some yips… I was probably 100 yards away,” said Soderquist. Maggie was caught in a snare by her neck, a situation that could have easily killed the dog.
Maggie did not struggle against the cable, which is designed to pull tighter as the animal struggles to break free. Soderquist, unable to break the cable without tools, called her husband and the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. Maggie was cut free later that night.
Dan Kelsey, the Fish and Game officer who responded to the call, says Maggie did the right thing. “Other dogs might have panicked and killed themselves.”
Soderquist attributes Maggie’s calm response to her obedience learned in hunting and leash training.
Kelsey and Soderquist discovered four more snare traps set along the property boundary. Further investigation revealed the trapper was given permission by another landowner to trap the canal for coyotes. The trapper has not been charged with a crime, and Soderquist feels it was an honest – if dangerous – mistake.
Fish and Game has information on their website about how to release pets caught in traps.
Soderquist now carries cable cutters when walking her dogs, as well as cautious attitude. “I was really upset because we almost lost her,” she said. “My goal right now is to make sure that people are aware and prepared if their dogs are caught in a trap.”