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Tuesday, Jul 26, 2005County: Schuylkill
Disposition: Not Charged
Case Images: 2 files available
Abuser names unreleased
A 5-or-6-year-old tan and gray female Husky, German shepherd mix, wearing a red collar, had been caught in an illegal hunting trap. The dog's snout, neck and mouth were pinned between a Conibear trap used to trap animals like muskrats in the water, said Jacqueline DeCindio, deputy wildlife conservation officer for the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC).
These types of traps are illegal and are not supposed to be used as a land trap, DeCindio said. "It's unlawful to use as a land trap. It's a legal trapping device used in the water," she said.
Darlene F. Tobash spotted the dog in her backyard on Tobash Drive, Schuylkill Haven, around 6:30 a.m. July 26 and thought it had a muzzle around its mouth. She noticed the dog was pawing, trying to get the device off its head.
Tobash called the SPCA, 9-1-1 and the state police.
When Tobash went outside to offer the dog some water, she realized it wasn't caught in a muzzle.
By the time Quinter arrived on the scene, the dog was becoming limp. She brought the dog to the SPCA, where it took several people to pry the trap off.
"By the time she (the dog) got there she was already dead. She had a very faint heartbeat," Quinter said.
Several SPCA workers tried to revive the dog with CPR, but the dog was unable to be resuscitated.
Quinter only wishes she had gotten to Tobash's house sooner so the dog could have had a chance of surviving.
"The dog died in the most inhumane way," she said.
"Pennsylvania shouldn't have traps like this," Umlauf said. "I've seen many injuries from traps in the 20 years I've been here, but this is the most cruel I've ever seen."
She has seen similar cases in which animals caught in steel jaw or leg traps lost limbs.
John Denchak, wildlife conservation officer for PGC, and DeCindio both said the perpetrators who placed the traps were found and charges are expected to be filed with the magisterial district judge.
Denchak declined to identify the individuals who allegedly set the traps. Denchak said the individuals didn't know it was illegal to have traps and were using them to catch groundhogs that were digging holes in their yard. There are other options available for trapping nuisance groundhogs, he said, such as catching them in box traps and letting them loose on state gamelands.
- Republican & Herald - July 27, 2005
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