NWT SPCA president warns about snares after close call with dog in Fort Providence

Dog nearly suffocated after being caught in a snare in or near the community

Fort Providence snare dog

A dog from Fort Providence has a snare removed from his neck at Yellowknife's Great Slave Animal Hospital. The dog recovered, but the president of the NWT SPCA says that the incident highlights how caution must be taken with traps and snares near communities. (submitted by NWT SPCA)



The president of the NWT SPCA is warning residents to be careful with traps and snares after a Fort Providence dog nearly died after being caught last week.

Nicole Spencer said she received an email last week from Susan Christie, the Senior Administrative Officer for the hamlet of Fort Providence, last Friday, telling her that there was an "emergency situation" with a loose dog. The dog had its neck trapped in a snare, broken away from the trap, and had hidden under a porch in the community. 

RCMP and community members attempted to lift up the porch to retrieve the dog. After "several hours," according to Spencer, the dog emerged, was caught, and taken to Yellowknife for examination. 

Snare dog neck

A close-up of the snare trapped around the dog's neck. The snare was able to be removed without cutting into the dog's flesh, but SPCA President Nicole Spencer says that it 'was that tight, they weren't sure if they were able to do it or not.' (submitted by NWT SPCA)

"At that point I was asking questions," said Spencer, who was in Yellowknife. "And Susan had said: 'it's around the dog's neck. And even though the dog's tail is wagging a little bit, it looks pretty tight.'"

With bloodshot eyes and a swollen face, the dog was brought into the Great Slave Animal hospital, where veterinarian Dr. Tom Pisz was able to successfully remove the snare. 

"He couldn't breathe, he couldn't get enough oxygen," said Spencer. "Another half a day or day, he would have probably died. And a slow, painful death, because the snare just gradually tightens."

'People need to really think about what they're doing'

Although the dog was ultimately saved, Spencer said that the incident highlights the care that needs to be taken when placing traps and snares.

Gennaios the dog

The dog is now recovering at the NWT SPCA and is 'doing well,' according to Spencer. He's been named Gennaios - 'brave,' in Greek - and is currently up for adoption. (submitted by NWT SPCA)

"This particular snare was very close, if not in, the town, which is illegal," she said. "Not a good thing, because a snare that big, a child could have gotten caught in it." 

Despite the close call, the dog is now recovering at the SPCA in Yellowknife. He's been named Gennaios, which means "brave" in Greek, and is up for adoption.

"He's doing quite well," said Spencer. "Of course you can see the scarring from where the wire was, but he's doing pretty good." 

"He's a little bit shy, his eyes are a bit bloodshot, but he's doing well."

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