A Moncton veterinarian is warning pet owners to keep their animals on a leash when walking in the woods because trappers are setting snares within city limits.
Karine Eusanio says pets can be seriously injured if they get caught in one of the fur harvesting traps.
"We can see a type of injury where there is continuous tightening around a limb or possibly even the neck as well, which can cause reduced blood flow to that part of the body and can cause severe damage to the muscles and the bones," she said.
"And sometimes the limb even needs to be amputated because of the damage a snare can cause."
Cats are particularly vulnerable and should be kept inside until the fur harvesting season ends at the end of February, said Eusanio.
Nancy Boyer says she was walking her dog on a trail in the woods behind her home when she came across two wire rabbit snares set just a few feet off the walking path.
"I was scared for my pet, I was scared for other people's pets, for cats that might be out there too," she said.
"I was totally disturbed by it. The first thing that came to mind was — this has got to be illegal."
The City of Moncton does prohibit trapping on city-owned property, such as public parks.
But the Department of Natural Resources says trapping within city limits is legal in New Brunswick, provided the trappers are licensed and set their traps 300 metres or more away from an occupied dwelling or business.
James Marriner, the secretary of the Moncton and Area Trappers Council, says it is unethical for trappers to set snares close to where people and pets roam and the organization discourages such behaviour.
But he said pets should be on a leash, according to the law.
"The trappers [are] out there doing what he is legally entitled to do," said Marriner. "So just be aware that this is a potential danger to your pet."