Kim Critchley's pet dog, Caper died after being caught in a baited snare. (Contributed/CBC)

Kim Critchley says there should be signs to warn pet owners if a trapper has set snares in the area.

Critchley found her pet dog, Caper dead after it got caught in a baited snare on Boxing Day.

Kim Critchley

Kim Critchley says there should be signs posted to warn people trappers have snares set in the area. (Laura Meader/CBC)

She was out walking with the dog near the Bolger Park Road. The dog was off leash and was darting in and out of the woods near the road when it got caught in the snare.

"There was a pile of freshly cut pig hooves and a pile of six or seven snares all around the pig hooves. The dog just got caught in the snare and died," said an upset Critchley.

"It was horrific to find my dog that way."

Critchley says she thought the area would be off limits to trappers since it is so close to a road and provincial trails.

"There should be some warning to people who are out walking that traps are being set," said Critchley.  

Investigation ongoing

But Wade MacKinnon, the manager of Investigation Enforcement with the Department of Justice and Public Safety said while it is government land, traps are allowed to be set.

An investigation of the incident is underway to determine if any rules were broken.

"We have to look at distances, we have to look at licenses of course, and we also have to look at permission but it being on provincial land they were allowed to trap there," said MacKinnon.

Wade MacKinnon

Wade MacKinnon is Investigation Enforcement manager with the Department of Justice and Public Safety. (Laura Meader/CBC)

It has been determined the gear is legal and allowed to be set close to the road because it is not a public right of way.

But now MacKinnon says he has to determine if the baited snares were set 300 m from the nearest home.

"It's very close so that's something we're still looking at," MacKinnon said.

The trapper was going to be contacted and spoken to about the incident.

MacKinnon says if the person was following all the rules, there will be no charges. If not, the trapper could face a $300 fine and loss of their trapping license for a year.

Snaring season on P.E.I. runs from mid-November until the end of January.

To date, MacKinnon says he's had three reports of dog caught in snares, but the other two dogs survived.  

MacKinnon says pet owners need to be vigilant and keep their dogs on a leash. He adds there are no plans to put up signs to warn that snares or traps are set in the area.

MacKinnon adds trappers worry their gear may be vandalised or stolen.