Nfld. & Labrador

Mom 'just screeching' after snare killed family pet in Labrador

The owner of a dog that died in a snare says her family is still hurting from the heart-breaking news more than two weeks ago.

Doug the dog died about two weeks ago

The Penney family's dog, Doug, died after he was caught in a snare in Labrador. (Facebook)

The owner of dog that died in a snare more than two weeks ago says her family is still recovering from the heart-breaking tragedy.

"My mom came in my room just screeching and I had no idea what was going on," said owner Jaclyn Penney, who lives on Quarry Road off the Trans-Labrador Highway, more than 10 kilometres outside Happy Valley-Goose Bay.

"She said that Doug [the family's dog] had passed. That he got caught in a trap. It's hard to talk about it. We never thought that this would happen. He was just out on his morning walk and my mom thought he was in a fight with an animal. By the time she got help it was too late. He was gone."

It was heart-breaking...a cry I never heard from my son.- Jaclyn Penney

Penney's father found the dog and cut him free, but tragically the dog had already died.

She said it was difficult to give her 8-year-old son the bad news.

"It was hard. It was done with many tears. It was heart-breaking," she said.

"I went straight to the point and told him what happened and it was a cry that I have never heard from my son."

Doug was originally from Sheshatshui. The Penneys adopted him in June.

"We instantly fell in love with him," Penney said.

"He was really sick when we got him."

Not on a leash

Penney said her dog wasn't on a leash when he became ensnared in a trap set about 10 feet off the side of the road. She said the dog put its head through what the family believes was a fox trap.

"We live up off the highway, on a road that doesn't have much traffic," Penney said.

"So we do take our dog up there off-leash. Just because we know everybody up there and we never thought this would happen."

She said if she had known what was going to happen the dog would have been kept on a leash, but she also said dogs should be able to run free in residential areas without fear they might be caught in a trap.

Apart from a few protected areas, provincial regulations don't say anything about where snares can or can't be set. 

Family calling for changes

The dog's death has left Penney with some questions.

"I'm just wondering why people would be setting traps near residential housing where children or animals could caught in them?" she said.

Following the incident, Penney is warning dog walkers to be prepared.

"I just want to get this out there so people know," she said.

"The only way our dog could have been saved that day is if my mom had been carrying wire cutters [with her] when it happened."