A $1000 reward has been offered for any information leading to the conviction of the person responsible for the death of a Sparwood cat on June 6.
It comes after a cat was found deceased on a Sparwood property after becoming trapped in an illegally modified Victor 3 leghold trap on Wednesday, June 6.
According to the BC Conservation Officer (CO) Service, the cat was wandering some distance from its home when its paw became trapped. They believe it dragged the trap with it while trying to return home, but perished and was found by a Sparwood resident. It was found not far from its home, in the Michel Creek Road area.
According to conservation officers, it’s illegal to modify traps, as well as set traps anywhere in the District of Sparwood. Thus, the person found responsible could face a number of charges.
The Association for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals, better known as The Fur-Bearers, have come forward with this reward as they believe traps cause an enormous amount of suffering to an animal and should be abolished.
Since 1953, this national not-for-profit organization has been advocating for the protection of fur-bearing animals. One of their many missions is to end the use of body-gripping traps including leghold traps.
“When we saw this situation come across our desk, we felt that it was important to take action,” said The Fur-Bearers Executive Director, Lesley Fox.
“It’s something that we’ve seen before, unfortunately,” she added. “There’s actually a growing trend in the number of cats being caught, killed or maimed in traps across B.C.
“It’s a big problem.”
Fox explained that, according to a freedom of information request to the B.C. government, conservation groups are aware of approximately eight pets being trapped or killed each season across the province. But Fox says there are likely many more that they never find out about.
She said it’s extremely difficult to trace traps back to the individual who set them, as traps do not require the use of an ID tag under the current provincial trapping regulations.
Fox admitted it is unclear at this point what the trap was intended for. However, she is concerned that the placement of one trap could mean that there are others near by.
“It’s really essential that anyone who has any information come forward so that we can hopefully prevent these types of tragedies from occurring in the future,” said Fox.
Anyone with information pertaining to this incident is encouraged to call the Report All Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) line at 1-877-952-7277.
“If someone does come forward and the information is credible, we’re happy to pay out that reward,” said Fox.