What can be done if a pet gets caught in a trapline? Where are these traplines found?
It’s important to keep your pet close and under your control at the cottage. Train your dog to stay with you and to come when you call.
Now that you’ve been duly warned, note that traplines are common all across the province, especially on Crown land but also on private land where owners have given trappers permission to be there. To find out where the lines are, call your local municipality. Staff will tell you the general location of any lines registered in the area on Crown land. (For privacy reasons, they won’t tell you who the trapper is.) It gets a bit trickier to locate traps on private land because the trapper is recorded but not the location. Your best bet is to ask neighbouring landowners directly. No area (along shorelines, for instance) is more likely than any other to be the site for a line.
What should you do in the unfortunate situation that your dog is caught in a trap? Proceed with caution. You should be able to spring your pet from a trap meant for a small animal, such as a mink, by carefully opening the trap jaws while suppressing the spring on one or both sides. But heavy traps, meant to quickly “dispatch” larger animals—raccoons or beavers, for example—can’t be so easily opened (and shouldn’t be touched by anyone unfamiliar with how they work). On private land, you would need to contact the landowner, who would in turn request that the trapper come and clear the trap. On Crown land, get in touch with your local ministry, like the Ministry of Natural Resources in Ontario.