After losing his dog Molly to a coyote snare, Jeff Zakus is determined to see the animal traps banned in Salmon Arm.
Zakus and roommate Sheldon Gray have been circulating a petition throughout the community since late March. Entitled “Molly’s Law,” the petition asks that the snares be banned within city limits.
Gray estimates the petition has received about 1,000 signatures. The next step is to make a presentation to Salmon Arm council.
“We figured we had to try to do something to get rid of those snares,” said Gray.
Zakus and Gray live by a forested area along 20th Ave. NE where there’s a trail system used by neighbours, cyclists and others. Zakus had taken Molly on walks through the area for six years, and says many others walk these trails with their dogs.
On March 19, Zakus and Gray became concerned when Molly had been out exploring and hadn’t returned home. The two went out to search and were shocked when they found her – approximately 250-steps from their doors – caught with a wire around her throat on private property adjacent to the forested area.
“We found her and those beautiful blue eyes were bugged right out of her head,” Gray told the Observer in a March interview. “I bolted back home as fast as I could and got some snips, snipped that line off, got her out of there and brought her home. We thought, okay lets just lie her down and maybe she will be alright. But she wasn’t alright, the breathing was really bad.”
Zakus was later informed by a veterinarian that the damage to Molly’s throat and complications from oxygen deprivation were too much for her to recover from.
“It was pretty bad for us; I don’t see how it could have gotten much worse,” recalls Gray of finding Molly. He stresses Molly didn’t wander off, but was out exploring the space she, Gray and Zakus had used for years.
Zakus and Gray say they’ve already found support from one city councillor, and they’re hoping the rest will support the petition.
“Our vet said, ‘Sad to say it, you guys aren’t the first that I’ve seen of this,’” said Gray of pets killed by snares. “He says he’s seen a couple a year. And those are the ones that are actually found. Can you imagine the ones that aren’t found?”