WY TRAP FREE-mont County-Public Safety on Public Land, was started after the tragic “legal” trapping death of my dog Mac. I was running with Mac on public land. After wandering off the road, he was brutally killed in a hidden, human placed, power snare trap. The snare had been modified with a “legal”, lethal attachment that requires a special tool to release. I could not release the snare with my bare hands. Mac died struggling in my arms. I called my husband, he could not get the snare off Mac either, so we took Mac and the whole trap, and carried him to the truck. At home, Mac was finally released with a lot of physical effort and wire cutters. Because the snare mechanism was so tight, it cut deep into Mac’s neck, making it very difficult to remove. I called the Sheriff, who came and assessed the situation, took some pictures, looked at the snare, and his response to us was, “It's LEGAL”.
It was an absolutely horrific day losing Mac. It was also devastating to learn Wyoming Trap Law allows trappers to legally kill our (your) dog on public land.
As a result of Mac’s death and community support, we have formed a new grassroots advocacy group, to promote public awareness of trapping, responsible recreation, trapping law reform and education. We all have rights on Public Land. We can work together to find sustainable solutions, and create a win-win environment for all.
Thanks for joining in and helping create change on our beautiful public lands.
Karen & Klaus Zoller
WY TRAP FREEmont County is a grassroots organization that evolved out of support for Karen and Klaus Zoller, and a desire to see a change to allow public recreation in areas without the worry of trapping incidents. Conflict has the potential to become more prevalent with the increased traffic of outdoor recreation in certain areas of Wyoming. We do not have a desire to see trapping end, just equitable and reasonable expectation of safety in areas of public lands that see high usage by hikers, bikers, snowshoeing and skiing, hunting (bird, small game, houndsmen) and horseback recreation.
Most people who use public lands for recreation with their dogs will have control over their dogs. They are responsible dog owners, who put hours of training into their animals. People who include their pets in daily life view them as family members and are not allowing them to roam recklessly, harass livestock or wildlife, or cause trouble. The trapping advocates often suggest pets should always be on leash. While this is a great suggestion for inexperienced pet owners training their pets to have a better recall or to keep certain breeds safer, many dogs are already trained and this is not a reasonable solution for people who are on mountain bikes, ORVs, skis or snowshoes, horseback or engaging in hunting activities with dogs.
We believe there is a way to reach compromise so the dog owners and trappers of Wyoming can share the public lands as intended, and enjoy Wonderful Wyoming peacefully and fear-free!
We work with these organizations.