Vermont’s trapping season begins this Saturday, October 23; Keep your pets safe


For immediate release: October 20, 2021

Contact Person: Brenna Galdenzi | (802) 253-1592 | [email protected]

Stowe, Vermont— The trapping season begins on the 4th Saturday in October of each year in Vermont and ends on March 31st. During each trapping season, dogs, cats and other non-target animals, including protected species, are injured or killed in the traps. According to public records obtained by Protect Our Wildlife (POW), a dog was trapped in a jaw trap set up for coyotes during the first week of the trapping season last year. Some of the other untargeted catches that were voluntarily reported last year include a barred owl, a great blue heron and a Canada goose. Vermont Fish & Wildlife does not require trappers to report when they trap non-target wildlife.

Traps can be set on private land, with permission, and on public lands, including National Wildlife Sanctuaries, which are home to federally protected species, including the Canada lynx. Trappers are not required to post signs indicating where they are trapping, nor to place their traps away from public hiking trails. Baits and decoys are used with traps, so a trap for a coyote can just as easily trap a curious dog or cat or even a bald eagle. The two types of traps that pose the greatest risk to dogs and cats are the Conibear â„¢ Jaw Traps and Kill Traps. “I am a veterinarian who has treated dogs and cats caught in traps and the injuries they received were horrible. said retired Vermont veterinarian Dr Peggy Larson. The POW website features a video tutorial with instructions on how to free a pet from a Conibear â„¢ jaw and trap. If an animal is caught in a Conibear â„¢ trap, its survival is less likely. “These traps are designed to kill animals like fishermen, beavers and otters by crushing their necks with 90 pounds of pressure per square inch,” said Brenna Galdenzi, president of POW. POW has documentation on non-target animals captured in Conibear â„¢ traps, including turtles, dogs, cats, and coyotes. Photos show the traps crushing the animals’ heads and torsos, indicating enormous suffering. “It is hard to believe that these horrific instruments of torture are still used in Vermont, despite the fact that the majority of Vermonters surveyed in 2017 by the Center for Rural Studies at the University of Vermont, want to ban trapping altogether, ”Galdenzi added.

Quick tips

  • Know when the trapping season is, but remember that traps are set out of season, as Vermont allows.wild animals wreak havoc ” status, or traps left behind after the season ends, still pose a threat.
  • Remember that death traps can be set in shallow water, rivers and streams, so always check the area before allowing your dog to swim.
  • Keep cats indoors or create a fenced, cat-proof yard.

“While we cannot protect bobcats, foxes, otters and other wildlife from deadly traps that crush their jaws and body, we can try to protect our pets,” said Dr Larson.

Please visit to learn more about trapping in Vermont and how to support efforts to ban it.


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