Humane Society of Huron Valley warns pet owners to be cautious of wildlife traps

Ann Arbor humane society urges diligence after passage of amendment

Raccoon in tree. (David Kenyon, Copyright 2002 State of Michigan)

ANN ARBOR – Officials at the Humane Society of Huron Valley are urging Ann Arbor area pet owners to be careful of dangerous traps after the recent passage of an amendment to wildlife regulations.

Introduced by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the amendment allows for the trapping and killing of “nuisance” wildlife without a permit if they are causing damage to private property. This includes squirrels, beavers, cottontail rabbits and opossums.

“Sadly, we’ve seen not only wild animals suffer in traps, but also dogs and cats,” said HSHV Cruelty and Rescue Supervisor Eric Wright in a release. “And now it’s legal for your neighbor to use them for even more reasons, wherever and whenever they want on their property.”

Officials said that rescuers discovered a raccoon earlier in May whose leg was severed in a hand trap.

“I don’t know who would look at this mutilated and scared animal and think this is okay. I understand people get frustrated with wild animals,” said HSHV CEO Tanya Hilgendorf, “but seeing the popularity of humane and effective wildlife conflict management, it’s disheartening to see the MDNR sanction more cruelty and killing.”

“People don’t want to see animals’ bodies cruelly crushed in conibear or steel-jawed leghold traps. And they certainly don’t want their beloved pet in one,” she said. “Dogs and cats get accidentally lost every day. Some have been abandoned. None understand property lines. Pet owners should be on the lookout, and animal lovers should know that humane wildlife removal services exist—they don’t need to resort to cruelty.”

Washtenaw County residents can contact HSHV for wildlife removal help or if they find a sick or injured animal at 734-661-3512.

HSHV also suggests several ways to prevent conflicts with neighborhood wildlife such as:

  • securing garbage bins
  • blocking openings under decks, sheds and porches
  • closing off access to chimneys and attics
  • not leaving any pet foot outside overnight
  • using scarecrows or spraying repellents on grass

Learn more tips here.

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Sarah has worked for WDIV since June 2018. She covers community events, good eats and small businesses in Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in Applied Linguistics from Grand Valley State University.