Family Files Claim Over Traps That Kill 3 St. Bernards

May 26, 2016

A stock photo of a St. Bernard
Credit DaiRut

A family whose three St. Bernard dogs were killed in traps in Casper filed a claim this week with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and other agencies, contending that the dogs were caught in “choker loop” traps on state lands where they say trapping is not allowed. 

Family attorney Gary Shockey says state regulations list other activities that are legal on state lands, but not trapping.  

“There are specific rules and regulations for what can and cannot be done on state lands," Shockey says. "And they range from where and when you can camp, to recreational activities, to hunting. But nowhere in the rules and regulations of the Land Commission does it authorize trapping.”

The family claims that in November 2014, their dogs roamed onto state land near their residential area in Casper and were snagged in loops that were likely larger than the 12 inch legal diameter.

“How can a St. Bernard who’s running along, get his head into a loop that’s 12 inches or smaller?” Shockey says.

The Cardenas family children found the three dogs dead, or nearly so, in traps set up on state lands next to their Casper neighborhood. One trap had not been tagged with the trapper’s identification, which is illegal. Shockey says state law also requires that traps break loose under 295 pounds of pressure or less and should have broken under the weight of a large St. Bernard.

Shockey says the Wyoming Land Commission needs to revamp their rules for trapping on state land by putting it up to public discussion.

The Wyoming Game and Fish has not released the name of the trapper, contending the person was in their legal right to trap there.