Safe Trails
Danger: Trapping Ahead

How to Release Your Animal from a Trap

dog in trap

How to Release Your Animal from a Trap (Acrobat PDF) »

If your animal is caught in a trap, it is important to remain calm. In most cases the animal will be scared and in pain so even a usually friendly animal may lash out and try to bite. It can be helpful to cover the animal’s head with a shirt or jacket to act as a muzzle as well as to calm the animal down. Keep the cover on throughout the release. Even if the trap has not cut through your animal’s skin, when you release the springs of the trap, blood will rush back into the extremity and it may sting sharply.

Once your animal is released, take him or her to a veterinarian as soon as possible to make sure there is no internal damage. If you are not able to remove the trap yourself, release the anchor from its stake in the ground and take the animal with the trap to get help.

This may be difficult, but try to document the incident. Take photos or video, including after treatment, showing where it happened, etc. This will help provide information to those who can create positive change. Contacting the media or working toward legislation or local ordinances can help prevent others from enduring a similar tragedy. Born Free USA can help (e-mail or call (916) 447-3085).