Chicago-area Husky Caught in Illegal Trap on Public Lands

 |  Dec 12th 2006  |   1 Contribution


I understand trapping in an uninhabited area but is this area of Chicago that clear of people that trappers can be placing traps for small game without endangering dogs, cats, and children and other unaware people?

This article was in The Courier News.

Family dog caught in trap
Along Tyler Creek: Official says trap was set on city land without permission

BYJANELLE WALKER Staff Writer

ELGIN -- Shannon George was taking a Thanksgiving Day walk a week ago through the wetland area between Tyler Creek and the railroad tracks, off Lyle Avenue, when he saw a young boy in tears.

The Springfield man was out with his father-in-law, Elgin resident Tim Peshek, walking a dog when they met the boy, perhaps 10 years old, crying about his own dog, a Siberian husky.


The husky had caught its neck in an animal trap next to the creek, and from what anyone could tell, already was dead, George said.

Both George and Peshek tried to free the dog. Its eyes were open, George said, and its tongue was hanging out of its mouth. They were only able to get what they believed was a beaver trap halfway open, but when they did, the dog's back leg moved.
That's when the trapper who had laid the trap -- in the city-owned wetland -- showed up.

"We told him he killed a dog," George said.

The trapper was able to get the trap all the way open; and as the dog was released, it took a breath, George remembers.

By then, the boy, who had gone to get family members, was back.

"I told them their dog was still alive. But then, I was afraid I had given them false hope," George said.

Within five minutes of getting the trap off the dog's neck, though, it sat up and was able to walk.

"Little by little, it came back," George said. The dog went home with its family.

Trapper didn't have city OK

It was luck that he came along when he did, George said -- likely within a minute or so of the dog getting caught.
But had he arrived five minutes later, George doubts the dog would have survived.

Neither George, of Springfield, nor Peshek, of Elgin, thought to get the name of the dog's family, or the name of the trapper.

According to Peshek, the trapper said he'd been licensed for 18 years and had never seen a dog caught in one of his traps before. The man picked up the rest of his traps in the area and left, George said.

Although a state wildlife biologist said trapping within city limits is not illegal, trappers must have permission from the property owner to set their traps.

According to Sue Olafson, the city's public information officer, a swath of about 50 feet of land next to Tyler Creek is city-owned property -- the rest is controlled by developer Valley Creek, which at one point was seeking approval to build an apartment building in the area.

Elgin would not have granted permission for anyone to trap in the area, Olafson said. Representatives from Valley Creek could not be immediately reached for comment.

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