13 Investigates


Las Vegas family fined more than $700 for freeing fox from trap

Fox caught in trap
Fox caught in trap
Fox caught in trap
Posted at 5:44 PM, Mar 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-17 12:17:50-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — A local family who freed a fox from a steel trap has been fined by the state and threatened with arrest after 13 Investigates shared their story.

It's a gross misdemeanor in the state of Nevada to disturb somebody else's trap.

But when we spoke to the Nevada Division of Wildlife for our original story, NDOW confirmed they'd investigated and did not issue criminal citations.

That changed over the weekend, sparking a call for the governor to intervene.

Bobby Vaske and Jessica Manners happened upon a trapped fox while hiking in January with their two children and their two dogs.

PREVIOUS: Family frees fox after their dog is nearly caught in a leg-hold trap

One of the dogs set off a second trap but was unharmed.

The family rescued the fox from the baited trap, which had been placed just outside its den.

In the wake of our story, PETA gave the family its Compassionate Action Award.

But days later — and nearly two months after the incident — game wardens showed up at the family's home.

Bobby Vaske said the wardens told him they were getting a lot of pressure from the trapping community to arrest the couple, but instead, the wardens issued two citations totaling more than $700.

Vaske says they were told because the fox was caught in the trap, the animal was the trapper's personal property.

PREVIOUS: Las Vegas family who freed fox from trap honored by PETA

PETA sent a letter to Gov. Steve Sisolak calling for a ban on steel-jaw traps throughout the state. The animal welfare organization calls leg-hold traps "medieval devices that have no place in the 21st century."

The group has also asked the governor to revoke the fines assessed to the Vaske family.

We reached out to Sisolak's office about PETA's letter and were told, "The Governor's Office has no additional comment beyond what has already been offered by NDOW."

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