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Charges against Las Vegas couple who freed fox dropped by the state

Fox caught in trap
Fox caught in trap
Fox caught in trap
Posted at 4:24 PM, May 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-19 19:25:55-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — In March one Las Vegas couple was fined by the State of Nevada and threatened with arrest for freeing a fox trapped in a steel cage. Thursday, the charges were dropped.

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

"To me, it was like killing that animal myself if I didn't do something so, whatever the law is, I did what I had to do," Vaske said.

The couple was not home free after freeing the fox, though, as it is considered a gross misdemeanor. Two months after freeing the animal game wardens showed up on the couple's doorstep.

13 Action News has been on top of this story since March: Family frees fox after their dog is nearly caught in a leg-hold trap

Claiming they were receiving pressure from the trapping community to arrest them, the wardens issued two citations totaling over $700.

Following the citations, 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."

During the Justice Court of Henderson Township meeting this week, the charges against Vaske and Manners were dropped. State records report the State of Nevada did not proceed and the case was “dismissed and closed.”

The Senior Vice President of PETA, Colleen O’Brien, stood in support of the couple.

“If this compassionate couple hadn’t rightly intervened, a frightened fox could have died in a crushing trap that had been despicably placed right outside his den. Prosecutors made the only defensible decision here, and PETA urges Nevadans — and anyone else who lives in an area that allows animals to be cruelly trapped — to demand a ban on these archaic, deadly devices," O'Brien said in a statement. "PETA defended Manners and Vaske from the outset, including by sending an urgent letter to Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak asking him to dismiss their fines, connecting the family with a Nevada defense attorney who represented them pro bono, and awarding them a Compassionate Action Award for the rescue.”