LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Traps found near Red Rock Canyon are making a stir on social media, pet owners are worried about their pets getting hurt.
These pictures of mangled rusted metal are going viral on social media. A local woman says these are traps near hiking trails. She claims dogs have been hurt or nearly killed when they step on them. She says they’re scattered in an area outside of the Los Altos neighborhood in Far Hills. It’s an area that has its share of joggers, like Wayne Veiock.
“As far as jogging, it’s nice to have a place off of the asphalt and concrete. The soil is less impactful on the joints,” he said.
Veiock says while he hasn’t encountered any traps jogging in the wilderness, he remains vigilant.
“So as far as the traps being out there, occasionally I do go out there in the brush, but I’m usually looking down, so I have less of a chance of not seeing it.”
This isn’t the first time an issue like this has happened near red rock. In November of 2017, a valley man had his dog caught in a trap Injuring it. The Nevada Department of Wildlife says trapping is legal on public land, and private land with permission. This includes the general area where the trap is found.
“In that general area, there’s a mix of public and private land and in that area of public land, it is legal to trap,” Doug Nielsen, NDOW conservation education supervisor, said.
Trapping generally is used to catch animals like bobcats or coyotes. Veiock says it’s a balancing act for trappers and pets.
“There’s going to be a risk if these traps are legal, and as you said, some people experience, even on a leash, a dog getting caught in a trap. That’s a bad thing so there’s a risk and a benefit,” he said.
“Trapping is legal in the state of Nevada and it’s part of our heritage. There is a defined season,” Nielsen said.
That season is generally defined as starting from October to the end of February. The department is cautioning hikers and joggers when they are on trails.
“People need to be aware if they’re going to be out there in the wild, that there’s a chance they could run into them, especially if they’re letting their dog run off a leash,” he said.
There are rules, such as the traps having to be at least a thousand feet away from certain trails in the Spring Mountain area. The department also warns removing or tampering traps is a violation. It says it’s conducting an investigation specifically into these traps to see whether they are in compliance.
“It’s always hard to tell from social media exactly what occurred or didn’t occur, so our law enforcement officers once this became common knowledge started investigating,” Nielsen said.
It says if anyone encounters a trap near a trail, just leave it alone.
“The best thing to do is if you have a question is to leave the trap alone and call our operation gamekeeping number and get a game warden to come and do what they’ve been trained to do and that’s investigate,” he said.
Anyone wanting to call in unknown traps can call 1-800-992-3030.