The Humane Society of the United States is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the illegal trapping of a red fox in Montclair, New Jersey.
The Case: On June 21, residents of Montclair witnessed an injured fox struggling in a coil spring trap, commonly known as a steel-jawed leghold trap. Montclair Animal Control captured the fox and transported him to the local veterinary hospital, where he was euthanized due to his injuries.
"The fox had a compound leg fracture from the coil spring trap and appeared to have been gnawing on his foot in desperation to try to free himself," said Montclair Animal Control supervisor, Michele Shiber. "Animal cruelty of ANY kind is not tolerated in Montclair."
Steel-jawed leghold traps have been banned in New Jersey for decades, although the state still allows the use of other cruel devices including strangling neck snares as well as body-crushing, or Conibear traps if fully submerged under water. Despite massive public opposition, New Jersey also recently authorized the use of what it calls “foot encapsulating” traps, which are small leghold traps enclosed in a narrow tube, designed to slam down on the smaller paws of dexterous raccoons and opossums but prevent the capture of domestic dogs and cats.
“This merciless and illegal action by one individual highlights the cruelty associated with wildlife trapping,” said Elissa Frank, New Jersey state director for the Humane Society of the United States. “We are grateful to Montclair Animal Control for their swift and compassionate response to end this poor fox’s agony, and we hope this reward can help bring the offender to justice and prosecute him/her to the fullest extent of the law.”
The Investigators: Montclair Animal Control, Montclair Police and the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife are investigating. Anyone with any information about this incident is urged to contact Montclair Animal Control supervisor, Michele Shiber at Mshiber@MontclairNJusa.org or Montclair Police at email@example.com or 973-744-1234. All information relayed to officials will be kept confidential.
- Melissa Smith