Man charged in connection to family dog’s death

Man charged in connection to family dog’s death

Ben in 2010

CALGARY – Charges have been laid in connection with the death of a dog in Kananaskis Country.

On November 29th, Ed and Lorna Thomas took their dog Ben for a walk near Elbow Falls.

Ben went missing and the couple searched for hours, eventually admitting defeat. The next day, Lorna found him caught in hunters snare trap. He died as a result.

A man has been charged with hunting wildlife during a closed season in relation to the event.

The maximum penalty is a fine of $100,000 and/or a 2 year jail sentence.

The man’s name is not being released.

reprinted from Global Edmonton

Province investigating after snare kills family dog

Province investigating after snare kills family dog


Ed and Lorna

The area near Powderface Trail where a dog was killed by a snare Nov. 30 was closed to trapping at the time, Sustainable Resource Development officials said Monday.

Snare traps are not allowed in Management Unit 406 – which includes Powderface Trail near Elbow Falls – from Oct. 1 to Nov. 30, said SRD spokesman Darcy Whiteside, with the maximum punishment for trapping out of season a $100,000 fine and two years in jail.


Ed Thomas, 75, and his wife Lorna, 71, were walking their dogs – Ben, an Alaskan malamute, and Sarah, a small mixed-breed – in the area Nov. 30 when Ben suddenly disappeared.

The couple found their dog dead the next morning with a snare cinched around its neck.

After cutting the dog free, the couple led conservation officers to the spot and said they later ran into a man in a white pickup truck – who Ed said admitted to setting the snare – and passed his licence plate on to authorities.

Whiteside confirmed Fish and Wildlife officers are investigating, but could not comment on the specifics of the case or whether any suspects have been identified.

Trapping is more common than people might think, said Whiteside, noting there are 1,500 registered trappers in the province, most of them in the northern half.

There are currently no rules requiring signs be put up to warn people of trap lines in an area, something Ed said needs to change.

“If they had signs up, people wouldn’t take their dogs in there,” he said.

“Even if they’re in there legally or not, they shouldn’t be setting traps while people it as a recreational area.”

SRD Minister Mel Knight weighed in on the issue, saying a balance has to be found between those who use outdoor areas for pleasure and those who use it for their livelihood.

“One of the issues this points out is there is a tremendous amount of activity on the landscape,” he said.

“Trapping is a livelihood that is recognized and is legal and at this time of the year trapping is open.

“I do realize that pet owners, and specifically dog owners would find some of these areas advantageous because they feel they can release (their dogs) so they can go out and get a good run.

“I do feel sympathy for these people and their pet and we will investigate.”

reprinted from Calgary Sun

Blog post | Read Lorna’s account | Global Edmonton

Calgary couple’s dog killed in hunters trap in Kananaskis Country

Calgary couple’s dog killed in hunters trap in Kananaskis Country

Global News: Monday, December 6, 2010


CALGARY – A Calgary couple is warning other dog owners to be careful when bringing their pooches into Kananaskis Country.

For the past three years, Lorna and Ed Thomas have been walking in the woods near Elbow Falls with their Alaskan malamute Ben in tow. However, they’re trio is now one short after what was supposed to be a relaxing day spent in the country.

“The Powderface is going to close at the end of the month, so this would be the last chance we would have to take Ben up there,” says Ed.

On November 29th, the pair headed out to Canyon Creek for a walk. Lorna says they hadn’t ventured far when suddenly Ben was nowhere to be found. After searching for him for some time, Lorna and Ed gave up and went home.

The next day, Lorna returned to the area and followed Ben’s tracks. She found him only 15 metres from where he was last seen.

“He was strangled in a steel cable and my husband couldn’t even cut it,” says Lorna. “It took the ranger three quarters of an hour to get that cable off him. I mean, it was really traumatic for us and I don’t want anybody else to go through that again.”

Fish and Wildlife officers have confirmed that they are investigating the incident but can’t comment if snaring was actually allowed in the area at the time.

Lorna and Ed say they feel like they’ve lost a key member of their family and wonder why the trapper had waited until December 1st, when the road to Canyon Creek closes to the public.

“There was no information to us that there were any traps or anything like that in the area,” says Lorna.

Outdoor enthusiasts near Elbow Falls agree that trapping too close to trails is cause for concern, not only for animals, but for families and small children.

Conservation officials say that while you must have your dog on a leash in recreational areas in provincial parks, in forestry areas such as Canyon Creek, there are no regulations.

TRIAL: May 6, 2010 | 9:30 AM | Alberta Provincial Court in Cochrane | We’ll be there!

reprinted from Global Winnipeg [and Leader Post]