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Trapping Victims Fund Recipients

Born Free USA established the Trapping Victims Fund to help defray emergency veterinary care costs for companion animals or wildlife impacted by traps and for specific costs associated with rehabilitating and releasing a wildlife trapping victim back into the wild. The more donations we receive, the more animals we can help. If one of your animal companions has been treated for trap-related injuries, or you have taken trap-injured wildlife to the vet for emergency care, you may be elligible for funds. Please let us know.

Below are animals whose human companions (or caretakers) have received money from the fund.


Max before treatment.
(Click photograph
for larger image.)
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Victims Fund images.

A woman in Grantville, PA, had been feeding and taking care of an abandoned cat named Max for the previous six months when he suddenly disappeared in April 2013. Although she searched for him, Max could not be found.

On May 14, the woman heard crying coming from an empty mobile home on a neighboring property. When she went to investigate, she found Max hanging from the floor board underneath the mobile home with his front paw caught in a foot-hold trap. The trap had a wire attached to it and the wire had gotten entangled on the floorboard while Max struggled to free himself. All the nerves and tissue on his injured foot were dead and his bone was exposed.

Max was taken to a vet to get the trap released from his paw. The vet believes that Max had been caught in the trap for a good portion of the three weeks he was missing. He had lost about 10 pounds. Although it was determined that Max's injured paw needed to be amputated immediately, all the woman could provide for with her modest income was a shot of antibiotics and pain medication. Unsure of how to provide for the care her cat needed, the woman reached out to Born Free USA. Born Free USA provided financial relief via its Trapping Victims Fund in the amount of $300 for the amputation of Max' mangled paw.

"It's hard to believe people use these awful traps," the woman said. "No one went back to check on it. It's horrible that someone would leave an animal to die for no apparent reason. I really hope people see what happened to him and think twice before they put something like that down."


Tréa before treatment.

Tréa after treatment.
(Click photograph
for larger image.)
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Victims Fund images.

In late 2012 we took $320 from the fund to pay for the initial veterinary expenses incurred for the treatment of Tréa, a young black Labrador stray dog from Princeton, MN. She was reportedly in horrific condition, partially mutilated by the snare trap.

Monica Engebretson, senior program associate for Born Free USA, said at the time: "This is one of the most horrific cases we've documented this year. Snares are simple in design but vicious in action. The more the animal struggles to free themselves, the tighter the snare becomes and the more damage it inflicts. Poor Tréa suffered for days in the snare as the wire cut into her nose, through the roof of her mouth and embedded into her tongue. She also broke some of her teeth off trying chew through the wire. Treatment and recovering from such severe injuries can be lengthy and costly and we wanted to help give Tréa a chance."

Soon after the initial treatment, Tréa began living — and began the long road to what we hope is a full recovery — with a foster family.

Read our press release about Tréa


J.J. before treatment.
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Victims Fund images.

In the spring of 2012 we tapped into our Trapping Victims Fund to help Myra Combs, a resident of Mount Airy, NC. Her family s cat, J.J., was caught in a body-crushing Conibear trap on a neighboring property. The animal and trap were taken to a veterinarian, who had to cut off the trap and treat J.J.

According to Monica Engebretson of Born Free USA: "Amazingly, J.J. survived but is still in considerable pain. J.J. is one of thousands of non-targeted animals captured by indiscriminate body-crushing traps. The trap that caught J.J. was allegedly set with the intent to kill a woodchuck who was deemed by a neighbor as a problem. Many cats and dogs do not survive the trauma or often need a limb amputated. Most suffer severe injuries requiring costly veterinary treatment and lengthy rehabilitation. Born Free USA has set up a Trapping Victims Fund to help with the costs many families have to contend with to save their beloved pet."

Combs told Born Free USA: "Seeing firsthand the torture and cruelty of these traps, I wholeheartedly believe they should be illegal. No one with an ounce of compassion could argue that Conibear traps are humane if he or she had witnessed what I saw."

Read our press release about J.J.


Valiant recuperates.
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Victims Fund images.

Born Free USA also sent money from the Trapping Victims Fund Valiant in early 2011 to the human companion of Valiant (pictured at right, recovering), a cat from Maryland.

He was found dragging a leghold trap that had nearly severed his foot, and the veterinarian determined that the leg had to be amputated. "Either his leg would have fallen off," the doctor said, "or the wounds could have become septic and killed him."


In early 2011, we launched our Trapping Victims Fund and one of our first recipients was a resident of Atkinson, NC. Rose Kirby's dog Dozer got caught in a trap on a neighboring property and suffered broken bones, puncture wounds in his leg, and had to have his tail amputated after painfully releasing himself from the trap.

According to Kirby, "I contacted the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission and they informed me that what happened to my Dozer is perfectly legal and that nothing could be done because it is trapping season. This happened very close to houses, and if a child was walking in that area of the woods, they could easily have become a victim as well."

At the time, Born Free USA's chief executive officer, Will Travers, said: "Dozer is one of the many thousands of unintended victims of the horrifying trapping industry, captured each year in brutal traps, the sole purpose of which is to slam ruthlessly on a wild animal with bone-crushing force. Traps don't discriminate and can put family pets — and humans — in serious danger."

Read our press release about Dozer and the Trapping Victims Fund.

For more information about the Trapping Victims Fund program, send us an e-mail. You also may donate to the fund.

See how your state rates in terms of trapping regulations on our unprecedented State Trapping Report Card. Learn more about trapping in general, and what you can do to help stop it, on our website www.bancrueltraps.com.

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