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Beaver trap kills dog at Sandy park
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A Sandy family wishes city or wildlife officials had warned them about the beaver traps before one killed their dog.

Tuesday night, Deana Smith's 15-year-old son was walking Okami at Creekside Park, 9400 S. 810 West. But about 11:50 p.m., the 4-year-old Akita went near the creek that runs through the small park, where a beaver trap snared the dog around the neck.

Smith rushed to the park to help after her son called, but when she arrived the dog had fallen into the frigid water and was near death, according to KUTV 2 News. She jumped in the creek to pull him out, but he died.

Her son jogged with Okami through the park all the time, and had he stepped four inches to the left that day, Smith said his leg would have been in a trap.

"There are beavers are down there, but there's no signs [of the traps], no postings, nothing that would warn us of such an apparatus ... You would think they would give us some warning," Smith said.

Scott Earl, the head of the Sandy City Parks and Recreation Department, told KUTV that beavers have been cutting down trees and plugging up the small creek, so the city has hired a professional trapper to try to eradicate the problem.

"Unfortunately we did have a mishap. We took all the traps out of this area and we have to re-evaluate our department policy," Earl told KUTV. "Until we can reevaluate exactly what [happened] there won't be in more trapping in this area."

Smith said a wildlife services official contacted her and said that there was a lack of planning on their end, Smith said.

"Regardless, I appreciate their words and sympathies, but this definitely could have been prevented," she said.

If the city wants to use such traps, it should warn the public, Smith said. She would have liked to have seen signs, a fence between people and the traps or even yellow tape.

Smith spent Wednesday sitting outside the park, warning any dog owners who came to the park about the traps so the same would not happen to them.

They had adopted Okami, a rescue, a year and a half ago. He was only 80 pounds then, and they were able to get him to a healthy weight. But they could not save him this time, she said.

mmcfall@sltrib.com

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