Nunatsiaq News
NEWS: Iqaluit April 13, 2018 - 11:40 am

Trap set in prohibited area kills Iqaluit family dog

“This is not just dogs who are at risk. People are at risk”

Darcy, a family pet owned by Iqaluit resident Matty McNair, with a sled dog puppy that she was babysitting. Darcy was killed on April 10 near Lake Geraldine by an animal trap that somebody set less than one mile from a building.  (FILE PHOTO)
Darcy, a family pet owned by Iqaluit resident Matty McNair, with a sled dog puppy that she was babysitting. Darcy was killed on April 10 near Lake Geraldine by an animal trap that somebody set less than one mile from a building. (FILE PHOTO)

An Iqaluit woman’s dog was killed on Tuesday in an animal trap she believes was set improperly within one mile of a building, which is a restricted zone under prohibitions established in the Nunavut Agreement.

Matty McNair, who has lived in Iqaluit since 1990, said she was skiing near Lake Geraldine, April 10, with her dog “Darcy,” when the three-year-old Australian Shepherd ran out of sight.

McNair was unable to find the dog that day, but returned to the area the next day and discovered Darcy’s body snared in a baited, spring-loaded trap that had closed around the animal’s neck.

“The dog was caught by the neck and when I found her she had pulled the trap, it was supposed to be tied, and she was five feet from the trap which showed me that she wasn’t killed instantly,” McNair told Nunatsiaq News on Thursday, April 12.

The trap was located about 20 to 30 feet from the snowmobile trail, according to McNair, and less than a mile from a building.

Trapping less than one mile from developed areas is prohibited under Article 5 of the Nunavut Agreement.

Iqaluit Mayor Madeleine Redfern told Nunatsiaq News that she has already spoken with McNair, and has brought up the issue again with Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. in light of the recent incident.

“The one mile limit provides a buffer where residents can and should walk, ski, pick berries, all those sorts of things people want to do near the city,” she said.

Redfern and NTI confirmed to Nunatsiaq News that they will be working with Iqaluit’s hunting and trapping organization to issue an awareness campaign for residents, focusing on what is allowed and not allowed under the Nunavut Agreement.

“When we have an initial discussion with HTOs we’ll talk about putting up signs in designated areas,” said Paul Irngaut, director of NTI’s wildlife and environment department.

“For public safety, especially for safety of children, we’re in agreement with the city that there should be a prohibition of trapping within the areas that are too close to buildings,” Irngaut said, adding that NTI does not want the city to infringe on any hunting rights enshrined in the Nunavut Agreement.

“There’s more work that needs to be done,” Redfern said, but “it sounds like we’re moving toward some mutual agreement.”

The city also plans to meet with Nunavut’s Department of Environment, whose wildlife office is responsible for enforcing game law.

“This is not just dogs who are at risk, people are at risk,” Redfern said, citing reports of individuals who have inadvertently stepped into hidden traps.

This is not the first time this year when a trap has seriously injured or killed a household animal.

Last January, Iqaluit resident Thomas Rohner appeared as a delegate before Iqaluit city council to ask the city to address trapping within municipal boundaries.

Rohner’s dog was injured by a snare while walking near the city’s Upper Base area.

“I really think there should be no trapping within the city limits,” McNair said, since the trap that killed Darcy was clearly set by a hunter who had access to a snowmobile, according to tracks McNair observed, and could have easily gone further out of town.

“People take their dogs out for walks, and that’s part of the beauty of being here, but if you’re terrified that your dog is going to get killed in a trap or held in a leg-hold trap, it’s really awful and there’s no need for that.”

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(15) Comments:

#1. Posted by Pet Owner on April 13, 2018

This is not the first time trapping within city limits has created safety issues for family pets and children. The same rules that govern discharging a firearm should be in place for trapping. Neither should be allowed within city limits!

#2. Posted by Uvanga on April 13, 2018

This is so sad, I would be furious if it was my dog. And only 1 mile limit?!?!....I don’t know anyone who sets their trap 1 mile from their house or from the closest cabin…several miles at least! I mean at least

#3. Posted by Inuk resident on April 13, 2018

It’s funny how we’ve been trying to use the “lands claim agreement” on white folk taking our gn jobs our housing nothing happens, our lifestyle is hunting and trapping, you got these people using the “lands claim agreement” against us. Pretty interesting how we incorporate the “lands claim agreement”.

#4. Posted by Inuk on April 13, 2018

I am wondering if the wildlife officers do any patrols in and around Iqaluit, other communities you see wildlife officers doing patrols but that doesn’t seem to be the case in Iqaluit.

#5. Posted by Human on April 13, 2018

#3 So you want to pick and choose what to follow in the “land claims agreement” but want everyone else to follow it? I see
#4 Why not? Iqaluits beautiful and theres so much land. Why not take the dog out? 1 km behind her home! Not everyone leaves their dogs tied to a rope 24/7. Some people love their animals.
Is it that hard to show compassion for a living animal that has been loyal to humans for centuries?

#6. Posted by Welter on April 13, 2018

Some people just can’t be socialized. Very sad.

#7. Posted by Human2 on April 13, 2018

So the “white folk” take the jobs, well they are given the jobs because they come to work everyday, they have grade 12 or higher education, if you would like to hunt perfect go hunt! than I don’t want to see posts about your flights not going out, your chips and pop aren’t on the shelves. You have no money cause it was spent on booze and cigs..  traps close to town you don’t care about someone’s pet getting hurt as you probably have the dog tied up 24/7 and the “white folk”  spending their hard earned savings to buy dog food and hay for your frozen starving “pet”

#8. Posted by Traps also set for safety reasons also.... on April 13, 2018

Sorry for the loss of a pet to the owner. Always hard to lose a loved one no matter friend/family or pet. Although I do not trap in that community. Please remember the a real trapper prefers better quality fur from out of town. Some of us still do set traps around the outskirts of our community for the safety of the citizens and do so within proper set guidelines we must meet. This reduces the risk of chained animals or young children coming into contact with rabied animals, if successfully caught in the trap, then stops the animals from entering the community. And so on. So please do not make this story as a negative on real trappers. Not all of us are just in it for the easy/quick dollar money.

#9. Posted by Nua on April 14, 2018

Well this is simple, either Adapt meaning ask question go to meetings for agm’s ect. we all have a roll to play to hunters does there part way of living and notifying equals adapt.we can work together to make a better commitment for the sake of our residence and pets.

North = Dog Teams, Hunting , Trapping. Traditions , Artsect and so on .We can learn the Language to which is number one priority.Tomoorrows a beter day if we choose wise for our coity/community and children sakes.

#10. Posted by signs and markers on April 15, 2018

Loose dogs and food go naturally together as an instinct to eat what is smelt in the air.  On a leash, dogs smell food and instinctually pull in that direction to eat.

Dogs are illiterate and when loose, anything can happen.

Posting signs is one way to prevent injury to humans from going into a trap area.  Markers are probably already used by the hunter to locate the trap under the snow and for more hunters to know where to be careful too.

#11. Posted by Northern Guy on April 16, 2018

No need for markers, signs or other paraphernalia. There is also no need to make this an argument about race, language or culture. The Nunavut Claim and therefore the law are very clear. You ARE NOT ALLOWED TO TRAP WITHIN ONE MILE OF DEVELOPED AREAS. With that in mind if and when I come across traps and snares that are in violation of this rule, I will be springing them and removing them in the interests of public safety.

#12. Posted by Inuk on April 16, 2018

#5 what does your comment have to do with me? If you can read, I asked does the wildlife officers do and patrols around Iqaluit? If they did I’m sure they would of taken the traps out if they saw any close to town.

Most of us put traps in areas that we have always used but one or two, maybe not originally from Iqaluit or a young guy with not much experience will put traps too close to town.

It’s beautiful weather out there so I’m taking my dog for a run.

#13. Posted by Long time northerner on April 16, 2018

I really don’t like the tone of number 5 and 7, this is a huge problem with reconciliation, this type of tone really sets us back and gives us southerners a bad name. Remember not all of us are like this and more of us need to be just as vocal to point them out. It’s time to move on!

#14. Posted by James on April 16, 2018

There are laws and people really should obey them.  It’s terribly sad when a family pet is killed—and the truth is that ought not to have happened.  The trap does seem to have been well within the forbidden area.

#15. Posted by Uncle Bob on April 17, 2018

RIP Darcy, your death was not nice

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