According to statistics compiled by the Animal Welfare Institute and the Law Library of Congress, steel-jaw traps are banned by more than 100 nations around the world. The U.S., however, merely prohibits or restricts their use on a state-by-state basis.
States that currently regulate these devices include Washington, California, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.
The National Animal Control Association and American Animal Hospital Association have also denounced steel-jaw traps for their unnecessary cruelty.
Recently, a South Carolina dog was horrifically injured by one of these mechanisms. This particular state only requires the traps to be checked at least once daily, and their use requires no license.
The canine’s paw was not only ensnared in the trap, but absolutely crushed. Unfortunately, that’s not an unusual outcome with these devices.
Now a video of the pup’s incredible rescue is going viral, and her amazing story is being shared across social media. The video footage was shot by California-based rescue organization Hope for Paws, founded by Eldad Hagar.
Hagar and his fellow rescuer, Loreta Frankonyte, responded to a call from someone in the South Carolina town of Gaston. They were told that the female black retriever mix had been struggling to live alone in the forest for roughly a year.
Then one day, the reclusive pooch accidentally stepped on a rusty steel-jaw trap that had been left out for coyotes. Local officials tried to capture her for several subsequent days, but the terrified dog always managed to scramble away.
Hagar and Frankonyte flew in from the West Coast and joined the search immediately. They were ultimately able to apprehend the suffering pup thanks to a combination of compassionate persistence, tasty bits of a cheeseburger, and strategically-placed soccer nets that prevented escape.
Hagar named the crafty and courageous canine Hermione, and she was rushed to a local animal hospital. There, the corroded device was finally pried loose — and doctors discovered that the dog had heartworm as well.
So treatment was initiated, and Hope for Paws carefully transported Hermione to West Los Angeles veterinary surgeon Dr. Robert Olds. This well-regarded specialist performed two separate reconstructive surgeries on the pup’s mangled foot, which led to months of extensive rehabilitation.
But the bandages finally did come off, and Hagar’s camera captured the breathtaking moment. Almost instantly, Hermione began trotting happily on her reconstructed paw, wagging her tail non-stop, romping joyfully, even playing with curious kittens.
Hermione’s heartworm treatments have now concluded, and Hagar was recently able to announce that she’s absolutely healthy and ready for loving adoption. Social media users are applauding — and they’re also calling for more stringent nationwide laws regulating the use of steel-jaw traps.