D2 the dog was killed by a beaver trap on Friday, April 17 while on a walk at Hileman Landing County Park off River Road. The women who have owned and loved D2 for the past year want people to know that there could still be traps out there.
Mo Strader and Vonnie Willard also want the owner of the trap — which they believe was placed illegally on public land — to know what he has done, remove any other traps and let the public know when the area is safe.
According to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, beaver may be trapped on private land without a permit because they are considered “predatory animals,” however on public lands, trapping and killing beaver is only allowed in certain counties in order to protect Coho salmon. Lane County is not a county ODFW lists as a county open for trapping beaver.
Strader says the trap that killed D2 was on the public side of a fence that separates the Hileman and what appears to be the land of a local farmer.
Strader volunteers with Northwest Dog Project and has several other dogs, three of them former foster dogs, like D2. D2 — named for the Star Wars robot R2D2 — was turned over to a rescue by her former family and soon became part of Strader and Willard’s pack.
Strader was house painting and having the floors redone because after fostering several litters of puppies, “It was time.” So Willard took the pack of six to Hileman to wear them out for an hour or so. Strader says they walk the dogs there at least five days a week and have been going to the park, which is popular with dog walkers, for at least three years.
Not far from the trail, Strader says, is a creek and a pond where they have seen beaver activity this year and last year. Returning from a three-mile walk, D2 ran up a little hill and across the pond.
Willard writes in a Facebook post that “as I was coming down the trail about a 1/2 mile from the parking lot I noticed she bounded across a pond that she has done probably a hundred times. All I heard was a yelp.”
Strader says the trap, which appears to be a conibear trap, killed D2 almost instantaneously. Unable to release the dog from the trap, Strader says several men helped Willard carry the dog and the trap back to the car where they were able to get it off D2’s neck.
Conibear traps at 9 inches or less are legal in Oregon in dry land. According to Trap Free Oregon they are banned on land in other states in order to prevent animals such as dogs from being caught in them. Trap Free Oregon offers instructions on how to release a dog from such a trap. Groups such as Predator Defense and Trap Free Oregon have long tried to call attention to the dangers of trapping and change Oregon's laws.
Strader says they have talked to Todd Bowen at Lane County Parks and Officer Bernard Perkins from Lane County Animal Services and the county is in contact with ODFW about the trap and D2's death.
“We do know the trap was placed illegally,” Strader says. She says there were no signs warning of trapping, though she and Willard have now placed their own signs for other dog walkers or those with children near the park gate and near the pond.
Since posting the story of D2’s death on Facebook, Strader says she is “beyond amazed” at the support. “It’s awful to have to see your dog like that and have to find a way to get a trap off her head,” she says.
“I’d like him see a picture,” she says of the person who set the trap that killed D2.
“We want the person to come forward and clarify these traps are gone,” she says, “That’s the most important thing — to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”
A picture of D2 and the trap that killed her is below.
The trap that killed D2 was placed near this tree, which had signs of beaver activity, Strader says.
D2 the dog and the trap that killed her.