A man has spoke of his anger after thugs placed illegal snares which nearly strangled his dog on a public footpath.
Muir Lachlan was walking his 12-year-old lurcher Sammy between Ennerdale and Croasdale last Thursday morning when the snare caught his dog around the neck.
If it hadn’t been for the quick-thinking actions of Mr Lachlan, who immediately pulled the trap from its tight grip around Sammy’s neck, the dog could have choked to death.
Mr Lachlan, of Ennerdale, now wants to make other people aware of the actions of the “heartless thugs” in a bid to prevent such an incident happening to anyone else.
Mr Lachlan didn’t notice that Sammy was trapped at first when the dog crawled under a fence, next to a stile, where the snare had been hidden.
He thought the dog had run ahead of him, and it wasn’t until he had walked 100 yards from the stile that he realised that Sammy wasn’t there.
“I started wondering where Sammy was. I called and whistled for him but he never came. I retraced my steps and saw him standing, looking a bit forlorn,” he said.
“At first I thought he was tangled in barbed wire. I called for him but he didn’t come and when I went to put on his leash I saw a bit of wire coming out from the bottom of the fence towards his neck. It was right round, under his fur and his collar.”
Sammy was yelping as the grip of the snare got tighter, but Mr Lachlan managed to free him from the trap.
“Sammy was very tender and bruised and a bit quiet,” he said. “It’s hard to think about what could have happened if I hadn’t been there – it could have been awful.
“At first I was concerned for Sammy and when I got it off him I gave him a big cuddle. After that I was very angry and thought what kind of person would do that?
“It is very worrying because this has happened on a public path.”
Mr Lachlan removed the snare and took it to Cleator Moor Police Station.
Officers are now hunting the illegal snare-layers and are urging dog walkers to be vigilant after the incident.
Anyone with information should contact police wildlife officer John Shaw on 0845 3300247. Details can also be left on 0800 555 111.