Dr. Bhupinder Johar of the Haney Animal Hospital with the shepherd he believes chewed off her own foot to get out of a trap. (Neil Corbett/THE NEWS)

‘Shepherd chewed off foot to escape trap’

Pet returns to Maple Ridge home with gruesome injury

A German shepherd that went missing before Christmas walked to its Maple Ridge home on Friday morning with a back foot missing.

White bones protrude from the bottom of its leg, and veterinarians believe it may chewed its own foot off to escape a trap.

It’s a mystery, but making that theory plausible is the fact the same owner’s other dog had its head caught in a snare just two weeks earlier.

Someone is setting traps in the neighbourhood where Suzie Finlay lives on Dewdney Trunk Road, near Stave Falls.And that person is not checking them regularly, she says.

Two-year-old Tsunni has always wandered, but always came home at night. So Finlay believes she has been in the trap for virtually the entire 37 days she has been missing.

Dr. Bhupinder Johar of the Haney Animal Hospital said she has dropped from more than 70 pounds down to 57, and that would be consistent with a long period of starvation, drinking rain water, eating only grass, her own feces and chewing off her own foot to get free.

“She freed herself by biting the flesh and ligaments,” said Johar. “The only solution we have is to cut the leg.”

Where human amputations take place leaving as much limb as possible, a dog’s leg amputation must be quite high to ensure the pet doesn’t try to use the limb, so she will lose complete use of the back leg.

He said costs could run to $3,500.

Finlay said she saw a bit of hair sticking above the window sill on Friday morning, and didn’t dare hope her pet had come home. She opened the door, and Tsunni came bounding in. Then Finlay saw the gruesome injury.

Finlay’s other dog, a Shepherd pup named Buddy, was caught around the neck in a snare of a style that tightens as its prey struggles. Buddy needed almost $2,000 worth of surgery and veterinary care.

He had been lost for five days, and was found with cuts that circled his neck.

“They basically had to put his head back on,” she said. “We call him Frankendoggie.”

After that horror show, the Finlay family built a pen in the back yard for their pets.

However, Tsunni took off one day when they just let her out for a quick pee.

“They chase coyotes in the back 40, but they always come home,” said Finlay.

She said the family will need financial help to get Tsunni surgery, and she plans to try a gofundme page oneline. (Warning: there are photos of the injured leg on the site that might upset some viewers.)

She has never done a charity page before, but Finlay says she has little choice.

“It’s either that or I have to put her down, but she has fought for 37 days, and she’s an awesome dog.”

Johar said the intended victims of the traps are likely coyotes.

“These are the poor innocent victims. If they are putting out traps, they should check them – if not every day then at least once per week.

“Even with a coyote, if they want to trap and kill them, it has to be humane.”

Actually non-killing traps generally must be checked every 72 hours, while killing traps or snares must be checked every 14 days minimum.

The Conservation office in Maple Ridge received a complaint from Finlay about the use of traps in this case, and is investigating.

Tsunni has a good appetite, and is eating regularly with no problems.

She whines constantly.

“She’s so pretty,” said Johar. “She will be okay. She will be a special pet now.”

Just Posted

Chilliwack prolific offender a no-show for sentencing hearing

Warrant issued on May 17 for Jeffrey Michael Kizmann wanted for robbery

UPDATED: Pedestrian fatally hit on railway in Agassiz

Police, fire and ambulance responded

UBC study shows dairy cows prefer pasture, reap health benefits from outdoor access

With freshet season in full swing, Fraser Valley dairy farmers might be… Continue reading

Fraser Valley Children’s Choir wins first in ‘Sing Me a Song’ contest’s under 18 category

The group will be visited by B.C.’s Lieutenant Governor, who will present them with their award

VIDEO: Dash cam video captures allegedly stolen vehicle in Harrison Hot Springs

RCMP report a vehicle was stolen in Chilliwack May 17, spotted in Harrison and dumped in Deroche

Vancouver Island girl scores with winning song for BC Summer Games

‘Colours’ is a perfect theme for 2018 BC Summer Games

Feds limit chinook fishery to help killer whale recovery

Chinook is main food source for only 76 southern residents killer whales left

B.C. mom who died just before daughter’s wedding wanted family to be happy: twin

Ann Wittenberg was pulled into the ocean while on a surf board in Tofino last weekend

Courtenay-Alberni MP calls for lifeguards at popular surf spot near Tofino

The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is defending its decision to cancel the surf guard program.

Harvey Weinstein to surrender in sex misconduct probe: officials

Would be first criminal charge against Weinstein since scores of women came forward

Fuel truck crash closes B.C. highway, sends two to hospital

The Trans-Canada Highway on Vancouver Island is expected to be closed until Thursday evening

Letter to the editor: Put our great grandchildren first

I am shocked how media is using their power to create stories… Continue reading

Media are not an arm of the police, Vice lawyer tells Supreme Court hearing

Ben Makuch challenges Ontario Court of Appeal ruling that he must give materials for stories to RCMP

B.C. launches plan to tackle doctor shortage, emergency room congestion

John Horgan aims to set up regional primary care networks in a ‘team-based’ approach

Most Read