I have hiked this same area for the last 4 years. There are no trails, just cross-country. While returning from a hike yesterday our Heeler was sniffing around a tree like he does every trip, just enjoying dog life on public lands. I was no more than 10-15 feet away watching him when he screamed/hollered in pain. I thought something had bitten or stung him on the nose. Then he was pulling away and I saw that his front paw was caught in a leg trap. In a panic I tried to console him and pry the trap apart but of course couldn’t. Somehow my brain shifted into gear and I saw the flaps on the side of the trap and pushed down very hard and the trap opened enough to let him free. I checked him out once he let me get close and there was no blood but he was 3-legged on the way back to the car and most of today so he is probably pretty bruised….and I still am irate. 

–Pecos, NM

Illegal steel jaw trap
dog trap victim