'There's rules in place so tragedies like this one don't occur': Dog killed by body trap

A viewer shared a photo of the trap, taken just after the dog died. Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife staff identified it as a professionally built body gripping trap, typically used for muskrat or nutria near water. (Submitted)

ALVADORE, Ore. - Quiet, green and scenic, Kirk Park north of Fern Ridge Reservoir is the perfect place for a dog walk.

At least that's what Terri Andersson and Marilyn Miller thought Wednesday before they heard the news: a dog died after being caught in a body gripping trap there Saturday.

"We could step in it and some little kid could step in it real easy," Miller said, "and I don't know why anybody would do that."

The dog, Nala, died after stepping in the trap, said Alyssa Roberts, the dog's owner.

A viewer shared a photo of the trap, taken just after the dog died.

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife staff identified it as a professionally built body gripping trap, typically used for muskrat or nutria near water.

That use would be legal in certain public areas.

"There is trapping allowed on some state and federal lands, but there's rules in place so tragedies like this one don't occur," Michelle Dennehy with ODFW said.

Trapping is not allowed within 50 feet of a public trail or within 300 feet of a campground or picnic area.

As for private land, it's up to the owner.

Kirk Park belongs to the Army Corps of Engineers. Trapping there is not legal.

"There are several areas people can hunt around Fern Ridge Reservoir," said Tami Schroeder, park manager with the Army Corps, "but that's not inside the parks."

Now the Army Corps is working with law enforcement to get to the bottom of the mystery trap. The agency posted warning signs at the park.

"We recommend that people inspect areas before you let your pets explore," Schroeder said, "and keep them on a leash to ensure their safety."

Andersson and Miller said they'll be more watchful in the future.

"I don't want to step in one. I don't want him to step in one," Andersson said of herself and her dog.

As for Roberts, Nala's owner, she said she hopes this doesn't happen to anyone else.

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