Illegal animal traps found in Southgate neighborhood

Officials say traps are illegal, inhumane

By Shawn Ley - Reporter, Derick Hutchinson

SOUTHGATE, Mich. - Residents in a Southgate neighborhood are outraged that whoever is setting animal traps is showing disregard for the safety of others.

The traps aren't normal backyard mole traps -- they're bigger and meant to snare larger animals. Neighbors in Southgate are horrified.

"I'm glad I walk my yard (to) pick up sticks like that," one neighbor said.

The foot traps were found on Phelps Street north of Fort Street. Neighbors said road construction sometimes sends rats into the leafy neighborhood.

"We don't even have a loose dog issue," Cindy Belka said.

The traps might be for rats or raccoons, but it's illegal.

"That's not appropriate for this area," Belka said.

Belka is worried that a child will step on a trap.

"There was a group of kids to rake yards," she said. "They could have been hurt by people who don't care."

"They can call here and rent a trap and release it in the woods," said Officer Chuck Gillenwater, of Downriver Animal Control.

Officials at Downriver Animal Control said the foot traps are inhumane because they're baited with food and meant to maim animals.

"(It) could be your dog," Gillenwater said. "My dog gets out, gets in the trap with a broken leg."

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