‘My goodness, who does this?’: Spring-loaded traps within Bismarck city limits causing a safety concern

Local News

WARNING: An image in this story may be too graphic for sensitive viewers.

A cat was found in a large, spring-loaded trap in Bismarck earlier this week. We spoke to some people who are working to address the issue of having the traps within city limits.

A large, spring-loaded trap was placed just off of South 12th Street by the Stardust Trailer Court.

A cat was trapped inside and was severely injured.

“It was atrocious. That poor cat. The fact that he was still moving, not wanting to rip somebody’s face off and in so much pain, floored me. You could see his bones sticking out of his legs. My thought was, my goodness, who does this?” said Kayla Gefroh, Animal Impound Liaison with Furry Fiends Rockin’ Rescue.

These types of traps are typically used to catch larger animals like coyotes, deer and even bears.

Lt. Jeff Solemsaas, who oversees Bismarck’s Animal Control Department, says this can easily become a bigger issue.

“The spring trap, there’s quite a bit of tension involved in those. So, a child could get hurt pretty severely by something like that. Kids obviously are curious. They might stick their foot in there or leg or their arm, something that their hand and they could be significantly injured by a trap in this manner,” said Solemsaas.

He tells us that even though these situations are rare, the department is working to get ahead of the issue.

“The traps are allowed within the state under certain circumstances. Obviously, when you get into town, that presents a whole host of new issues. You’d think common sense would kind of dictate, ‘I’m not going to put these in an area where these are available to kids’ and stuff like that. And maybe that wasn’t there. I don’t know what their intent was,” said Solemsaas.

Gefroh says they all agree — there should be something in place to keep something like this, or worse, from happening.

“Bismarck does not have an ordinance on the books that indicates yay or nay with these traps due to the fact that we don’t have the kind of wildlife in the area that would necessarily warrant an ordinance on that. We don’t have bears,” she said.

Animal Control is currently looking to find the individual who laid the trap.

If found, the report could go up to the city attorney for possible charges.

Bismarck’s Animal Advisory Board proposed changes to the animal control section of the city code, making it unlawful for a person to use a spring steel trap in the city.

The proposed changes will next go to the City Commission for approval. A date has not yet been determined as to when it will be scheduled on the Commission’s agenda.

And, if you’re wondering, after a lot of medical attention, the cat has managed to survive.

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