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Wash. state dogs caught in illegal traps need amputations, emergency funds

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On Saturday, April 5, Lost & Found Pets Wa State announced on their Facebook page that two dogs who went missing in Washington state are struggling with injuries sustained from illegally set traps - and now they need your help.

On April 1, Amanda, the moderator and founder of Lost & Found Pets Wa State, received a telephone call from the guardian of two missing dogs named Ducky and Karma. Someone had seen the signs about the missing dogs and called in with an anonymous tip on the dogs' location.

The anonymous tipster stated that she saw the dogs in a field across from a farm - a location that isn't too far from the dogs' home.

Instead of finding a field, the dogs' guardian and Amanda and her friend, Dylan, found a muddy trail head that eventually took them to a swampy wetland. The searchers began to call for the missing dogs - and finally, off in the distance, they heard a bark.

Amanda and Dylan began to run, falling and tripping in the swampy earth, until again they heard a very weak bark coming from across a sludgy creek. Dylan tried to jump the creek, going neck-deep in sludge. After crossing, she encouraged the other searchers to join her.

"Apparently I channeled my inner Olympian and jumped farther than I've probably ever jumped in my life, but still totally fell into the water," recalled Amanda.

The searchers were pushed onward by another faint bark. They continued on - and then they saw the dogs.

In a small patch of trees and grass, Ducky and Karma greeted their rescuers - but they couldn't move. To the rescuers' horror, they saw that both dogs had their paws stuck in bear traps that were chained to two trees.

"I can't remember if we fell to our knees, but I'm pretty sure we did. Both dogs tried to walk towards us. We panicked and tried to calm them so they wouldn't damage their leg even more. It was the worst thing I've ever seen," recalled Amanda.

The rescuers ran back to the dogs' guardian as fast as they could, saying breathlessly, "Bear traps. We found them - call the cops."

After rescuers freed the dogs from the bear traps, others came with sleeping bags and blankets, wrapping Ducky and Karma in them and carrying them safely to the car.

The dogs easily could have died, were it not for the anonymous tipster and the dedication of Lost & Found Pets Wa State. While they're out of the traps, they're not out of the woods yet - they need help to pay for their surgeries.

The dogs were rushed to the veterinarian, but because the cost of treatment was cost-prohibitive, the rescued animals had to initially go home with only wraps and pain medication.

Lost & Found Pets Wa State asks:

If you can spare even $10, PLEASE help Ducky and Karma by donating to their account at Buckley Veterinary Hospital. Ducky will need to have his leg amputated and Karma will be losing one or possibly two toes. PLEASE help them by donating directly to their vet so they can receive the medical care they need...and thank you from the bottom of my heart for those who have already made a donation.

You can make a donation to Buckley Veterinary by calling 360 829 1515. The donation will go to Ducky and Karma's account, which is under the name of their guardian, Amber.

According to Washington State law RCW 77.15.194, it is illegal to use steel-jawed traps such as the ones that caught Ducky and Karma. The law states:

(1) It is unlawful to use or authorize the use of any steel-jawed leghold trap, neck snare, or other body-gripping trap to capture any mammal for recreation or commerce in fur.

(2) It is unlawful to knowingly buy, sell, barter, or otherwise exchange, or offer to buy, sell, barter, or otherwise exchange the raw fur of a mammal or a mammal that has been trapped in this state with a steel-jawed leghold trap or any other body-gripping trap, whether or not pursuant to permit.

(3) It is unlawful to use or authorize the use of any steel-jawed leghold trap or any other body-gripping trap to capture any animal.

Washington State also has strong laws to protect animals from animal cruelty. RCW 16.52.205 animal cruelty in the first degree states:

(1) A person is guilty of animal cruelty in the first degree when, except as authorized in law, he or she intentionally
(a) inflicts substantial pain on,
(b) causes physical injury to, or
(c) kills an animal by a means causing undue suffering, or forces a minor to inflict unnecessary pain, injury, or death on an animal.

(2) A person is guilty of animal cruelty in the first degree when, except as authorized by law, he or she, with criminal negligence, starves, dehydrates, or suffocates an animal and as a result causes:
(a) Substantial and unjustifiable physical pain that extends for a period sufficient to cause considerable suffering; or
(b) death.

Updates to this story will be posted as they occur. To learn more about Lost & Found Pets Wa State, visit their Facebook page here.

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