Leigh’s Lost and Found: What you should and should not do when trying to trap a lost or stray animal

Published: May. 19, 2022 at 11:36 AM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - In today’s Leigh’s Lost and Found, a follow up to last week’s success story involving a professional trapper who finally caught a lost Shih Tzu after 10 days.

The trapper, Michele Rehkop, says there are certain things you should and should not do if you’re trying to trap a lost pet or stray animal in survival, flight mode. She says most people have good intentions when they try to help in that situation, but they’re actually making trapping the animal even harder.

“When I”m setting a trap for a dog, I will put the trap camera in, we open it up.”

This professional trap is one of several that Michele, who works with Rescue One, relies on when they’re trying to catch a scared dog, like Ellie from last week, who spent more than a week lost in the woods.

But the trap does no good if other people are interfering.

Michele tells us, “it’s very important not to chase a dog.”

Some people will see a post on the Leigh’s Lost and Found page and go to that area to try to help but they wind up hindering a trapper’s effort.

“Time is important, keeping them safe is important. You don’t want to chase them because they could run into traffic. We want to keep them in the area they’re in. If you chase after them then they’re just going to move further and further away.”

Trying to lure them by setting out food also isn’t a good idea because the trapper is trying to set a specific feeding time table and area.

Michele says, “there are a lot of steps we have to follow, particularly establishing a feeding station. If you have a lost a dog, you want to keep them there by feeding them and keeping them in that same spot. That way, when it’s time to set a trap, they will come to that area.”

What you can do that is very helpful to someone trying to trap, is to post any sighting of a loose animal on social media.

“It’s important for the community, if they do see a stray dog or anything, to post it, you know, we saw this dog. You never know, someone could be waiting for that sighting.”

If you need to post a loose animal sighting, click on the link to the Leigh’s Lost and Found page.

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