Dr. Bhupinder Johar of the Haney Animal Hospital with the shepherd he believes chewed off her own foot to get out of a trap. (Neil Corbett/THE NEWS)

Dr. Bhupinder Johar of the Haney Animal Hospital with the shepherd he believes chewed off her own foot to get out of a trap. (Neil Corbett/THE NEWS)

‘Shepherd chewed off foot to escape trap’

Pet returns to Maple Ridge home with gruesome injury

A German shepherd that went missing before Christmas walked to its Maple Ridge home on Friday morning with a back foot missing.

White bones protrude from the bottom of its leg, and veterinarians believe it may chewed its own foot off to escape a trap.

It’s a mystery, but making that theory plausible is the fact the same owner’s other dog had its head caught in a snare just two weeks earlier.

Someone is setting traps in the neighbourhood where Suzie Finlay lives on Dewdney Trunk Road, near Stave Falls.And that person is not checking them regularly, she says.

Two-year-old Tsunni has always wandered, but always came home at night. So Finlay believes she has been in the trap for virtually the entire 37 days she has been missing.

Dr. Bhupinder Johar of the Haney Animal Hospital said she has dropped from more than 70 pounds down to 57, and that would be consistent with a long period of starvation, drinking rain water, eating only grass, her own feces and chewing off her own foot to get free.

“She freed herself by biting the flesh and ligaments,” said Johar. “The only solution we have is to cut the leg.”

Where human amputations take place leaving as much limb as possible, a dog’s leg amputation must be quite high to ensure the pet doesn’t try to use the limb, so she will lose complete use of the back leg.

He said costs could run to $3,500.

Finlay said she saw a bit of hair sticking above the window sill on Friday morning, and didn’t dare hope her pet had come home. She opened the door, and Tsunni came bounding in. Then Finlay saw the gruesome injury.

Finlay’s other dog, a Shepherd pup named Buddy, was caught around the neck in a snare of a style that tightens as its prey struggles. Buddy needed almost $2,000 worth of surgery and veterinary care.

He had been lost for five days, and was found with cuts that circled his neck.

“They basically had to put his head back on,” she said. “We call him Frankendoggie.”

After that horror show, the Finlay family built a pen in the back yard for their pets.

However, Tsunni took off one day when they just let her out for a quick pee.

“They chase coyotes in the back 40, but they always come home,” said Finlay.

She said the family will need financial help to get Tsunni surgery, and she plans to try a gofundme page oneline. (Warning: there are photos of the injured leg on the site that might upset some viewers.)

She has never done a charity page before, but Finlay says she has little choice.

“It’s either that or I have to put her down, but she has fought for 37 days, and she’s an awesome dog.”

Johar said the intended victims of the traps are likely coyotes.

“These are the poor innocent victims. If they are putting out traps, they should check them – if not every day then at least once per week.

“Even with a coyote, if they want to trap and kill them, it has to be humane.”

Actually non-killing traps generally must be checked every 72 hours, while killing traps or snares must be checked every 14 days minimum.

The Conservation office in Maple Ridge received a complaint from Finlay about the use of traps in this case, and is investigating.

Tsunni has a good appetite, and is eating regularly with no problems.

She whines constantly.

“She’s so pretty,” said Johar. “She will be okay. She will be a special pet now.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Great Bear Snowshed on the Coquihalla Highway (Highway 5) in British Columbia. Truck driver Roy McCormack testified in BC Supreme Court in Chilliwack on Feb. 25, 2021 that his brakes started smoking in about this location, and soon after he lost all braking, which led to a multi-vehicle crash further down the road on Aug. 5, 2016. (GoogleMaps)
Truck driver charged with criminal negligence in Coquihalla crash is accused of ignoring smoking brakes

Just before crashing the smoking truck was seen entering Zopkios brake check and leaving shortly after

Dr. Andy Edelson (front left) and Ken Selvaraja hold the cheque, with (from left to right) Jim Hinds president of Rotary Club of Mission, Judith Ray, chair of MATH and Lloyd Rash, Mission rotarian in the back.
Funds raised for CT scanner feasibility study at Mission Memorial Hospital

Ken Selvaraja and Lanka Jewels raise $39,000 of $70,000 needed through pendant raffle

Kathleen Gros will be helping local creatives explore the intersection of words and pictures through comic books in an upcoming online workshop.
Vancouver graphic novelist to share skills in online workshop with Agassiz Library

Kathleen Gros will be leading the Magical World of Words and Pictures workshop on March 6

The last three wild northern spotted owls live near the Spuzzum Watershed outside of Hope. The province recently ordered a halt to logging for at least a year to give the owls a chance to survive.  (Photo/Jared Hobbs)
Logging halted in northern spotted owl habitat near Hope

Halt will last at least a year, gives time to formulate survival plan for Northern Spotted Owl

The Rocket Science S.T.E.M. camp will run virtually during spring break. (Submitted photo)
Abbotsford Airshow, Gearbots Educational Resources launch Rocket Science camp

Virtual format of camp open to students aged nine and up, will run during spring break

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

A new survey has found that virtual visits are British Columbian’s preferred way to see the doctor amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Unsplash)
Majority of British Columbians now prefer routine virtual doctor’s visits: study

More than 82% feel virtual health options reduce wait times, 64% think they lead to better health

Captain and Maria, a pair of big and affectionate akbash dogs, must be adopted together because they are so closely bonded. (SPCA image)
Shuswap SPCA seeks forever home for inseparable Akbash dogs

A fundraiser to help medical expenses for Captain and Maria earned over 10 times its goal

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen, all 20, drown in the Sooke River in February 2020. (Contributed photos)
Coroner confirms ‘puddle jumping’ in 2020 drowning deaths of 3 B.C. men

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen pulled into raging river driving through nearby flooding

Castlegar doctor Megan Taylor contracted COVID-19 in November. This photo was taken before the pandemic. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay doctor shares experience contracting COVID-19

Castlegar doctor shares her COVID experience

Shaelene Keeler Bell. (Facebook)
Candlelight vigil planned for Chilliwack mother missing for four weeks

Virtual event to ‘spread some light’ for 23-year-old Shaelene Bell of Chilliwack

Ashley Paxman, 29, is in the ICU after being struck by a vehicle along Highway 97 Feb. 18, 2021. She remains in critical condition. (GoFundMe)
Okanagan woman in ICU with broken bones in face after being struck by car

She remains in serious condition following Feb. 18 incident

The booklet roots present day activism in the history of racist policies, arguing the history must be acknowledged in order to change. (CCPA)
New resource dives into 150 years of racist policy in B.C.

Racist history must be acknowledged in order to change, authors say

The BC SPCA is offering many chances for school-aged kids to learn about animal welfare and other animal topics. Pictured here is Keith, a three-month-old kitten seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
From pets to wildlife, BC SPCA offers animal education programs geared to youth

BC SPCA offering virtual spring break camps, workshops and school presentations

Most Read