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Kobe's Story

posted Jan 25, 2015, 12:57 PM by Doglover System   [ updated Mar 23, 2015, 11:47 AM ]
Update, 3/23/2015: Tim McCauley went to visit Kobe at Friends of Animals in Cloquet. Kobe is doing better.


Update, 2/9/2015: TV News. Northland News Center--Twin Ports, reporting from Cloquet, MN.


Anderson, Dave. 2015. “Trapped Dog Incident Raises Concerns about Trapping Laws and Pet Owner Responsibility.” NNCNOW TV News. Cloquet, MN, USA.

Update, 2/3/2015: photos.

Kobe at Friends of Animals, Cloquet, MN, about 2/3/2015.

Original post, 1/25/2015.

This is a sad story of a dog who found his way into a deadly 220 body-gripping trap. It is also a story of what can happen to our dogs if they wander into a place where one of these lethal (and currently legal) traps is set. 

Kobe was lost, and wandered onto private property south of Moose Lake. The landowner/trapper set out the trap with bait and scent to lure and kill a bobcat. What he caught instead was a 7 year-old Malamute.  It's unknown how many days Kobe was caught with his face in this trap, because current regulations only require a trapper to check this type of trap once every three days. Poor Kobe!  We can only imagine the pain and sheer terror he must have felt being caught and helpless. Normally, this type of trap would kill the animal, but Kobe survived!

The trapper contacted a DNR official, who then contacted an Animal Control Officer. Even though Kobe was at death's door, he wagged his tail.  Kobe's head was swollen to 3X its normal size when he arrived at the Cloquet Veterinarian's office. Kobe's eyes were infected, and there were huge gashes on both the left and right sides of his face from trying to pull his head out of the trap. Surgery has been done to reattach and replace the skin to the sides of his head, and to remove both of his eyes.  

Now Kobe is blind, and it is still unknown how the damage in his right ear will affect his hearing. We pray that his wounds will eventually heal, but the trauma of this event and the lessons learned will never be forgotten.  

We do not know where Kobe came from--maybe he slipped his collar, or maybe he was dropped off by someone who did not want him--but the reality of this event is a sobering reminder of the need for our Minnesota trapping regulations to change. This would not have happened if this trap had been elevated 5 feet off the ground. The bobcat would have easily climbed the distance to obtain the tasty bait, but Kobe would not have been able to reach it.  

Friends of Animals Humane Society in Cloquet, MN, is an amazing team of people who are lovingly caring for Kobe until he recovers. We are asking our members to consider a donation to Kobe's vet bills and care by mailing a donation to them at the following address:

Friends of Animals
Attn: Kobe's Care
1418 Hwy 33 S
Cloquet, MN 55720

Please contact your legislators and tell them that we need the following changes to help protect our dogs from deadly traps:
  • Five feet above the ground, or
  • Submerged in water, or
  • In dog-resistant enclosure.
  • Non-lethal cable restraint snares on land.

Thank you.

Kobe is recovering from surgery at Friends of Animals.