A Clarenville family is thankful their dog is alive after it became snared in a steel hunting trap during a walk last month.
Mike Andrews was out with a friend and his dog for a walk off leash with his daughter's Labrador retriever, Alba, near the end of October. They decided to run on a beach in the community, and the dogs went into the water when Andrews heard a terrifying scream from Alba.
"There was no doubt in my mind right away that she was screaming for her life," Andrews told CBC Radio Tuesday.
"We ran to where she was, which was only a few metres away just beyond the high water mark. And she had steel bars across her neck on either side, pinned to the ground. I could tell right away that if we didn't get her out, she was going to die sometime soon."
Andrews would later find out Alba had become trapped in a conibear trap, which he thinks would have been there to trap and kill otters.
He said Alba's eyes began rolling in the back of her head and she was bleeding out of her ears — but is recovering well after his friend was able to figure out how to pry the trap open so she could get out of it.
Andrews was also injured, requiring stitches in one of his fingers.
"If it was an optimally operating trap, it would have killed the dog. The dog wouldn't have survived anyway. It was a big dirty trap, it was horrifying," Andrews said. "If I had a video of it, I wouldn't want anyone to watch it."
Andrews said there was no signage around alerting people to the use of the traps.
Jessica Andrews, Mike's daughter and Alba's owner, said she was shaken up after the incident.
"It was just a miracle that it wasn't me and my dogs, because I would have never been able to rescue her," she said.
Jessica posted about the incident on Facebook and was surprised to learn how many people had experienced something similar before.
"I had a numerous [number] of people reach out to me and say that this has happened to their dog or their pet. And unfortunately, a lot of the situations didn't turn out as good as us," she said. "It's been astounding really to learn about how often this happens."
The father and daughter hope their story serves as a warning to other pet owners to stay vigilant when they are outside with their pets.