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Bend veterinarian’s dog caught in ‘dangerous’ trap near Horse Ridge off-leash trail

(Update: Adding video, comments from dog owner)

She'd like to see Oregon become the next state to ban 'archaic,' 'inhumane' traps

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Patti Mayfield was hiking with her partner on Sunday in the southwest end of Horse Ridge Trail, when her dog "Pilot" got caught in a trap. 

Mayfield said they’ve hiked in the remote, off-leash area plenty of times with no issues, until now.

“Our first concern was that he was being mauled,” Mayfield said. 

She said it seems like Pilot got a whiff of something and then ran off. The next thing she knew, he was screaming.

“He was really spooked,” Mayfield said. “You know, he was panting hard. Like I said, he had blood on his face, blood running down his limbs, he had been chewing at it.”

They found Pilot caught in a trap, but were able to pull him out in a matter of minutes.

Outside of some limping and pain, he had no serious damage.

But Mayfield, a veterinarian in Bend, sees this as a wake up call.

“I have frustration with a lack of awareness that the public has, and also with the lack of potential responsibility from trappers to be mindful of mixed use,” Mayfield said. 

All traps need to be marked with owner ID and registration number, and set 50 feet from any designated trail.

This trap technically followed those directions, because the part of the trail Mayfield and Pilot were on, is not officially recognized by Bureau of Land Management. 

Legally set or not, she thinks it's dangerous.

“If they smell something, you know, they can dart 50 feet in a matter of seconds and be in a trap before you can get them back to your side,” Mayfield said. 

ODFW and Oregon State Police data finds from 2004-2017, there were seven dogs that needed treatment from a reported trap injury.

With Oregon's population and trail use increasing, Mayfield thinks the use of traps should be revisited.

“I think that there are a lot of people who feel these traps are inhumane, and that they’re archaic, and that trapping is a privilege, it’s not a right,” Mayfield said.

Mayfield says other states have gotten rid of trapping, and she hopes Oregon is the next to do so.

Author Profile Photo

Noah Chast

Noah Chast is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Noah here.



    1. This trap technically followed those directions, because the part of the trail Mayfield and Pilot were on, is not officially recognized by Bureau of Land Management. If you don’t like current laws get to work and try and change them until then don’t whine about it.

    2. These things need to be banned, at least on public lands. This is no different than target shooting without worrying about a proper backstop: “sorry your kid got shot, but hey you shouldn’t have let him run around on public property and should have kept him close to your side”. If crap like this is legal, then laws need to be changed. I’m not opposed to hunting, but trapping an animal by the leg for hours until you happen to show up and dispatch him is a special type of sick, sadistic, cruel depraved indifference to suffering. Make sure to keep people that do this well away from your kids.

      1. Exactly. There is extremely minimal common public interest in allowing trapping on shared PUBLIC lands. At a minimum trappers should bear full financial responsibility for ANY damage done by their traps left on public property (as you would if anything goes wrong legally shooting on public land. Don’t like it? Buy private land for the niche hobby.

      2. Dude if you are letting your kids run around an area where you know people are shooting and one of them gets hurt that’s on you. Legal is legal and there is no reason to change a law if it is legal.
        Trappers are not sick and sadistic. The ones who are sadistic are the ones killing the neighbors cats and

  1. That’s simultaneously one unlucky, and also lucky dog. He couldn’t have had an owner with a better occupation. I’d be as angry and hurt as her if this happened to my dog, and I hope they find out who set this trap so close to the trail, without ID. Traps are exceedingly cruel. Stop putting them out.

    1. I couldn’t agree with you more. I think they are horrible torture devices. It doesn’t matter that they’ve been used for thousands of years. That doesn’t make the poor animal feel better. The person that set it probably won’t be caught, but isn’t this the second time in a couple of weeks or so that pets have been caught in illegal traps?

      1. This trap technically followed those directions, because the part of the trail Mayfield and Pilot were on, is not officially recognized by Bureau of Land Management. That means legal.

    2. She said it didn’t have a name on it, which it’s not required to. It’s required to have the trappers license # on it. It also was legally placed. And alas it didn’t matter that the dog owner was a vet because the dogs injuries were minor.

  2. I hear all too often the complaints about fish and wildlife enforcement (game wardens) and how they just harass the hunters and such but I tip my hat to the wildlife officers and the job they do. there are just so many senseless and irresponsible jacka**es poaching and not following the rules . These officers do a very good job. They help keep everyone as safe as possible while risk being shot at themselves. Hopefully some trail cameras will be setup in some trouble areas to crack down on these bozos. Trapping when done correctly is just fine but I’m sure this person was too lazy to set a trap any farther off the trail then they had to.

  3. So lets hear how close the trap was to the trail before defining it as illegal. However setting a trap near the trail whether it is proper distance from trail or not is a bad choice. Any indication that the trap has been there for a long time like forgotten? I’ve found unmarked rusted traps before that were still set but obviously been in place a long time. I tripped them and if unmarked may have removed them which admittedly you are not supposed to do. Also is any part of this trail on private land as there are some trails out there that do go through private. And she wondered if bait was being used. Assuming you released the dog was there any indication of bait being there or just a stimulus to draw the animal like a bobcat over the trap….

      1. well since it doesn’t have to have the owners name just the license number on it or be more than 50 feet it could still be legal so I think. If it was no more but also no less than 50 ft then it would be at 50 ft which is legal. I agree even right at 50′ it is not a good choice when it is a frequently used trail, the trapper could make better decisions. but I think what coyote was saying is lets get some facts before everyone just jumps on the bandwagon like this is illegal. remember that is why you all failed to get trump out of office on two impeachment attempts because you jumped to an impeachment hearing and trial without facts and evidence to get the job done!!!!

    1. Laws on this stuff need to get out of the stone ages. If the trap isn’t at least marked with a registration number; isn’t it just litter on public property vs a properly maintained trap?

  4. Pursue these jerks; arrest and jail time.

    Confiscate their traps, their firearms, their vehicles.

    Not only for the sake of our animals but for any human who may stumble into a trap themselves.

    I’m from Alaska where trap lines are carefully and seriously managed and monitored. Those who violate the law get hammered flatter than whale ****.

    1. I’m not a trapper but you do realize that traps are normally set in an area where it funnels the animal into a location where it will step on the trap not out in the open where you are going to step on it?? Typically next to a tree with low branches and maybe a bush next to it so there is only one real path. Guessing this is not where you walk…

    2. Not saying the trap is placed in a proper spot but jail time? Lol that’s too funny. Arrest the trap setter but let all the dope heads and thieves free. Sounds like L.L. to me. Maybe focus time on prosecuting thieves and violent criminals rather than trying to find the person that set a trap too close to a hiking trail.

  5. There is an old and ancient tribe in East Africa That has a belief that I can only hope has some validity. After you die there is a bridge you must cross before you can enter heaven. At the entrance to this bridge is every animal you knew in life and they decide whether or not you get to cross that bridge. These moron animal abusers, of all stripes, would consider this hogwash and they better hope they’re right.

    1. Some pics of the trap, some pics of the location it was set might help to identify it. Any comments from the ODFW folks? These are serious allegations, and deserve a serious investigation. Any pics of the dogs injuries? I’m NOT making any allegations, but this wouldn’t be the first time someone made false claims. I hope the dog is OK.

  6. One of the more annoy, and dangerous, things mountain-biking, is off-leash dogs. They do not belong there. And, they roam around, disrupting wildlife. It is enough impact on the natural environment to build trails and ride bikes, much less, have off leash dogs roaming around.

    1. And I can almost guarantee that it’s not a trapper that set this trap. If you feel this way, then there is most likely someone who will take it a step further. Out on some open range BLM land east of town, someone was putting boards with nails in them, buried in the roads and trails. Was causing enough damaged tires and dog pads that we stopped going out.

    2. Have you not looked at the Starkey Experimental Forest Study where they have done much research on the impact that bicycles have on wildlife. Bikes tend to sneak up fast on deer and startle them. Maybe its the bike that does not belong on Horse Ridge. You remember when the deer were out there in the hundreds before the bikes started building trails…

    3. aren’t we supposed to share the trails. Most mountain bike trails from what I have seen used to be game trails that have been taken over by the mountain bikers. So very sorry that you are inconvenienced on public land. Maybe we should think about limiting the amount of mountain bike trails on public land since they seem to be literally everywhere. Or maybe there should be a mountain bike license fee to use public land similar to what hunters have to pay.

    4. You’re in the wrong state, buddy, if you dislike off leash dogs on multi-use public lands. You sound really privileged and whiny over your mountain biking. No one feels sorry for you.

    5. But your bike trail is a reasonable price for the wilderness to pay compared to the dogs? Are they SO much harder on the environment than the coyotes … Or just interfere with your bike ride more?

          1. How much property is this?
            Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Washington have limited the use of leghold traps.

          1. There is no money in it anymore. Trappers are a rarity anymore in Oregon. It’s a craft and actually ALOT of work. But the few left are a important part of the ODFW wildlife mgt

  7. On these “trapping stories that the Z does, it would be beneficial to make the public aware of main trapping seasons as the wilderness is not just for liberals or dog owners. The main trapping season is typically from December through the end of February, so when you are off leashing you’re dog during those times be aware that there is mixed use, just like hunting seasons, you should educate yourselves on when those seasons are as well. Big news flash to the newbies of central oregon you are not the only wilderness on trail or off trail users and your use is not more righteous than the other.

    1. Yeah well,NEWS FLASH, I’m NOT a newbie, I am staunchly conservative and find the whole trapping thing archaic and offensive. Its CLEARLY common sense to take this offensive behavior far way away from places where it’s well known that people hike , bike, ride horses etc. legal or not. Don’t be so obtuse…

      1. There were trappers here long before you moved here. The traps were here long before the mountain bikers and Subarus. Conservative, or liberal, you are jumping to conclusions. I’m not so certain I believe this story. The name Jussie ring a bell?

        1. A lot of things happened a long time ago. This is clearly a tiny minority activity; take it to private land. Time for the overwhelming majority of the public land-share owners to vote to ban it. Traps in a mixed-use area represent a reckless liability as they are unattended. When you’re hunting you are 100% responsible for and present for the outcome of every shot fired.

  8. Dog owners who insist on letting your animal go leashless should keep in mind there are a lot worse things than traps. Such as shooters at the top of the list, others such as wild life that could be detrimental to your animal porcupine, cougar, wild boar, deer, elk. So if you’re willing to gamble on your animals life then you shouldn’t be complaining.

  9. Dear god, it’s 2022, do we really need to trap anything anymore? I mean with the constant building, the raping and depleting of habitats, can’t we just give the animals a break? Gzus people, humans already have an unfair advantage over the wildlife.

      1. Do you think hunters and trappers are the same thing? Are you ok with other types of traps, just not leg hold? Where have you personally seen someone using a salt lick to hunt? How do you propose we manage wild game?

    1. Spoken like a true-blue granola-eating hippy liberal. Newsflash for you, “plsmthrmercy”…conservative outdoorsey folks were the majority population of central Oregon long before y’all came here. And just because we may be in the minority now, it don’t mean we won’t resist y’all’s efforts to impose your views on those whose families have lived here for generations. Might be best if ya find another place to live if’n ya don’t like folks who hunt, fish and trap (legally).

    2. Welcome to Oregon! Welcome to rural living. It’s a little different from Cali. When you moved here, I’m guessing you moved into a building. (Of course, these days that is not a given). You are helping to deplete the habitat. Trapping problem animals IS giving the animals a break. When a coyote is trapped, plenty of rabbits, foxes, rodents, birds, domestic animals etc catch a break. We do have advantages over the animals, fair or not. We also have biologists that manage populations. Ever hear of “follow the science”? What is your scientific biological background? Or are you just operating on feelings?

      1. Man, you people sure like to assume a lot, guess that’s why the world is turning into a **** hole. Ummm, not from California, born and raised here thank you very much, and as a matter of fact my degree is in biology, how about you, what did you major in, aside from assumption?

        1. And do you, in fact, use your biology degree other than to determine what’s in the fries that you offer to customers at the drive-thru window? I’m originally from the PNW (5th generation), and hunting, trapping, fishing, etc. are part of our heritage here. I ended up in CA during the course of building my business and my personal wealth, and finally came back home once I sold my company. So guess what, Liberal? You don’t get to dismiss me. I likely have deeper generational roots in OR/WA than you do. So, perhaps you should move along.

      1. Everyone loves it when you move here because you didn’t like it back home. And then you try to make it just like home. Very endearing. You knew trapping was legal here, or should have. Don’t like it? Move back. I doubt you were invited I. The first place.

      2. Well, guess what? If you think you and your like-minded pals are going to get trapping, hunting, etc. banned here in the PNW, then I foresee that you shall be sorely disappointed. But hey, keep trying.

  10. “He was really spooked,” Mayfield said. “You know, he was panting hard. Like I said, he had blood on his face, blood running down his limbs, he had been chewing at it.”

    You were hiking with your dog and it gets caught in a trap and has enough time to chew on the limb causing blood to run down. So where were you because it sounds like there is fish in this story..

    1. I get the impression the lady vet had an agenda before her dog got “trapped”, and now conveniently she has a public soapbox to use to push that agenda. Hmmmm…

        1. Cancel culture right there. If he would have said lady, would that have been ok? How about just Vet? Is it just when they go together that it’s a problem? What would you prefer? I’m sure everyone should use your preferred nomenclature.

        2. That’s right. I said the LADY vet, as in FEMALE. As in WOMAN. It’s a descriptor…just as saying, the “black” male. You liberals are SO QUICK to shout misogyny or racism so as to drown out any who you don’t like. Not happening here, bub.

    2. That dog sure looks good for having been trapped. What was it, a mouse trap? Any photos of the wounds? Any pics of the trap? Im sure she would have taken some for evidence to give to ODFW. Right?

  11. It’s trapping season.

    Dog is off leash outside the known area for dog walking and hiking.

    Just a danger that needs to be weighed and register with off leash dog walkers during trapping season.

    $100k plus of fur sold annually at fur action in Prineville. Most trapped locally. Trapping is not going away anytime soon.

    Knee jerk reaction

  12. My dog was caught in a trap last January. What bothers me the most is the trap clearly had not been checked in a long time. This means any animal caught could possibly have been left to die in the trap. Maybe it had been forgotten? All I know is when I posted a warning to other dog owners/walkers on social media it was removed within a few days. Large dog, yet had multiple fracture in the paw. Legally set, I’m not sure legal in the care it received around how often checked.

    1. The “rules” for trapping, if I remember, require a trap to be checked every 48 hours…still 2 days of hell for the animal and there’s no way to enforce this-it’s up to the trapper to have some compassion. (fat chance of that). I think everyone who thinks trapping is ok should slam their thumb in a car door and hang out for awhile.

        1. Yeah, I’m pretty sure “rf” has no answer to that. In fact, I’m almost certain that “rf” didn’t actually know the regulations for trapping before doing a google search or checking the ODFW sites. Cleary “rf” is just another liberal with an agenda who is scrambling to try and validate their own personal feelings.

  13. Heartless and cowardly, like all the people on this comment thread. Not sure why you all care more about the rights of humans when we act like this. A great return to compassion would be a welcome change. Never going to happen though… humanity is hell.

  14. I see no mention of the fact that the majority of Horse ridge South of Hwy20e to the Southern end is private property and has been a very long time just rarely posted for it,when it was the signs disappeared quickly,other times in the past it was up for sale.
    I too thought it was BLM controlled for a very long time with as many trails pass through the area.
    Coyotes have always been an issue with local ranchers in the area to cattle and there are many of both critters out there.
    People must understand much of E-Oregon is shared lands by the public and ranchers and not a city governed or operated area,the public as myself goes out there to get some solitude or a good workout,as for the ranchers it is their livelihood and work area BLM or private and unposted.
    A considerate idea would be to post that there are snares or traps in the area,I have seen it done a few times in other areas.

    1. @Century01: that’s just it. The bleeding hearts DON’T have any kind of plan. They just want trapping (and other things they don’t like) GONE. Problem is, nothing exists in a vacuum. Remove predator-control measures and that creates another issue–but that’s the farmers’ and ranchers’ problems, not the liberal crusaders’.

  15. Let’s be honest about this whole thing. Trapping is ancient and doesn’t really have a place in Oregon anymore, especially not in these areas. With that said, it is the person’s responsibility to know where they are with regards to rules and guidelines. This vet is shrugging responsibility and saying there is not enough education out there regarding local rights and uses. You could also argue this about self defense, use of round abouts, cell phones while driving etc., but this is why the police always say ignorance does not mean the law does not apply to you. Further, our town has been overrun with irresponsible dog owners that do not follow the law at all. If off leash, you still must have verbal control of your animal, and many off leash areas are seasonal. We need to stop blaming agencies and others for our own actions. I am glad this dog is ok, but with all due respect, own your part trail walker. You were on a non sanctioned trail in an area that allows trapping, and the trap was set according to state law according to this article. Your ignorance caused this, not the trapper.

    1. Let’s be honest. Trapping has been and still is a legitimate means of predator control and hunting. If it weren’t, then it would not still be legal in Oregon. If you disagree, then feel free to lobby the Oregon legislature to ban all trapping. Good luck, though, because I expect that the hunters, farmers, and ranchers have a much stronger lobbying group than anything you liberals can conjure up.

      1. Don’t be so sure about that. Look south to California to see what a bunch of well-intentioned idiots can do. When swayed by the charlatans at the Human Society, center for biologic diversity etc, they are capable of lots of stupidity.

        1. There are still enough conservative folks with money and influence in Oregon and other areas to at least slow down the advancement of the libs. I’m pretty confident that I won’t have to deal with the complete takeover of our country by the socialists in my lifetime, and while I am still alive, I’ll gladly use some of my finances to support those in opposition to them. Republicans 2024!

      2. You mistake me as a liberal which is a classic fools assumption. Get over yourself. Just because someone has a different opinion than you does not make them the enemy or of another political group. Because something is legal it is legitimate anything. We have absurd laws for all types of antiquated ways of life and racist history to boot. like the one in PDX that says no blacks out after midnight.

        1. @JimmyDean: It is quite obvious that you were edumucated in public schools. Your fourth sentence seems to be saying something you did not intend. Perhaps you should learn how to proofread your posts before sending them? Now, run along, child. You are dismissed.

            1. Ya know, I think I will NOT. If you don’t like what I have to say, Blarney, then you’re just gonna have to ban me from these here message boards. I’m tired of the “my best judgment” way of administering things here. Plenty of personal attacks are let through in these message boards, and singling me out seems a bit hypocritical. You are clearly a liberal-leaning person, so there is an inherent bias, regardless of what you try to say about fair play and all that jazz.

              I say that liberals are ruining this country, and if you don’t like that, then you are free to go pound sand.

              1. We’ll just see what we determine are “personally offensive attacks” and hence deleted for violating our very liberally interpreted terms of service. Sometimes it’s a very tough call. Sometimes not so much.
                We don’t delete people from the comment system we have now because that would require deleting all the comments from the system, and we might need them as evidence to defend ourselves against unwarranted claims.
                We may go to a more community-moderated system this year, more like Reddit. Not perfect, but might sink trolls in downvotes into relative invisibility and promote civil dialogue that sticks to the issues. One can only hope.
                You have been particularly nasty today, for whatever reason. If you don’t like our moderation decisions, feel free to find a news site’s comment system more to your liking. (Many have gotten rid of them due to toxic misuse, not due to any particular political viewpoint, cries of censorship notwithstanding.)
                You can attack liberals as a group all day and night. It’s the personal attacks that usually lead to deletions.

  16. Letting your dog run unleashed, out of sight, is just asking for a coyote or cougar to eat it, possibly getting shot running over the hill from you. Im sure you never picked up your dog poop, thereby spreading diseases to wild animals. Trapping is what settled this land. It is still a viable way of controlling predators and making extra cash. But in No way an easy way living. Stay inside Bend city limits Woman!

  17. “Handsome”Stranger….Wow! You are just full of yourself. Nobody cares what generation Oregonian you are! It is also unfortunate that you feel threatened by a highly educated woman that you have to refer to her as a “lady vet.” You are not a kind human are you? Too bad you are so angry.

    1. @justbenmice: I’m not threatened in the slightest by the “highly educated woman” that you refer to. I am a “highly educated man”. The little lady that is featured in the article clearly has a liberal agenda and is taking advantage of what happened to her dog to push it. Well, folks like me won’t have it.

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