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B.C. family's dog has leg amputated after spending days caught in trap

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A three-year-old family dog named Pearl who had been suffering in a leg-hold trap for days by a farm near Fort St. John has had her leg amputated.

On Feb. 3, Pearl didn’t come home for dinner, and that never happens.

Her family launched a search, looking everywhere, but couldn't find the Anatolian Shepherd.

“I started hollering for her,” said Ricki Hartley who was terrified Pearl had fallen through ice.

“We live in a valley, so it echoes, and she howled back to me.”

Scouring the area well past midnight, on a snowmobile and on snowshoes, Pearl was finally found, more than 48 hours later caught in a leg-hold trap.

She was rushed to the veterinarian, but there was little that could be done.

The family was given a choice: either amputate the dog's leg, or put Pearl down.

“We couldn't even think about putting her down, there was no way,” insisted Hartley.

“I don't cry very often,” she told CTV News, “But it was absolutely heartbreaking.”

The Fur-Bearers, an animal rights group, says the public needs proper warning if traps are going to be set and has been advocating for changes to the province's laws for years.

“It's a bit of a dirty little secret, because warning signs are not required under the legislation,” said executive director Lesley Fox.

Pearl's owners said they were given absolutely no warning that traps had been set-up near their farm.

“I think people need to know that these things are being set silently,” said Hartley.

The minister responsible called the situation “awful,” and suggested he is open to change.

“If signage would help, if other measures that we could take as a province would help, we're willing to work with the municipalities, communities, animal groups, to (find out) what would be required to make this better for people,” said Nathan Cullen, minister of water, land and resource stewardship.

Pearl was depressed for about a week after the amputation, her family says. And although she tires quickly, she seems to be adjusting to life on three legs.

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