Trapping in the City

November 27, 2012 at 3:10pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Do any of you have any experience with local restrictions on trapping within Lincoln? I noticed a trap in a neighbor’s yard this morning and it felt out of place. I asked around on Twitter and I was directed to Chapter 6.04 of the City code. That ordinance specifies that certain types of traps are illegal—evil, nasty, inhumane sorts of traps—but apparently the act of trapping itself is not prohibited. I suppose that’s fine. There are legitimate reasons to trap an animal.

Still, I’m surprised that City ordinances don’t talk more about “good” trapping versus “bad” trapping. The trap I saw this morning seemed to be intended for squirrels or rabbits or something. But what if the neighbor’s dog or cat were to get caught? Are there any regulations describing what I can or must do with a trapped animal? I’m sure that stuff is written down somewhere—state law, perhaps?—but I haven’t come across it yet.

I could of course ask the neighbor what the trap is for and settle my curiosity. Unfortunately we don’t exactly have that kind of relationship. His home isn’t adjacent to mine and our earlier interactions have been ... cold. (He once yelled at me because my dog stepped on his grass while I was walking her. She didn’t poop or pee. She stepped on the grass.) If I were to knock on his door I’m afraid he’d take any questions negatively. So I’m left to wonder what sort of fearsome suburban critter is worthy of being trapped (and what will happen to it once it’s caught).

Semi-related memory time: Once when I spent the night at a friend’s house I heard an occasional “pop” from outside. It turns out his father was sitting on the balcony shooting squirrels off the power lines with a pellet gun. At the time I didn’t know whether to find that hilarious or horrifying. He was a damn good shot from what I remember.

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The Comments

Nikkidemas November 27, 2012 at 4:05pm

I know the Cat House runs a humane Trap/Neuter/Release program to help control Lincoln’s feral cat population.

Semi-related memory time:  My ex bf’s grandpa once showed me a bloody trap in his garage which he used to kill raccoons, etc.  It was not in Lincoln, but I was horrified.

Karin Dalziel November 27, 2012 at 4:51pm

You used to be able to get traps from animal control, but they stopped that, I think. You’re allowed to trap animals, but not relocate them, which makes me wonder what the point is if you’re trapping hem outside. (The only time we had to trap an animal was when an opossum got in the crawlspace of our basement. Ew.)

beerorkid November 27, 2012 at 9:17pm

I looked into it a while back to control feral cats.  You could rent the traps for $10.  Further inquiries led me to the Trap/Neuter/Release, but they want funds to do the neutering.  I finally took one of the feral cats in our home after he won me over.

randy November 28, 2012 at 4:28am

Growing up in a blue-collar neighborhood in a Midwestern city much larger than Lincoln, we had a surprising amount of wildlife.  I saw people routinely shoot vermin with pellet guns in their trees, backyards, and from wires (which was completely accepted and presumably legal at the time).  And I know for a fact that some of those same folks harvested urban rabbits, squirrels, raccoons, opossums, and the occassion roof hare for the supper pot just as one might use dandelions in one’s yard to make tea.  But those were different times, and people really didn’t care so much about animals as they seem to today, for some types at least.

Leopold Bloom November 28, 2012 at 2:32pm

What you should do is take a photo of your neighbor with a zoom lens someday. Print out the photo. With an Xacto knife, carve out his eyes. Then scrawl the words “HELL” over the photo. Sneak into his yard one night and tape the photo to the door of the trap. See what happens.

Mr. Wilson November 28, 2012 at 2:44pm

Well that got dark quickly.

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