When one of the Campbells’ dogs, Skye, went missing this month from her Springvale home, the family was devastated and distressed.
When she came back under her own steam after seven days, her back leg was so badly damaged from being caught in a trap, it had to be amputated.
Although the family does not know where the trap was set, they are warning people there is the potential for other dogs, cats and even children to be caught in its vicious claws if it has been reset.
Phil and Kelly Campbell and their two sons, Cody (6) and Kaden (9), spent hours searching around the McArthur Rd, Waikerikeri Valley and Golden Rd area during Queen’s Birthday Weekend and the following three days for the 18-month-old Labrador/Vizsla, after she failed to return home on June 2.
Despite extensive searching, advertising in The News and an appeal for help, which generated a lot of interest on social media, there was no sign of Skye.
Marley, their Staffordshire/Labrador, missed his best friend, and the whole family was upset and worried.
“There were a few tears shed,” Mrs Campbell said.
“We also had people looking all over the area for her. However, when Phil came home from work on Thursday [June 8], she was curled up by the wood pile, waiting for us.”
She thinks Skye had been caught in a large trap of some type, and assumes she was released by the person who set it.
The weather had been extremely cold during that time.
“Her leg was mangled and cut to the bone where the trap had closed over her back leg,” she said. “She was very skinny and as soon as we saw her, we took her to the vets.”
The vets allowed Skye to go home for the weekend, to see if she was likely to recover, but on June 13 they amputated the leg because there was no circulation and it felt cold.
She is on medication and delighted to be home. Although she is still recovering, the family think she will be nearly as agile on three legs as she was on four.
Both dogs wear electronic collars, which beep to warn them when they are approaching an electronic boundary, and that usually prevents them from wandering, although they have been known to visit the neighbours.
However, that day Marley came back without her and they knew something was wrong.
Mrs Campbell said it was likely the dogs chased a rabbit off their property and, being so focused, did not heed the collars’ warnings.
“We want people to be aware that there are possibly traps in this area and next time it might be another dog, or a cat, or even a child.
“We are so happy to have her back. We also want to thank everybody who helped search for her, or messaged us with support, and we want to thank the vets as well,” she said.