Police & Fire

Reward offered for information about person(s) setting illegal coyote traps

PORTSMOUTH, R.I. — A group of local residents are offering a reward for information leading to an arrest after a second coyote was seen with a trap on its leg recently.

Area residents have pooled together $1,020 for information leading to the arrest of the person (or persons) setting the illegal coyote traps, according to Russ Smith of Tiverton, who posted the following on Facebook Tuesday.

“The $1,020 reward is being offered to anyone who provides law enforcement authorities with information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons setting the illegal steel leghold traps on Aquidneck Island which have resulted in serious injury to at least two coyote as of April 4, 2017,” Smith said in an email. 

Portsmouth police are urging residents to be on the lookout after a second coyote was spotted with a trap on its leg this past weekend. 

A coyote with a trap on its leg was seen in the Wapping Road area near Sandy Point Avenue. If spotted, residents should contact Portsmouth police at (401) 683-0300. 

This is the second coyote with a leg trap spotted recently on Aquidneck Island.

In March, the Department of Environmental Management (DEM) investigated reports of a coyote caught in an illegal leg trap in Middletown, according to WPRI

On March 21, the first coyote seen in a leg trap was discovered in the area of Third Beach and later euthanized after sustaining numerous “damages” to its leg and malnourishment, according to The Newport Daily News

Under Rhode Island General Law 20-16-8, it is illegal to “use, set, place, or maintain or tend any steel jawed leghold trap to capture any fur-bearing mammal or other animal.” 

“Any person violating this section shall be punished by a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars ($500) or be imprisoned not exceeding one year, or both…” according to state law. 

If you would like to contribute to the reward, call or text message 401-241-3793. 


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