Grace's Legacy


December 2004, Long Island, NY, USA

E-mail from Jessica, whose dog Sparky died in a trap.

Thank you for e-mailing me. I am so glad to hear that someone is doing something about these traps. After finding out how my dog was killed, I went on the internet and typed: "animal traps used by farmers", and came across your website about Grace. But my dog did not die on a farm, he died in a woods in a very busy area. Here is my story about how we found out how Sparky died:

Just look at how simply she wrote this, and how succinctly it tells the story.

My dog took off Saturday morning as he does very frequently. He digs holes in the backyard and gets out underneath the gate but he always returns. We would always cover the holes and put bricks there but somehow he managed to find a way out. Anyway around 5:30 Saturday afternoon just as my nine year old son Anthony's birthday party was starting and people were arriving I got a phone call from a man about Sparky. The man said that he was calling about Sparky and that he had his tags. I said Thank you that is great, where is he I will go pick him up. He said "No he is dead". I got hysterical and put my husband on the phone. After my husband thanked the man for calling he hung up the phone and told me that the man had already buried Sparky but asked if we wanted to pick up his tags. He told my husband that he did not know how the dog died and that he was dead by some woods. Not thinking and shocked by the call my husband told the man that he did not want the tags.

We tried to call the man back several times to ask for the tags but he did not answer his phone. My friends and family all thought that it was very odd of the man to take it upon himself to bury the dog before calling us or the town as some people do especially being that he had tags. Now I was going out of my mind worrying about how Sparky died. Was he hit by a car or shot at the duck farm around the corner. Some sick people get annoyed by loose pets and will harm them, I have heard sick stories. Its terrible to think the worst but all these things were going through my head.

My dog from time to time would come home covered in crap and we think it was from the duck farm. We hear the gunshots from the duck farm frequently so I assumed maybe he was shot and the man did not want to tell us the truth. Last night my mother took my son with her and a picture of our dog Sparky and went to the police precinct to see if there was anything that they could do. She gave them the man's cell phone # that I got off of the caller ID. The police officer thought at first that maybe he was stolen and the tags were removed and that maybe the man had said that he was dead so that we would not look for him.

The police officer had finally got in touch with the man and he got the details about how Sparky had died. The man told the officer that the reason why he didn't tell me what happened is because I got hysterical. He said that he was walking in some woods with his daughter when they saw Sparky dead in an animal trap. He said that his daughter was very upset and he felt terrible. He released Sparky from the trap and threw the trap in the river and then he buried our dog. My mother asked the officer if these traps are illegal and he said that they are legal and used by farmers.

After finding out about this I was curious as to what these traps look like. Before finding the website about Grace I came across a picture of a trap and my older son who is ten said to me: " Mom, look I see that all the time in the bike trails when I go with my friends". I am outraged by this. This is sick and the fact that it is legal is even sicker! What if my son was curious and got caught in that trap or another child. My husband wants to go to the bike trails to throw a stick in the trap to set it off and then remove it.

I will make sure that everyone I know is aware especially parents that these things exist. I don't understand why my dog had to die this way. The trap should not have been where it was. I live in a busy neighborhood on Long Island, NY. The officer told my mother to tell me that my dog did not suffer but I am not too sure about that. When I saw the pictures of Grace it brought tears to my eyes. My dog Sparky was a beautiful black Lab mix and was only three years old. He was the most kind , loveable gentle dog. He will be missed by us especially our children and Daycare children that I care for everyday who enjoyed playing with him for hours and taking him for walks.

I've never been this upset over a pet like this. He was a member of our family and he was killed and taken before his time because of a careless, heartless, sick human being that put the trap there. I don't even think these traps should be on any farm. I read that these traps were invented to be more humane. How sick! Thank you for hearing my story and thank you for sharing your story about Grace. Good luck with the mayor and let me know how it goes. Take care!
Jessica Pistolese

Jessica's was the first communication I received this winter. Right after this, I received email from Lynda in Nova Scotia, and then the emails started flowing at a rapid pace.

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Stop the Use of Inhumane Traps, and The Story of Russell