POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. -- Hikers beware. There may be hazardous traps set near wooded trails along the Hudson River.
That's the warning from Irene Monck of the Town of Poughkeepsie, whose 4-year-old dog, Neve, got caught in a trap on Thanksgiving Day at Locust Grove Estate.
Commonly known as the Young-Morse estate, the historic site is located off of Route 9. The 200-acre property originally owned by inventor Samuel Morse is a popular spot for hiking.
"Victor and I have been walking there for many years,'' Monck said of her boyfriend, Victor Fernandes.
Fernandes was walking with Monck's Siberian husky about 3 p.m. on Thursday when they came across a handwritten sign that read: "Danger! Do Not Enter.Trail Under Maintenance! Thank you,'' marked with a tiny happy face.
"Anyone could have put it there,'' Monck said of the unofficial-looking sign. "It's an area that floods a lot," she explained, so Victor wandered off the trail to see if there was new flooding.
That's when Neve stepped into a four-inch-long spring-loaded trap designed to capture beavers or coyotes. The trap was anchored into the ground and difficult to open, according to Monck.
"Neve was screaming the whole time, and biting Victor,'' Monck said. "There was blood all over his paws. It was very scary."
Although Neve had to be carried out of the woods, the trap only caught the tip of his paw.
"Thank goodness he's OK,'' Monck told Daily Voice on Wednesday. "It could have been a lot worse."
"It took us a good 15 to 20 minutes to free Neve and Victor had to carry him back to our car a good half-mile to mile away," Monck said. "I noticed multiple traps covered with leaves in this area so we had to carefully retrace our steps back to the main trail"
"We took Neve to the emergency vet immediately and then followed up with our Vet on Friday,'' Monck said.
The dog is recovering fine from bruises to a toe, she said.
"If public safety is at risk, there should be better signage. I actually thought someone was poaching because the sign was so rudimentary," she said.
Monck said she notified Town of Poughkeepsie police and the state Department of Environmental Conservation about the potential hazard. The trap had a DEC permit number on it, she said.
Monck said she also called the executive director of the Locust Grove Estate who told her they should not have walked beyond the sign.
"He admitted that they had the trapper place the traps to take care of a beaver issue,'" according to Monck. He also expressed his sympathy but just kept repeating that "they did mark it and we went past the sign".
The Locust Grove Estate includes a Tuscan-style villa designed in 1851 and a small museum dedicated to Morse.
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