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Man cited for illegal trapping after Florence dog injured

By Kevin Maki, KECI Reporter, kmaki@keci.com
Published On: Nov 22 2012 11:08:52 AM MST
FLORENCE, Mont. -

Fish Wildlife and Parks has cited a Florence man for illegal trapping after a dog caught her paw in a mink trap near Florence.

59-year-old Juan Lopez of Florence could face a fine, lose his trapping privileges, and be forced to pay restitution.

FWP said it's able to trace the trap because the trapper leaves an identity tag on it.

Meantime, Monte, the young Labrador is recovering splendidly.

Monte's owner, Pete Ramberg showed the spot where he found Monte howling in pain and fear.

The trap had been secured to a concrete pillar near the Florence Bridge spanning the Bitterroot River.

It was in the water, and so was Monte.

Ramberg said it took 15 minutes to remove the cable securing the trap.

He couldn't get the trap itself to release, so he rushed both it and Monte to the veterinarian.

"Writhing in pain,"Ramberg recalled, "and it's something I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy, let alone my best friend."

It's illegal to trap at public fishing access sites.

Pete Ramberg is a professional photographer, specializing in landscapes.

So Monte and he spend a lot of time on the scenic river.

The two are inseparable.

Ramberg had been reluctant to return to the access site after Monte was injured.

But Monte, her bandaged removed, uncovering a battered, bald paw had a great time, chasing sticks, and digging in the sand.

"Maybe there's something to be learned form her attitude," said the photographer.

He's amazed at her resilience.