Montclair Police, Animal Control Seeking Information on Brutal Killing of Fox By Illegal Trap


Montclair, NJ – It’s not unusual to see a beautiful fox trot across a street or a backyard in Montclair, but yesterday, Montclair residents woke up to something horrific and inhumane – a fox caught in a coil spring trap, desperately trying to free himself.

The residents called the Animal Control Service Request Line Tuesday morning around 7 am, says Montclair Township Animal Control Supervisor Michele Shiber.

Shiber and Animal Control Officer Urbano at the scene and secured the fox and transported it to the local animal hospital, where it was humanely euthanized due to his injuries.

The fox had a compound leg fracture from the coil-spring trap and appeared to have been gnawing on its foot in desperation to try to free itself from the trap.

Coil spring traps are foothold restraining devices used to catch and hold wild animals like coyotes or bobcats. These traps have been prohibited in New Jersey by legislation since 1985.

The last time an animal was caught in an illegal trap in Montclair was back in August 2019, says Shiber, when a groundhog was found on Pearson Place with a trap snapped on its neck. The groundhog appeared to have been caught in the trap for several days and was also euthanized due to its severe injuries.

According to New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife, that trap was a conibear trap and is only legal to use, where permitted, when submerged underwater.

Montclair Animal Control and Montclair Police Department are working in conjunction with NJ Division of Fish & Wildlife to find the responsible party and prosecute to the fullest extent of the law.

Animal cruelty is not and will not be tolerated in Montclair. Anyone with any information about this incident is urged to contact Montclair Animal Control Supervisor Michele Shiber ( or Montclair Police ( or 973-744-1234), and all information relayed to officials will be kept confidential.

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  1. According to witnesses on Facebook, it’s the second trap of this kind found on an animal in the same area this spring.

  2. Yes, that was a raccoon.

    The fox had been a neighborhood fox for 7+ years and was extremely shy around people. The neighborhood knew him & his routine and all not only coexisted, but the fox was considered part of the neighborhood. Initially, the fox’s screams were first thought to be of a child. The sight of the fox in the trap will not soon be forgotten.
    Very sad and troubling. And illegal.