January 8, 2009

Charges dropped in skunk trap case

Charges were dropped Thursday against a Utah man who moved a city-owned skunk trap into the shade because he felt sorry for the animal inside.

Paul Roberts, a lawyer for South Salt Lake City, said after 90 minutes of testimony that the case should be dismissed, The Salt Lake Tribune reported. Ryan Turner told the court he moved the trap because the skunk had been caught in it for two days, with no food or water and the sun blazing down during the day.

I don't see any crime in helping an animal, Roberts said.

Turner had asked for a trap around his property because of a skunk problem. A city employee said Turner complained the skunk had invaded the house at least twice by a cat door.

The case attracted a lot of attention with Gene Baierschmidt of the Utah Humane Society calling Turner a hero who made the morally right choice. Turner said he found it baffling that it proceeded as far as it did.