The Retrievers use Spartan GoCam to catch a skittish dog

The Retrievers, a volunteer lost dog team in Minnesota, has 11 Spartan GoCams, which we use when we are trying to catch a skittish dog. This type of dog avoids human contact and usually needs to be trapped. We use the trailcams to monitor feeding stations, so we know what is eating the bait. Once we see the dog on camera, we deploy a humane trap near the food.
Because we have been able to monitor his patterns, we usually know approximately when the dog will be by for his meal. We can also see his behavior around the trap. We usually don’t arm the trap until we see that the dog is actually entering it. Then we can plan when to catch the dog and be there to immediately secure it.
With the web portal, every team member is able to follow every case and study each image so nothing is missed. Instant delivery of the photos enables us know what’s happening at the traps at all times, without having to physically check the cameras. This capability is one of the reasons why our small nonprofit group of 17 people can serve nearly all of Minnesota.

Capture of two stray Golden Retrievers in the northwoods of Minnesota last fall. (This shot was lit by a security light next to the driveway.)


‚ÄčOne of the Goldens wasn’t too happy to find a skunk at her feeding bowl.


This little stray terrier mix, Shaggy, was extremely trap-shy, but he loved that chair on someone’s porch. We used it as “bait,” gradually enclosing it with the trap panels in a slow process over a couple of weeks. The camera enabled us to monitor his anxiety level as we went along.


Here’s the trap fully assembled, with Shaggy comfortably enclosed. We armed the trap and caught him the next day. Shaggy was adopted by the people whose house he had already “claimed,” and now his favorite chair is inside the house.

Devon Thomas Treadwell
The Retrievers