Dear Springtime,

I am a loyal customer and am amazed at the results of your product, Longevity. My 12 year old mixed-breed has made a drastic improvement since starting Longevity having had two cruciate ligament repairs and existing joint problems. He is able to jump and run like a much younger dog! Thank you for making such a wonderful product. I tell every dog owner I know about your amazing company. In addition to my testimonial, I was hoping you could, in some small way, help raise public awareness. My newest family addition was Zephyr, a canine hurricane survivor of Frances in 2004. Rescued by the Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons and adopted to me, Zephyr was tragically killed in December by a body-gripping fur trap. This incident has been my personal "9/11." It was just unfathomable.

We had just started our walk through the Long Pond Greenbelt Nature Preserve and Zephyr ran to a pool of water for a drink. Suddenly, a piercing shot rang out followed by a short, sharp cry. I ran to Zephyr as he violently thrashed his head at the ground trying to paw off the contraption around his head. I screamed with all my might, but no one was around to hear my cries for help. I grabbed the trap and tried to figure out how to release it. The springs were too large and strong for my grip. There was no room between the steel bars and Zephyr's throat. I looked into his eyes and knew in an instant he would die. I continued to struggle as Zephyr's body went limp and rolled to the ground. I carried his body to the car and drove to the Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons, where an ARF worker and a police officer removed the trap from Zephyr's lifeless body. I stood over his body saying, "I couldn't save him…"

I am writing this in hope that you can, in some way, alert your customers to the reality of these deadly devices. The type of trap that killed Zephyr is virtually impossible to open unless you have special knowledge and a special tool! Companion animals are being killed in these traps far too often, especially to owners who accompany their animals to areas they believe safe like parks and nature preserves.

Springtime's loyal customers know the limitless love of our canine companions and our commitment to responsible stewardship. Being helpless and alone watching Zephyr strangle to death has devastated me.

I hope there is a way to send a message to your customers to know their state's trapping laws, to be sure which areas are trap-free. The information learned can be startling!

May there be a future where people, pets and children are safe from these tragic traps.

In Sincere Hope,
Gail E. Murphy, New York