Close this search box.

Fish Hooks Found in Dog Treats Scattered Along Appalachian Trail

If you have a dog, you know the joy of bringing them along on an adventure. You also probably know the stress of furry friends gobbling up something that smells tasty and looks edible. Unfortunately, that fear has become even more serious for dog owners after the Pennsylvania Game Commission issued a warning after sabotaged treats were found along the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) this week. 

“…it was reported that a hiker found dog treats stuffed with fish hooks near the George W. Outerbridge shelter on the Appalachian Trail,” the Pennsylvania Game Commission wrote in a Facebook post. “Items like these could prove deadly to any animal that consumes them, including wild and domesticated animals.”  

According to the Lehigh Gap Nature Center (LGNC), a non-profit conservation organization located in Lehigh Gap, over a dozen treats stuffed with multiple fish hooks were found between PA Route 873 and the George W. Outerbridge Shelter. LGNC made its own Facebook post where after a few days and over 8,800 shares, comments were turned off due to heated responses by followers. 

“The fact someone took the time to place these individually with the intention to harm an innocent animal just goes to show how sick and cruel some people are,” one Facebook user wrote in response.

Some users commented that the incident could have been an accidental dropping of fish bait, since the area is popular for catfish and carp anglers. Chad Schwartz, executive director of LGNC, responded to the online chatter with a statement to Lehigh Valley Live saying that the way the treats were spread along the trail seemed intentional and that the particular section is known to have heavy traffic this time of year. 

“We haven’t had anything like this happen before,” Schwartz told Lehigh Valley News. “Hopefully it’s very isolated and hopefully the hiker found everything.”

Unfortunately, this incident is not the first time nature-lovers and their dogs have been targeted on the trail. From booby traps with nail-covered planks and bike-flipping ropes to drug-laced hots dogs and poisoned meatballs hidden along hiking trails, it’s important to stay vigilant when adventuring with or without your pup. 

The Pennsylvania Game Commission is monitoring for further incidents and potentially injured wild animals while authorities search for a potential suspect. As of now, no injuries to dogs or people have been reported. As the investigation continues, the public is encouraged to hike cautiously and report any information to 1-888-PGC-WILD.

Cover photo: Courtesy of Pennsylvania Game Commission

Share this post:

Discover more in the Blue Ridge:

Join our newsletter!

Subscribe to receive the latest from Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine sent directly to your inbox.