The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Monterey County Wildlife Center is trying to raise awareness about the dangers of glue traps after two young opossums became stuck and had to be rescued in Marina earlier this month.

People often use glue traps with the intention of using them to catch insects and rodents, but the wildlife center said the traps are actually inhumane and often trap all manner of animals.

The wildlife center said that had the opossums not been rescued, they would have suffered and died, which is what happens to any animal that becomes stuck to the traps.

Glue traps are paper sheets or tubes covered in sticky glue, which causes animals to become stuck and unable to escape.

“These traps cause prolonged suffering as the animal struggles against the glue in an attempt to free itself, and eventually succumbs to injuries, exhaustion, starvation or dehydration,” the wildlife center said.

The traps often catch songbirds, snakes, lizards and small mammals.

Removing the animals from these traps to save their lives is delicate work, SPCA Monterey County officials said. Technicians carefully removed the opossums from the traps and then gently bathed them to remove glue and residue from their skin and fur. One of the babies suffered an abrasion from trying to escape the trap.

Once the opossums are rehabilitated, they will be released back out into the wild.

“The SPCA Wildlife Center strongly advises against the use of glue traps,” said the center. “If you find an animal in a glue trap, please call the SPCA immediately for help.”

The SPCA Monterey County Wildlife Center can be reached at 831-264-5427.

Katy St. Clair got her start in journalism by working in the classifieds department at the East Bay Express during the height of alt weeklies, then sweet talked her way into becoming staff writer, submissions editor, and music editor. She has been a columnist in the East Bay Express, SF Weekly, and the San Francisco Examiner. Starting in 2015, she begrudgingly scaled the inverted pyramid at dailies such as the Vallejo Times-Herald, The Vacaville Reporter, and the Daily Republic. She has her own independent news site and blog that covers the delightfully dysfunctional town of Vallejo, California, where she also collaborates with the investigative team at Open Vallejo. A passionate advocate for people with developmental disabilities, she serves on both the Board of the Arc of Solano and the Arc of California. She lives in Vallejo.