A woman watched her dog choke to death after it got caught in a kill trap at a Smiths Falls golf course.

Chris Colton took her two border collies, Mocha and her puppy Bailey, for what was supposed to be a brisk winter walk through the course when Bailey got stuck in the trap.

"I tried to get it off and she was just looking at me and choking," she said. "I have flashbacks of that. I couldn't eat. I couldn't sleep for three days."

"She just died looking at me."

Chris' husband Hugh Colton said the golf course failed to post warnings about the trap prior to the incident. He also said many people bring their dogs to the golf course.

"The general public will bring their dogs here. I've talked to people who walk their children here. There are cross-country skiers here every day."

The kill trap was set 50 metres from a foot path.

The lawyer for the golf course said the trapping is legal and licensed and access to the public is a privilege.

"Dogs on private property are supposed to be on a lead or on a leash controlled by owner," said Shane Kelford. "Unfortunately that wasn't the case in this case."

Kelford said the golf course uses kill traps instead of ones that catch animals alive because the kill traps are more cost-effective.

The Coltons, who might sue the Smiths Falls Golf and Country Club, said they want other dog-owners to be aware of the risks of walking their dogs on similar properties.