Update: Vet describes gin trap injury on Mundesley cat as the ‘nastiest’ thing he has ever seen
13:18 15 January 2014
The vet who treated a cat that was brutally caught in an illegal gin trap in a Norfolk village has said it was one of the “nastiest” things he had ever seen.
Chris Tomlinson, partner for small animals at Westover Veterinary Centre, North Walsham, treated the animal after it was brought into the practice by the RSPCA inspector Amy Collingsworth on January 8.
The 18-month-old female tortoiseshell, which had to have its front leg amputated, was found next to wheelie bins on Cromer Road, Mundesley, by a parent taking their child to school.
“It was awful for the poor little cat,” Mr Tomlinson said. “The cat has lost a leg because of someone’s misdemeanor. I cannot imagine why someone would do that. It is an awful thing to do in a civilised society.”
The vet added the pet was traumatised and stressed when it arrived and had to be sedated while the trap was removed.
Mr Tomlison, from Hainford, said the device was difficult to handle because of its heavy springs.
He added cases of cats and other small animals caught in traps were rare and it was the first time he had treated a cat caught in a gin trap.
The leg was amputated during a short operation the day after the pet was discovered.
“Mercifully the cat will be able to cope with three legs,” Mr Tomlinson said.
He warned people to be careful around animals caught in traps as they could become aggressive. Anyone who does find a trapped creature should ring the RSPCA or police on 101.
Inspector Amy Collingsworth said: “The gin trap was found buried in her right front leg and had snapped the bone above her paw. She must have been in terrible pain and terrified to be dragging such a large piece of metal around and unable to get away from it.
“This brutal trap is the same length as her and would have been pegged in the ground so it speaks volumes about her shock and terror that she managed to drag it out of the ground and get to somewhere where she might get help.
“She was incredibly nervous when found but she is comfortable now with pain relief and good treatment and her naturally friendly character is emerging.”
Following the operation the pet was taken to a foster carer.
An RSPCA spokesman said she was doing very well.
The cat had no microchip or collar and local inquiries failed to find the owner so if anyone recognises her they should call 0300 1238018 and leave a message for inspector Collingsworth.
Anyone who knows who may have owned the trap, or set it, or knows or other illegal traps in the Mundesley area should call the same number.
Gin traps were made illegal in 1954 and anyone found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal faces a maximum £20,000 fine and/or six months in prison.