ANIMAL welfare chiefs are warning against the dangers of setting traps after a cat had to have a leg amputated.
The RSPCA is appealing for information after a concerned member of the public found the male white and ginger cat in distress near some allotments.
The man was returning from a night shift at work around 7am on May 14 when he saw the cat on Sunderland Road, in Horden.
It is thought the adult cat may have dragged himself to where he was found, near two fences, so it is not known where or why the trap was originally left.
The cat had been trapped in a number six springer trap – officially approved for killing rats, squirrels and stoats – and his leg was broken and so badly damaged, the bone was protruding.
Sadly, the leg had to be amputated, and the cat is now recovering at a vet surgery in Durham.
The cat was not microchipped and did not have a collar so it is not known whether he is a pet cat which has gone missing or a stray.
RSPCA inspector Aislinn Balderston said: “These traps are extremely dangerous and should always be used responsibly and within the law. It is important people are aware of the damage these traps can do - this cat must have been in terrible pain.
“If anyone has any information about who may have left the trap or has any knowledge of who the cat belongs to then please do give us a call on 0300 123 8018.”
The use of the traps is controlled by the Pests Act 1954 and the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and with certain exceptions must be tested and approved and only used for specified species.