Cat found in gin trap

JAMES IRELAND
Last updated 05:00 15/08/2013
Gin Trap Cat

INJURED CAT: This cat was found with its leg caught in a gin trap in Ranui.

Gin Trap Cat
DEADLY DEVICE: The SPCA is looking to prosecute the person who laid this gin trap.

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Pet owners are locking their animals inside after a cat was found with its leg caught in a gin trap in Ranui on Monday.

The cat was found by an "understandably distressed" member of the public hiding under a car with its left hind leg in the trap in Van Hest Way in Ranui.

An SPCA field officer rushed it to a vet for emergency pain relief and then transferred it to the SPCA Auckland Hospital for treatment.

Chief executive Christine Kalin says the cat is comfortable but it's too soon to know how well he will recover.

"We are still looking for the owner. In the event that he doesn't make it we want to be able to have them with the cat."

A resident who has lived on the street for five years says cats have been going missing for a number of years.

"Our cat went missing two years ago. He had never even wandered away before. We looked for him for a long time but never found anything. I have seen fliers posted around here regularly for cats that have gone missing. I had seen the cat that was trapped around the neighbourhood. What happened to it is really terrible."

Ms Kalin says she wants gin traps banned because they pose a serious danger to animals and children.

Gin traps cannot be used in an area where there is a risk of catching a pet.

"These ones do not have jagged jaws but as we can see they still cause significant damage to an animal.

"Where in Auckland can you go where there is absolutely no chance of trapping a pet? Someone out there has deliberately set this trap where domestic cats and possibly children could get caught in it. We must find who did this and prosecute them."

This is the second cat caught in a gin trap in West Auckland in the last month.

On Silverstone Place in Henderson Thumper had to have his leg amputated before he was reunited with his owners.

The SPCA has been interviewing neighbours on Van Hest Way and is doing a forensic investigation on the trap.

Olga Bogusz also lives there and has now started keeping her cat inside.

"Somebody probably has a vendetta against cats. I think my cat knows there's something going on. We've never had to keep him inside before."

The Animal Welfare Act says the illegal placement of leg-hold traps is punishable by up to six months in prison and/or a fine of up to $25,000 for an individual or up to $125,000 for a body corporate.

If you have any information about the cats owner or who set the trap call the SPCA on 236 7300.

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- Western Leader

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