A 14-year-old cat who was badly injured in an illegal gin trap in Auckland has now been reunited with his owners.
Simba the ginger cat needed to have some of his toes amputated after getting his leg caught in the trap on Tuesday, but was back home recovering in the North Shore suburb of Rothesay Bay by Thursday night.
Fortunately for Simba’s owners, they were listening to the radio on Thursday when SPCA chief executive Andrea Midgen was on air and talking about the cat’s injuries.
“That caused quite a number of calls to the hospital from people that had lost elderly cats,” she stated.
“It was just lucky really, they were quite fortunate.”
When Simba was finally returned, his family was “very relieved and very happy to get their cat back,” she said.
He was quite likely to need more treatment from the vet after its leg injuries, which included an open fracture and the loss of a total of three of his toes.
However, Simba was otherwise as happy and healthy as he could be.
Gin traps, which are usually set to catch possums in New Zealand, are actually illegal to operate within 150m of a dwelling without the permission of the occupier, or in any place where they are likely to affect pets.
Midgen explained they were a hazard for curious children and extremely dangerous for animals such as cats.
“In this case, it got it on its leg which is obviously, apart from bleeding out, able to be saved, but if it had its head in there or part of the body on a vital organ it could have bled out and definitely died.”
The SPCA is still seeking any information on who had set the trap, and why.
“Who knew what the person that set it was thinking, we’re really wanting to get more information.”
She added it was the first time in months she had heard of one being set in a residential area.
The SPCA can prosecute cases of people using such traps illegally.
Anyone who might be in Rothesay Bay and may have further information on the trap was urged to contact SPCA Auckland on 09 256 7300.