LENAH VALLEY, AUSTRALIA – A cat caught in an illegal and cruel trap in Lenah Valley will be heading home once his wounds heal.
The 11-month-old cat was caught in the illegal leg-hold trap sometime over the Anzac Day long weekend and was found in distress by a police officer who was off-duty at the time.
Since then, the cat has had his severely damaged leg amputated and is receiving treatment at the Mornington Animal Care Centre.
A few days ago, a woman called the RSPCA saying she thought “Chester” was her missing cat – one she had asked the community to look out for via social media.
It is not known just how long the scared feline had spent in the trap before he was found.
The illegal leg-hold trap was laid close to homes in the Hobart suburb and RSPCA Tasmania urged parents and the owners of small animals to stay vigilant.
A member of the public yesterday also alerted the RSPCA that they had found another similar trap in the same area.
“Anything small could have been caught, like native animals, dogs, cats or even a small child,” RSPCA Tasmania CEO Peter West stated.
The police officer who found Chester called an after-hours vet nurse in North Hobart who then called an RSPCA animal carer and the team then went to Chester’s aid.
“Chester definitely used up one of his nine lives,” Mr West states.
The trap was cut loose and Chester was then treated for dehydration before one of his legs was surgically removed.
RSPCA animal car attendant Rebecca Miller said Chester was a “lovely boy” and should most certainly recover from his injuries.
“It will be four or five weeks. He also needs to be desexed and microchipped and to gain some weight,” she explained.
RSPCA Tasmania chief inspector Ray Kroeze stated it was an offence under the Animal Welfare Act to set a leg-hold trap, glue-board trap or snare even if nothing ended up being caught.
Those caught can be fined up to $15,400 or perhaps even face time in prison.
“We will continue to investigate cases of illegal trapping, and other inhumane ways of catching and confining animals and would encourage people to report this to the RSPCA,” Mr Kroeze stated.
Those who are interested in Chester’s recovery can keep up to date viaRSPCA Tasmania‘s Facebook page.