STORRINGTON, SUSSEX, UK – Animal welfare campaigners are now calling for an outright ban on snares after a young cat lost her leg when she became trapped.
Two year old Tabitha was left with such horrific injuries that vets had no alternative but to amputate one of her legs.
For two days the long-haired tabby Tabitha had been left struggling in a snare before finally managing to hobble back to her home in Storrington, Sussex, suffering from badly infected wounds.
Vets who had to remove her rear leg believe the injuries were caused by a snare trap that had been set to catch foxes or rabbits.
As Tabitha recovers from her ordeal, campaigners are calling for an absolute ban on animal snares.
“Snares are inherently cruel to any animal caught in them, whether they are the intended victims or not,” says Cats Protection’s advocacy manager Jacqui Cuff.
“Cats and other animals caught in snares can suffer long and agonising deaths and those that do survive will frequently suffer serious injuries. Only an outright ban will prevent the horrific pain and injury snares inflict.”
The League Against Cruel Sports also wants to see these snares outlawed.
Its deputy director of campaigns Chris Pitt added: “Tabitha’s horrific injury highlights why dog and cat owners need to be ‘snare aware’. Trapped animals suffer a slow and painful death from strangulation, evisceration, exposure to the elements, predation, starvation or dehydration despite these devices being meant as restraints rather than lethal traps. Snares are cruel and dangerous and should be banned.”
“Snares are indiscriminate – around 1.7million animals get caught in them every year, and although normally set to catch foxes and rabbits, two out of every three animals caught in these nooses are unintended quarry like dogs and cats.”
“Tabitha has sadly lost a limb, but is lucky to be alive. This is one of many snaring cases we’ve heard about recently. How many cats and dogs are being injured or even killed without anyone hearing about it?”
Tabitha is now being by Anna Portnoi, volunteer co-ordinator for Cats Protection’s Horsham & District Branch, and says despite he ordeal remains a “lovely, confident and affectionate cat”.
“She has adapted well to having three legs and is already well on the way to recovery,” added Anna.
“Tabitha had been missing for nearly two days and when she returned she was in an awful state. The injuries were mainly around a rear paw.”
Vets at the Arun Veterinary Group say this did everything to save Tabitha’s leg but they had no other option other than amputation.
Veterinary nurse Chloe Emmerson said: “Tabitha had sustained some truly horrific injuries and it’s a testament to her strength of character that she was able to free herself and limp home.”
“We did everything we could to try and save her leg but sadly the injuries to her paw were so bad that we had no other option but to remove her leg. No-one saw exactly what happened so we can’t say for sure it was a snare, but all the evidence points to that. It really is hard to see an animal in such pain and suffering because of something that had been deliberately set.”