Cat's leg 'completely crushed' after being caught in trap
PUBLISHED: 17:04 02 July 2019 | UPDATED: 11:06 04 July 2019
The RSPCA is appealing for information after a cat had its leg crushed by a trap.
One-year-old Lightning was found in 'extreme distress' in Ottery after his leg was caught in the contraption on Tuesday evening (July 1).
Rescuers had to force the trap apart to free the black cat, who was spotted by residents running near his home in Winters Lane.
His owner Claire Pawley, discovered her pet's condition through a post on social media.
She told the Herald that Lightning has avoided having his leg amputated and has been prescribed a course of antibiotics.
She said: "He was seen running down the lane with the trap on his leg. They had to use tools to force it apart. It was so big and strong. He was in so much distress, his leg was completely crushed.
"His leg has been completely crushed. He is on strong painkillers and starting to walk.
"Our neighbour said 'have you seen Ottery Matters [on Facebook]? Are you missing a black cat?' He didn't come in that day so we thought it could be. Then we realised after we spoke to the RSPCA it was our cat. The RSPCA are doing a full investigation."
Lightning often ventures out of the house with the family's two other cats and is described by his owner as friendly and docile.
Mrs Pawley added: "They do go off around together. It's terrible that a person has put a trap out, that could happen to any other animal.
"The children have a cat each and the cats are so well loved and so friendly and docile.
"We don't know how long he had been in the trap for. We still haven't seen him yet. He's been under sedation. We are looking forward to going up and seeing him and bringing him home."
RSPCA Inspector Charlotte Coggins, who is investigating for the animal welfare charity, said: "We're appealing for information about the trap, who may have set it, and why it was able to trap the cat.
"These traps are so cruel, but are sadly still legal.
"If used, the law requires them to be placed in a real or artificial tunnel, to minimise the likelihood of a non-target animal being killed. This trap may not have been concealed in a tunnel as it caught a cat. It was also left unchecked, leaving the animal to suffer a terrible slow and painful death.
"We do not know who set this trap or why, but urge people to be aware how dangerous they can be for pets and wildlife."