Wednesday 18 October 2017

Garda investigation launched after cat loses leg in illegal 'gin trap'

The injured cat was found near a children's playground

'Alfie' after he was rescued by Wicklow SPCA with the trap still attached to his leg
'Alfie' after he was rescued by Wicklow SPCA with the trap still attached to his leg

Sean Nolan

A cat had to have a badly injured leg amputated after it became caught in an illegal 'gin trap' in Wicklow yesterday.

The disturbing incident took place in Rathdrum in Wicklow on Tuesday and a call was made to the local Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) to attend the scene.

Anne Fitzpatrick of Wicklow SPCA told Independent.ie that when their inspector arrived the cat, named 'Alfie', was stuck trying to get through a fence with the trap attached and one of its legs was "almost completely severed".

The cat was immediately taken to the vet where the only option was to amputate the leg.

Thankfully, Anne told us this morning that 'Alfie' is recovering well and a potential owner of the cat has come forward so it should soon be returning to its home.

'Gin traps' have been illegal in Ireland since the 1950s and have been traditionally used to catch rabbits.

Picture of the trap that ensnared the cat (Image via Wicklow SPCA)
Picture of the trap that ensnared the cat (Image via Wicklow SPCA)

"Wicklow SPCA are horrified that such a trap could be, and was, set to harm or maim any animal," they said in a statement.

"There is a primary school, a playground and a park within metres of where our Inspector found the cat."

The fact the animal was found at a children's playground initially led to fears that the trap had been set there but now it is believed the cat was caught in the device somewhere nearby before dragging it to where it was discovered.

Gardai at Rathdrum station were called by Wicklow SPCA and they confirmed that the incident is being investigated.

If you wish to help Wicklow SPCA their charity number is CHY11863 or click this link.

Picture of the trap that ensnared the cat (Image via Wicklow SPCA)
Picture of the trap that ensnared the cat (Image via Wicklow SPCA)

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