Cat recovering from horrific injuries inflicted by suspected snare

Two-year-old Tabitha had been missing for nearly two days when she limped home to her owner’s home in Storrington, Sussex, with appalling injuries to her rear leg.

She was rushed to Arun Veterinary Group where vets said her wounds were consistent with having been caught in a snare, designed to capture foxes or rabbits.

Her injuries were so severe that vets had no option but to amputate her rear leg which had become badly infected.

Anna Portnoi, Volunteer Co-ordinator of Cats Protection’s Horsham & District Branch, is now caring for Tabitha while she recovers after her previous owner signed her over to the veterinary surgery to continue her care.

She said: “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.

“This looked very much as though she had been caught in a snare. She must have been in agony, the pain really must have been immeasurable. She was very fortunate to have been able to escape and then manage to make her way home.”

Chloe Emmerson, Veterinary Nurse at Arun Veterinary Group who treated Tabitha, said: “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. It really is hard to see an animal in such pain and suffering because of something that had been deliberately set.”

Chris Pitt, Deputy Director of Campaigns for the League Against Cruel Sports, says that all animals caught in these wire nooses suffer terribly. He said: “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 1.7m animals get caught in them every year. 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?”

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