Park Street woman’s cat loses leg in snare

AN HORRIFIC injury sustained by a cat which is believed to have caught his leg in a hidden snare has prompted his concerned owner to warn others about the danger to their pets.

Carole Antill of Park Street bought her beloved moggy Peanut, a Maine Coon, from the RSPCA in Potters Bar four years ago and describes her seven-year-old pet as “absolutely gorgeous”.

Maine Coon is a long-haired large breed of cat that people may have read about recently in the national dailies after a ginger one was mistaken for a lion in Essex.

Carole explained that she let Peanut out of the house at 7am one recent morning, but became concerned when he did not return immediately. He came limping back one-and-a-half hours later.

She said: “I thought he had something hanging off the back of his leg; I thought it was a twig, but when I looked closer, there was nothing left of his back left leg but bones.”

Shocked by what she saw, Carole immediately took Peanut to the vet, who said the cat had been caught in a snare.

She said: “They took the remains off, to the joint at the top.”

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It has taken time for Peanut to recover from the loss of a limb.

Carole said: “If I show him food, he is quite quick now. But I don’t let him out in the garden, and he is never out at night.”

She believes he got caught in a snare on land on the other side of the railway line that runs nearby.

Carole said it was lucky Peanut escaped, “because he is a very strong cat”.

She added: “I’m keen to warn other cat owners and I have phoned the police, but they said they could not help because they did not know where exactly to look for the snare.”

Jo Barr, senior regional press officer for the RSPCA, said that the organisation was opposed to the use of snares as they, “can cause a huge amount of pain and suffering to the wildlife and domestic pets which get caught in them and in many cases can be fatal.

“Snares are indiscriminate and can kill any animal which falls into its trap. They are usually set to catch a fox or rabbit, but its victim is quite often a badger, cat or dog.”

There are different types of snares, and the self-locking kind is illegal. The RSPCA would like to see all snares banned as 40 per cent of animals caught are not the intended targets. The UK is one of a minority of European countries which still permits the use of snares.