Vets are fighting to save a cat’s paw after it was almost severed by an illegal gin trap in Northumberland.
The black short-haired male was found in the trap at Cheviot View, Ashington.
The trap’s vicious serrated jaws caused severe injury to the animal’s back paw.
Whoever set it could face up to six months in jail or a fine up to £5,000, the RSPCA has warned.
RSPCA Inspector Lynsey Avery took the injured animal to Westways Vets in West Road, Newcastle, after people living in Cheviot View discovered it on Tuesday.
Insp Avery said: “We don’t know how long it had been caught in the trap but the jaws have caused significant damage to the cat’s paw. It will be touch and go for the vets to save it.”
Gin traps have been illegal since 1953 and the one clamped to the cat’s paw was old and rusty. But it had been oiled and was in working order.
“I don’t think it was a disused one forgotten about by a landowner,” said Insp Avery.
Insp Avery hopes to find a home in Northumberland for the cat when it has recovered.