A CAT may lose its leg after getting caught in an illegal trap.
Jean and Barry Winterbottom discovered their distressed nine-year-old pet Jake near their home in Barker Lane, Mellor, Blackburn, with its front left leg stuck in a rusty ‘gin trap’.
He had been missing for two days and the concerned couple had been searching the local area fearing their family pet had been run over.
Following a search of a nearby field on November 17, Mr Winterbottom discovered Jake caught by his front left leg.
He had horrendous injuries to his leg with the trap having cut down to the bone. They contacted firefighters, who removed the trap and Jake was taken to the vets.
The trap was recovered and handed in to the police.
The couple, in their 70s, were ‘not optimistic’ ahead of a visit to the vets for a decision on the injured leg.
Mr Winterbottom said: “There’s lots of access and my neighbour has got young kids who go in there, as well as deer and horses.
“It’s a cautionary tale to whoever is donig this. It has caused some concern and a lot of distress.”
Police Constable Carl Chew, who is investigating, said whoever was responsible for setting the crude device faced prosecution.
He said: “This is a really shocking case, especially as the cat may now lose his leg.
“Whilst some traps are legally used in rural areas to control vermin, gin traps were banned in 1958 and are illegal.
“It is unclear how long the trap has been set as it is extremely rusted.
“It does appear as though it was sheltered from the elements so may have been set for some time.
“Mr and Mrs Winterbottom are very upset by the ordeal and have no idea who would have set it.”
PC Chew said the landowner and neighbours had all been spoken to, but no information had come to light.
“This is a very secluded area, but I know kids have been there and it could cause a very nasty injury.
“By highlighting what has happened, maybe someone can tell us who actively sets traps such as this.”
Anyone with information can contact police on 0845 1253545.