Rescuers fear for the future of a cat which fled in terror with its back leg almost hanging off after being freed from an illegal trap in Mid Wales.
The cat was found injured and distressed in the rusty gin trap in a hedgerow in Pontdolgoch, near Caersws.
Lesley-Ann Dupre, who was among the group of people who made the grim discovery, said they tried to get hold of the cat, but it bolted.
“It was horrific,” she said. “The cat was in such a panic. It was biting and scratching to get away and we just couldn’t get hold of it once the trap was released.”
Mrs Dupre, from Llanidloes, was with friends when they went out to recover some sheep that had got out of a field.
As they were leaving they heard the cat&’s cries coming from a boundary hedge of a house on the edge of a residential development.
Mrs Dupre said: “We traced the sound and were met by the most sickening sight of the cat caught in a gin trap by the hind leg. The leg was all but severed and the bone shattered and the poor cat in an advanced state of fear and pain.
“I imagine the trap was set for a fox or a badger, but, put in a place like this, close to houses, the likely victim was going to be someone’s pet cat or dog.”
She said the owners of the house were as horrified as everyone else and knew absolutely nothing about the trap.
Mrs Dupre has contacted the RSPCA about the incident, but also wanted to warn animal owners in that area to be aware someone was setting illegal traps.
Gin traps were made illegal in 1958. Under current legislation any person who deliberately sets such a trap can be fined up to £5,000 or face up to six months in prison.