A Bognor Regis girl’s cat was recovering from horrific injuries this week after he was caught in an illegal gin trap.
Abbey-Louise Latter’s Ozzy suffered badly damaged nerves and muscles on his front right foot because of the vicious trap.
He was lucky to escape even more serious injuries but is likely to need several months of treatment before he makes a full recovery.
Vet Paul Tucker said he believed the trap would be strong enough to break a person’s fingers.
“I was surprised by the size of the gin trap. I have never seen anything like it in my 20 years as a vet in Bognor.
“I presume the trap was used for catching rabbits but it is the sort of thing you expect to see in Slindon woods having been there for generations. There is no reason for it to be in an area like Bognor,” he said
The mouth of the rusty trap is about four inches wide with four inch long teeth. The details of two-year-old ginger Ozzy’s torment are unclear.
But he was taken into Downland Veterinary Hospital in Victoria Drive, where Mr Tucker is a partner, by a member of the public who had found him injured in the Rose Green area.
He has been owned by Abbey-Louise since he was an eight-week-old kitten at Mount Noddy rescue centre. She and her mother, Liz, and her sister lived in The Nurseries in Rose Green until last week.
Ozzy went missing for four months. The Latter family were unable to find him, in spite of several sightings and appeals around the neighbourhood. They moved to Servite Close and received a surprise phone call from Downland on Monday morning about Ozzy’s plight. They had been traced because Ozzy was microchipped with their details. Emergency treatment has stabilised Ozzy’s condition.
Mrs Latter (32) said: “It is horrific for this day and age for a trap like that to be set and in a populated area as well. This time it was a cat which was caught in it. What if it was a child?
“It’s not nice seeing your cat injured like this. It would be a hundred times worse if it was your child. If someone is leaving traps like this lying around, we need to know exactly where so that children can be protected.”
She has informed the police about the incident in the hope of preventing further injuries.