ANIMAL protection officers have put out an appeal after a cat lost its leg in a spring trap.
The white-and-ginger tom cat was found in distress near allotments in Sunderland Road, Horden, by a member of the public returning from night shift.
The cat had been trapped in a number six springer trap and his leg was broken and so badly damaged the bone was protruding.
Unfortunately the leg had to be amputated and the cat is recovering at a vet surgery in Durham.
He was found at about 7am on May 14. It is thought the adult cat may have dragged himself to where he was found, near two fences, so it is not known where or why the trap was originally left.
The cat was not microchipped and did not have a collar so it is not known whether he is a pet cat which has gone missing or a stray.
RSPCA inspector Aislinn Balderston said: “These traps are extremely dangerous and should always be used responsibly and within the law.
“It is important people are aware of the damage these traps can do - this cat must have been in terrible pain.
“If anyone has any information about who may have left the trap or has any knowledge of who the cat belongs to then please do give us a call on 0300 123 8018.”
The use of spring traps is controlled by two pieces of legislation - the Pests Act 1954, and the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
With certain exceptions all spring traps must be tested and approved and they must only be used for the target species for that trap and should be set in a natural or artificial tunnel.