Cat loses leg after being caught in illegal trap in Limerick housing estate


Photo0372[1] Photo0380[2]A FAMILY pet has had its leg amputated this week after being snared in a horrific steel jaw animal trap in a city housing estate.

Storm, a two-year-old cat that was adopted from Limerick Feral Cats as a kitten, is said to be “lucky to be alive” after being trapped in the spring-operated jaws of a gin trap in the Norwood Park/ Lynwood Park area of the city last Thursday. Gin traps have been illegal in Ireland under the the Wildlife Act of 1976  — almost 40 years ago.

The cat was allowed out for a run in the city estate last Thursday evening after its owner returned from a two-week holiday. The animal was later discovered around 10pm under a neighbour’s car in a state of shock with something attached to its paw.

“I could not believe what I saw. She was hiding under my neighbours tree with this huge snare attached to her leg. We brought her out to our vet straight away and he was also very shocked to see this thing on her,” the cat’s owner told the Limerick Post.

“Storm was sedated and we needed two people to release the trap and free her paw. Her paw and pads felt very cold and the vet decided to keep her in overnight in the hope that the blood flow would go back into her paw and maybe save her leg. However, there was no blood flow or nerve reaction in the paw at all, so the vet advised to amputate her leg,” she explained.

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Storm’s loving owner believes the animal would not have survived had it not been discovered by her neighbours in the Norwood Park/ Lynwood Park area of the city. In a desperate attempt to get home, the cat managed to scale a 3ft wall and tried to chew through the trap.

“We believe she did not get trapped very far from our house. She also had a bit of blood around her mouth, probably from chewing the wire attached to this snare. This trap was not just lying around, it was set deliberately. The person who did this has no morals, conscience or respect for anything living. This snare is barbaric. It causes a horrendous injury and in some cases death to an animal. A small child could have got her hand stuck in this trap,” warned the upset pet owner.

Mary Mollica of Limerick Feral Cats deemed it “unbelievable” that anyone could be so “cruel and barbaric” as to set an illegal trap.

“This cat is so lucky to be alive. If this had been a stray cat or feral cat that had gotten trapped, it would have died a horrible death of pain and suffering wasting away under some bush,” Ms Mollica predicted.

According to the Limerick Feral Cats spokeswoman, Limerick City and County Council now needs to start helping out with the funding for TNR (trap neuter return), to decrease the number of cats multiplying in the city and county.

“Maybe then cruel people won’t take matters into their own hands. All ferals and strays come from unneutered tame cats which are left out by their owners. Poor Storm was not, she is a much loved cat and luckily her owner was willing to spend a huge amount to pay for her care. She had to have her leg amputated because of this which cost hundreds of euro too and she was in angonising pain,” she concluded.

Gardai at Henry Street are now investigating the incident.