Tokyo the cat cowers under car after getting leg caught in trap (Image: RSPCA)
Shocking pictures show the barbaric contraption biting into the pet’s leg. Somehow, the cat escaped without breaking a bone – but the poor pet was still left cowering terrified by his ordeal. The RSPCA has now launched an investigation into how the suspected illegal trap was left to endanger animals.
Tokyo the cat was fortunately microchipped so that the RSPCA could reunite him with his owner after the shocking ordeal.
He had been found cowering under a van at Luton Borough Council’s depot in Kingsway earlier this month.
RSPCA Animal Collection Officer Kate Wright managed to get the terrified animal to a nearby vets for the trap to be removed.
ACO Wright explained today: “I found him cowering under a van after he had been spotted limping around outside the council depot. Miraculously, he is fine.
Tokyo the tabby was rushed to the vets to have trap removed from leg (Image: RSPCA)
“The trap hadn’t broken the skin and x-rays have shown that he doesn’t have any broken bones.
"Thankfully, he was also microchipped so we were able to track down his owner who rushed to the vets straight away. He’s a very lucky boy and he is sure to make a full recovery.”
It is believed the type of trap used was made illegal more than 60 years ago.
The RSPCA is appealing for anyone who has information about the trap, where it was set and how it came to catch the cat to come forward.
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Trap miraculously did not break Tokyo's front right leg (Image: RSPCA)
ACO Wright continued: “This trap is likely to have been set to catch a large animal like a fox or cat.
"We would ask local people to be vigilant and to keep an eye out for these traps.
“We believe the trap to be a leghold trap and as such, cannot be used legally in this country. These were made illegal back in the 1950s.
“It must’ve been so distressing for this poor cat. Sadly, we also see many cats caught in traps resulting in horrible injuries, maiming or killing. This particular trap may have been left out and forgotten about for some time but it was still dangerous.”
Contraption believed to be illegal leghold trap (Image: RSPCA)
The RSPCA says that with certain exceptions, all spring traps must be tested and approved under the Spring Traps Approval (England) Order 2012, which lists the conditions for the use of each trap.
This includes species the trap can legally be used for and the need to be set in a natural or artificial tunnel.
Anyone who finds an animal caught in a snare or trap is warned not to attempt to free the victim. Not only could it be an offence if the animal was legally caught, trying to help could cause injury to both the person and the captured creature.
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The advice is to stand back to avoid stressing the animal and call the RSPCA’s emergency line on 0300 1234 999.
The welfare charity also wants to hear from anyone with information about the Luton trap to contact its appeal line on 0300 123 8018.