September 23 2014 Latest news:
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
An animal lover is facing the prospect of her cat’s paw being amputated after finding him stuck in an illegal trap following a five-day search.
Ashley Buck has decided to keep her other two cats locked inside her Woodbridge home while police investigate how eight-year-old Zombie became caught in the jaws of a spring-loaded gin trap.
Miss Buck, 25, from Bilney Road, searched for days before discovering Zombie ensnared by the contraption - the likes of which have banned in the UK since 1958.
The mother-of-one was appalled to find her cat starving underneath a tree on a residential street. She said: “After four or five days of looking, I tried knocking another door, but I didn’t get an answer. As I was leaving, I heard loud crying coming from a tree. I pulled back the branches and saw him there.”
Miss Buck called the police and the RSPCA, which helped transfer Zombie from beneath the tree to a local vet.
After two appointments and a prescription of antibiotics and painkillers, Zombie today faces losing at least the toes on his paw.
“I just can’t believe it,” said Miss Buck, who is yet to be reunited with another cat that went missing last year.
“I never thought I’d see one of these traps – especially in a built-up area. It could have been worse if a child had put their hand in there.
“I know people can get annoyed with cats in their gardens but I didn’t think anyone could go this far.”
Miss Buck said Zombie’s out-of-hours emergency surgery cost £100, but that a second appointment, operation, aftercare and medication could total £400.
“I have two other cats but I won’t be letting them out until police have finished investigating,” she said. “I’ve blocked the cat flap.”
Woodbridge county councillor Caroline Page, who urged the incident to be made a police matter, said: “It’s a dreadful thing to happen.
“These traps are not allowed under any circumstances. If people have them, I suggest they dispose of them in the proper manner.”
David Mitchell, manager of the RSPCA Suffolk East and Ipswich centre, said: “Speaking as an ex-inspector, I absolutely hate gin traps or any spring trap. They are rarely set properly, or legally, and rarely trap their targeted species.
“If cats are trapped it often leads to amputation.”
A police spokeswoman said the incident was under investigation and asked anyone with information to call Pc Mark Bryant on 101.