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Loki the cat, who was caught in a snare and shot at with an airgun

Spate of cats and dogs caught in snares shows just how widespread these cruel devices are

The past few weeks have seen a spate of news articles about traps and snares catching domestic creatures, leading to a variety of outcomes. And all of them are a reminder of just how cruel the devices are.

On 16 May, Halesowen News reported that a cat named Loki “dragged himself home” after he was missing for five days. The incident occurred in Netherton, near Dudley, in the West Midlands. Loki was injured and those living with him initially assumed a car had hit him. However, the real reason for his injuries was much more gruesome. Halesowen News said that:

“tests shockingly revealed the damage to his leg has been caused by a snare trap – and uncovered a pellet from an air rifle near his spine.”

His companions weren’t able to afford the £3,100 veterinary fee. As a result, they agreed that local animal rescues Peppers Pet Rescue and Petsearch Rescue could take Loki in as a “joint case”.

Petsearch Rescue said on Facebook that his injuries suggested Loki faced a particularly gruelling experience. The ‘teeth’ marks at the top of his foot and the airgun pellet lodged in his body implied he was intentionally caught and then used for “target practice”.

The description of ‘teeth’ in this instance suggests that a gin trap was used, something Petsearch Rescue confirmed to Protect the Wild. These devices have two sets of ‘teeth’ that clamp together when stood on. As the National Anti-Snaring Campaign (NASC) has previously pointed out, the government banned gin traps more than 60 years ago but they remain available for purchase in places like eBay.

Either way, the two animal rescues are calling out for help with covering Loki’s vet costs. You can donate via PayPal.

Snares are everywhere

Sadly this isn’t the only cruelty snares have dealt to cats recently. On 15 May, the East Anglian Daily Times reported that a cat living in Thorndon, near Eye in Suffolk, was found trapped in a snare two days earlier.

Suffolk News followed up with further details on 21 May. It explained that the cat, Max, had returned home with a snare wrapped around his stomach. Max was fortunately uninjured by the snare, but the incident left his companion Sabrina scared.

Max and the snare that was wrapped around him
Max and the snare that was wrapped around him, via Sabrina Humber.

She told Protect the Wild that, when she first found Max, the snare:

“was as tight as [it] would allow. We thought barbed wire had penetrated his skin, I was trying to not cut him any further, whilst trying to inspect it, which was when I found the part of the snare that loosened it.”

And added that the whole incident was “hectic and scary”. Nonetheless, she is of course happy that Max is unharmed.

It isn’t just cats that snares catch, though. The SnareWatch campaign, run by Scottish animal welfare group OneKind, reported on 23 April that a snare in north Wales had caught a dog. The creature was out for a walk with his companion through the Cynwyd Forest at the time.

SnareWatch said that the dog was struggling to free himself from the snare but, due to the device’s construction, was actually pulling the snare tighter around his neck. Fortunately, the dog’s companion was able to free him before he sustained any injuries.

Nobody’s safe until we’re all safe

As the volume of the reports just in this article highlights, snares and traps are a widespread problem for all types of creatures. And these have come around the same time as the tragic story of Tigger, who was found dead near Leicester after a snare strangled him.

Tigger the cat, who was found dead in a neighbour's garden with a snare around his neck
Tigger the cat, via Zoe Roberts.

Snares are cruel when they catch the intended target of foxes. But they are equally cruel when snaring cats, dogs, badgers, or any other animal. Meanwhile, Loki’s story shows the depraved acts that these animal traps are sometimes used for.

Wales recently all but confirmed it is banning the sale and use of snares. Scotland is following close behind, although recent developments suggest the government has watered down its stance against snares. Nonetheless, both countries are light years ahead of Westminster, which refuses to even acknowledge a problem in England, let alone consider anti-snare legislation.

As these stories show, though, they are depraved devices that serve no purpose inflict cruelty. Neither wildlife nor domestic animals are safe until they are done away with completely.

Help us consign snares and their enablers to the history books. Check out our campaign to end the shooting industry.

Featured image via Petsearch Rescue