Gin trap warning after family pet injured, euthanised

Alexandra man Harry Handford holds one of the family felines, Dogg. Photo: Adam Burns
Alexandra man Harry Handford holds one of the family felines, Dogg. Photo: Adam Burns
An Alexandra family has been left devastated after it had to put its cat down this week after it suffered injuries from what is believed to have been a ‘‘gin trap’’.

Following the family’s ordeal, Harry Handford is now warning other residents to watch pets who are at risk from the possible use of traps in the area.

Mr Handford said 11-month old Nugget returned home to the family’s Dunstan Rd property on Saturday morning with severe injuries to its back leg.

‘‘The circulation had gone,’’ he said.

‘‘It was crying and not happy at all.’’

He took Nugget to a local vet clinic that day.

A vet advised the family they believed the injuries had been caused by a gin trap, Mr Handford said.

‘‘It was still no good by Monday so they gave us the choice of amputating the leg.’’

It was decided the family could not afford to amputate on top of paying for three days’ care and they were left with having to put Nugget down.

‘‘The kids were really upset ... it’s not very pleasant at all.’’

VetEnt Otago regional manager Greg Shepherd could not comment specifically on Nugget’s injuries but said vets on the odd occasion saw animals with injuries consistent with traps.

A police spokeswoman referred the Otago Daily Times to legal wording under the Animal Welfare Act.

The sale and use of leg-hold traps is restricted by size and type and their use is also restricted to protect pets.

Mr Handford said he understood pests were a problem in the region but there were safer ways to deal with them and more humane traps.

He said he had not reported the incident to police.

‘‘Who do you make the complaint about?

‘‘I don’t think the police are going to search properties just for a cat that’s been injured.’’

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