Two year old Tabitha had been missing for nearly two days when she managed to drag her way back to her owner’s home in Storrington, West Sussex, with horrific injuries to her rear leg.
Once found she was rushed to Arun Veterinary Group for emergency treatment. There was a suspicion that her injuries were related to being caught in a snare, probably designed to capture foxes or rabbits.
Tabitha’s injuries were so bad that veterinary surgeon Edric Cross had no option but to amputate her rear leg, which had become badly infected.
Volunteers from Cat Protection’s Horsham & District Branch are now caring for Tabitha, after her previous owner handed her over to the charity to oversee her care.
Anna Portnoi, Co-ordinator of the branch is now Tabitha’s foster carer while she recovers from surgery. She commented:
“Cats can get caught on barbed wire, and of course they can sustain injuries in road traffic accidents. However Tabitha’s injuries looked very much related to a snare. She must have been in agony, the poor thing, the pain really must have been immeasurable. She was very fortunate to have managed to get home and get the help she needed. But despite her ordeal, Tabitha is a lovely, confident and affectionate cat. She has adapted well to having three legs and is already well on the way to recovery.”
Chloe Emmerson, Veterinary Nurse at Arun Veterinary Group who treated Tabitha said:
“Tabitha had sustained some truly horrific injuries, and it’s a testament of her strength of character that she was able to find her way home. We did everything we could to try and save her leg, but sadly the injuries and infection to her foot were so bad that we had no other option than to amputate her leg. No one exactly saw what happened to Tabitha, so we can’t say for sure it was snare, but the evidence points to that. It is really hard to see an animal in such pain and suffering due to something that had been deliberately set.”
Cats Protection’s Advocacy Manager Jacqui Cuff said the charity is calling for an outright ban on snares, which are commonly used to capture foxes, hares and rabbits.
“Snares are inherently cruel to any animal caught in them, whether they are the intended victims or not. Many animal lovers are surprised to learn that the use of such primitive and cruel devices are still legal in the UK. Animals caught in snares can suffer long and agonising deaths after being caught in a snare and those that do survive will frequently suffer serious injuries. Only an outright ban will prevent the horrific pain and injury inflicted by snares.”