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Pet owners in Torbay are being warned to keep an eye on their cats after a stray was found trapped and suffering in an illegal snare.
The stray cat, now named Hunter, was discovered with its paw in the jaws of the vicious metal trap which had been left primed on a Torbay housing estate.
It's now recovering at the Blue Cross Torbay centre. The charity says the damage to the cat's leg indicated that he'd been struggling for some time to free himself.
Tim Sillis, centre manager at Torbay's Blue Cross centre, said: "It's horrifying that someone left this trap out where pets, wildlife or even a playing child could have been injured. It's lucky that someone found Hunter in time to save him, but these traps are so vicious - it could have been much worse."
Hunter is now well on the road to recovery and will be rehoused as soon as a suitable owner can be found.
But there is still concern for other animals in the area, as Tim explained: 'Sadly, this is just the latest in number of incidents of cruelty to cats that we have come across. We have recently taken in a cat that had been shot with an airgun and have heard further reports of animal cruelty in the area, such as cats being poisoned or kicked.'
RSPCA inspector Jim Farr added: "Incidents like these illustrate the cruel and indiscriminate nature of snares which often catch non target species. Even when they are legally set, snares can cause animals to face a painful and lingering death.
"I would urge anyone with information about the person responsible for setting this snare to contact the RSPCA cruelty and information line on 0300 1234 999."
The Blue Cross can be contacted on 0300 777 1550.