Hunting Accident File > Violations

PA: Cats caught in leghold traps

December 27, 2009

Cats caught in traps recovering

Wayne County, Pa. - Two area cats— believed to have been caught in steel-jaw traps —suffered mangled paws and amputations. A third cat is recovering after being found by a coyote trapper in the Milanville / Beach Lake area, pinned in a trap by her front and hind leg. The fur trapper was able to release the animal and bring her to the Dessin Shelter where she’s recovering.

Shelter Director Sue Frisch says: “I’ve been here 21 years and we have seen the occasional cat in a trap. We have seen the occasional dog in a trap. Maybe one a year, maybe not even one a year, makes its way to us. But, to have three cats in a month — in a four-week time-frame — that’s a lot.”

The calico suffered the least amount of injury.

“Luckily for her, because she wasn’t in the trap that long, she didn’t suffer the damage to her limb. Because, I think what happens is the longer they’re in the trap, the circulation gets cut off. And the longer the circulation is cut off, everything below what’s in the trap starts to die. She went immediately to the vets - once we got her signed in. She’s doing really well,” Frisch said.

An orange cat, nicknamed Flame by the shelter, brought in from Beach Lake, lost her hind leg and tail, while a second orange tiger, found in the Waymart area, lost his front limb.

“Cats are so resilient. There is a reason that there’s the saying, ‘Cats have nine lives.’ And I, in all my years, have never met more resilient creatures, and creatures that are more able to bounce back from problems, than cats. I know a three-legged cat that catches birds and she’s missing a front leg. And this same cat can jump up and down. She climbs into the hayloft of a barn,” Frisch says.

“Animals live in the moment,” she added, “so they don’t have the ability to feel sorry for themselves, that they’re missing a limb. They don’t know that that isn’t what was supposed to happen. ... They just pick up and keep moving and do the best they can with three legs.”

All three cats are available for adoption.

Potential pet owners need not need worry that the cats would require extra care, Frisch said.

“I would not think for a second that any of these cats that are missing their limbs will miss a beat in a new home,” she said.

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