Two more Cromwell cats maimed by gin traps

by Kim Bowden - May 16, 2024

A second Cromwell cat owner has come forward telling of horrific injuries to two beloved pets from what appears to be a gin trap.

The woman, who lives near suburban Waenga Drive, says she made two emergency trips to a local vet within ten days of each other for treatment for the six-month-old siblings, Hearty and Cabbage.

Approximately two-and-a-half weeks ago, Hearty returned home after being missing for a day dragging a front paw snapped in two places.

"This is a little was just awful."

Ten days later, it was Cabbage's turn - and, a warning, this is where the story gets more graphic.

He returned home with a back leg "de-gloved", the Cromwell resident says.

"Basically he had his back paw stuck in a trap and, my little boy, oh, he tried so hard he ripped his entire leg off, basically. You could see the bone, you could see the cartilage, you could see everything. It was just horrific."

Hearty lost his front leg; Cabbage, his back.

While Hearty's recovery is going well, the family is keeping its fingers crossed for Cabbage's, with infection still a risk.

After the first incident, the cause of the injury was not conclusive, but coupled with the second, just a week and a bit later, the vet thinks it is likely a gin trap was the culprit both times.

On Tuesday, Crux reported on another Cromwell family - this one living in Bannockburn - forced to put down their 12-year-old cat Bluey after what the vet also believed were gin trap injuries.

Police in Cromwell say they will not be investigating any alleged use of gin traps in the town, despite receiving reports of the issue.

"At this stage, police have no evidence to suggest an offence has occurred and have filed the matter until further information comes to light.

"We appreciate that injuries to your pet can be upsetting, and encourage pet owners to seek advice from animal welfare agencies."

While many Kiwis wrongly assume gin traps are illegal, their sale and use is only restricted under the Animal Welfare Act.

Carolyn Guy, the director of animal welfare at the Ministry of Primary Industries, says the restrictions are in place to protect pets.

Ms Guy says leg-hold traps like gin traps cannot be used within 150 metres of a dwelling without the owner or occupier’s permission, or in any area where there is a likely risk of catching a companion animal.

She says the act also requires any trap that can capture an animal to be checked daily, within 12 hours of sunrise. 

A breach of the rules can lead to a fine of up to $50,000 or one year in prison.

For now, Hearty and Cabbage's owners are keeping the pair inside their home in a bid to keep them safe.

"My sense is this is someone who lives close; that's my sense, and I can't risk it happening again."

They're looking at options for some type of cat-proof fence, or even a "cat-io" addition to their house.

"I don't know what else to do. I've tried to warn everybody about it and say, 'Well, keep your cats inside', but it's not really fair on the cats."

Main image: Cromwell cat Hearty is down to three legs but lucky to be alive after injuries most likely caused by a gin trap.

Read more: Community concern grows as gin trap kills beloved family cat

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