The SPCA is calling for gin traps to be banned after two pet cats were caught and badly injured in west Auckland within a month.
One of the cats had its leg amputated after being rescued from the trap, while a second cat rescued yesterday is still recovering after its leg was almost severed.
Auckland SPCA chief executive Christine Kalin said the second cat was found by a member of the public hiding under a car in Vanhest Way, Ranui, with its leg caught in the trap.
The cat was taken to a local vet for pain relief and then to the SPCA Auckland Animal Hospital for treatment. Its owner has not been found.
"This is a cowardly and cruel act that has inflicted terrible pain and suffering on an innocent pet cat,'' Ms Kalin said.
"Someone out there has deliberately set this trap where domestic cats and possibly children could get caught in it. We must find who did this and prosecute them,'' she said.
In the earlier case, a cat was found caught in a trap in Silverstone Place, Henderson, and was later reunited with its owner after having a leg amputated.
Ms Kalin said the SPCA was investigating both cases, but it appeared the traps had been laid illegally. "On the face of it, we would certainly have issues and would want our inspectors to complete an investigation.''
Leg traps cannot be used without permission within 150 metres of a dwelling or anywhere there is a probable risk of catching a pet.
But she said the SPCA would not advocate their use in any setting, and would like to see the traps banned in the Auckland region. "Our position is they are inhumane, they inflict terrible pain, and we wouldn't advocate the use of them for any animal.''
The traps could easily catch a small child, causing severe injury, Ms Kalin said. ``A young child could get their foot caught in it and the child would come off second-best.''
Humane cat traps were readily available for hire, but also couldn't be used to trap another person's pet, she said.
A third pet cat had a front leg amputated after being caught in a gin trap in Greymouth last month.
Anybody with information about the gin traps, please contact the SPCA on 09 256-7300.