A Hastings family whose pet's leg was nearly amputated after it was caught in an animal trap are pleading for information - and fear the trap was deliberately set near their suburban property.
Stephanie Russell said the family were still reeling after cat Poppie was found caught in a gin trap on the weekend. The traps' metal jaws are designed to catch an animal by a limb.
It closed closed so tightly on Poppie, her leg appeared severed when Russell's daughter Kennedy found the 4-year-old cat on Saturday night.
"I went out [to the back yard] and I could see her. I called but she wouldn't move, then I heard a chain dragging along the ground, and I knew something was wrong," Kennedy Russell, 20, said.
"It's quite upsetting when it's one of your loved ones."
Poppie was rushed to the vets, and her owners were warned the cat's leg may have to be amputated.
Yesterday, Stephanie Russell said the rescue cat was not in the clear yet - she had no broken bones, but had suffered nerve damage so may still lose her leg.
Worse than the cat's injuries was not knowing where the trap had been. Someone had to have set the pressure-plated trap by hand for it to work.
Russell said the cat would not have been able to jump the high fences into the yard, and there was no blood trail outside their property.
"We've lived in the area for about three years, we've got awesome neighbours. I just can't understand where the trap's come from, and why it's been set.
"I just don't know who could possibly want to do something like this to a cat."
Her daughter said they wanted to speak out about the trap as, had it been set in a public area, "it could have happened to a child, or someone else pet".
"It was such a nasty thing to happen. We wouldn't wish this on anyone."
Stephanie Russell said her cat's injury had changed the way she felt about the safety of her pets, and urged anyone with information to come forward.
She had reported it to the police and Hastings SPCA.
Ministry for Primary Industries rules say leg-hold traps cannot be used within 150m of a dwelling without the permission of the occupier, or in anywhere there is a risk of catching a pet.