Pet owners on the North Shore of Auckland are being warned to watch out for gin traps in the area after a cat suffered serious injuries when it became trapped in one.
The animal had to have three of its toes amputated after the trap snapped down on one of its paws -- causing an open fracture on its toes.
A member of the public found the moggy on Knights Rd, in Rothesay Bay, on Sunday. It was taken to a nearby vet and later transferred to the SPCA Auckland Animal Hospital for treatment.
The cat, an adult neutered male, is now being cared for by SPCA Auckland, which has launched an investigation to try and track down who set the trap. They are also looking into whether there may be similar traps around the area.
SPCA Auckland head Andrea Midgen said the leg-hold traps were illegal under the Animal Welfare Act.
No gin traps could be used in an area where there is a probable risk of catching a pet animal.
"SPCA Auckland is actively investigating this case and asking anyone who has information about the setting of this trap to please come forward," she said.
"Terrible pain and suffering has been inflicted on an innocent cat and it is important that those responsible for this cruelty are held accountable so it doesn't happen again."
Inspectorates from the SPCA are now warning pet owners to be wary.
"We also want to hear from anyone who recognises this cat or can help reunite him with his owner. It is obvious that he has been a member of a family and we are sure there will be someone missing him terribly."
• Anyone who finds a gin trap, or an animal caught in one, is urged to contact SPCA Auckland immediately: (09) 256 7300.