It's believed illegal leg-hold traps have resulted in innercity Auckland cats being seriously injured - and pet owners are being warned
In the past 18-months within Sandringham, a cat had its spine crushed, another had its tail severed and more recently, another cat had its foot removed.
Despite no traps having been sighted, SPCA inspectors believe illegal traps placed throughout the suburb could be causing the horrific injuries.
"SPCA wants to remind our community: don't set leg-hold traps in urban areas," SPCA inspector Melissa Rush said.
"The risks to pets are real and we don't want to see any more animals injured – or possibly killed – by this.
"Our inspectorate is warning pet owners in this area to watch out for leg-hold traps."
Leg-hold traps, also known as gin traps, have spring-operated jaws which clamp on to an animal's legs if they are set off.
Under the Animal Welfare Act 1999, use of the traps is restricted and those who wish to use them are required by law to apply for an exemption.
However, no leg-hold trap can be used where there is a probable risk of catching a pet animal.
In addition, the Animal Welfare Order 2007 says traps are prohibited to be used within 150 metres of any dwelling without the consent of the occupier.
Those who have been granted use of the traps are also required to check them daily within 12 hours of sunrise or face cruelty charges.
"Injured cats have been reported on Mount Albert Rd and Columbia Rd," Rush said.
"Anyone who discovers one of these traps, or an animal who has been caught in one, should contact SPCA immediately."