DIDSBURY - Didsbury resident Sharla Davenport is reminding residents that not only is it illegal to use leg-hold traps in town but that using such devices can also be extremely dangerous to pets and even children.
On July 16 Davenport’s eight-month old male cat Scooter suffered a severe leg injury requiring amputation in an apparent trapping.
“My cat’s leg was chopped in half, just barely attached and limp with flesh ripped off,” said Davenport. “This is disgraceful, disgusting, shameful and repulsive. It was all blood and nasty gashes.”
A veterinarian from Pioneer Veterinary Services in Olds answered the emergency call from Davenport and was able to treat the injured animal.
Although a trap has not been recovered, Davenport said the vet told her that the injuries are consistent with having being caught in a leg-hold trap.
Scooter is usually an in-house-only cat but he got out of the residence when a window was left open to keep the home cool during the recent hot stretch, she said.
Although a site of the apparent trapping has not been identified, she believes it occurred somewhere near the family home in the 2000 block of 23rd Avenue.
"He never leaves the house and he's very skittish, so I think it happened within our block or corner of town," she said.
Davenport has made a report about the incident to the town’s community peace officer.
She is calling on anyone using leg-hold traps in town to stop doing so immediately and for anyone who knows of others using the traps to report them to the town.
“There is no reason to be using these traps in town, in residential neighbourhoods,” she said. “There are humane ways of catching animals. What is more concerning is that this could have easily been someone else’s pet or, God forbid, a child.
“If this is on a residential property, chances are anyone’s pet or child could be exposed to it. Our pet-loving citizens need to be aware of the monsters that are torturing our pets.
"This is not the first time something like this has happened in our community. And unless someone does something about it, it won’t be the last. If this is some sick person who likes to torment animals, then chances are they are going to torment children too.”
Melissa Trotter, Didsbury community peace officer, says it is unlawful for anyone to use a leg-hold trap anywhere in town.
Anyone with information about the incident can contact Trotter at the town office.
The Town of Didsbury Cat Bylaw states that any person who has a complaint about a cat running at large or causing damage to his or her property may obtain a humane cat trap from the Town of Didsbury.