As we progress as a species, we generally like to think of ourselves as improving, becoming more empathetic and caring creatures and trying to ease the ills of this world.
But a lot of what we end up doing is repeating history’s mistakes and trying to make up for past sins. Hunters, for example, used to use whatever means they could to trap and kill animals.
At one point, it may have been a matter of life and death, but in many places it has become sport, and the use of questionable and outright inhumane devices has been banned.
Traps with steel jaws that clamp onto an animal’s leg, for example, have been banned in England since July 31, 1958, according to a website about Steel Spring Gin Traps.
You’ve probably seen these traps if you’ve watched “The Fox and the Hound” or seen photos of animals trapped in these cruel devices. The jaws clamp shut around the animal’s leg, and can break bones, sever limbs, or trap the animal in place until it dies of dehydration.
Having been banned half a century ago, you’d think we’d be mostly safe from these, but one woman in Yorkshire recently discovered that they’re not quite out of circulation.
Georgia Morris of Yorkshire, England, has two cats that have suffered rather mysterious injuries in the recent past. One of her cats came home with a broken leg that required pins to set, and then came home with an impact injury of some sort.
“The vet stated her (sic) definitely hadn’t been hit by a car,” she said, according to the Daily Mail. Her one cat isn’t the only one who’s experienced strange goings-on: Four cats in the neighborhood have gone missing, prompting Morris to wonder if these attacks were being planned.
She got a little more proof when she discovered one of her cats, Bella, hiding under a bush with a trap attached to her leg.
“Tonight we have come home to our cat under the bush to discover this,” she wrote in a Facebook post. “I do not know where she has got this from but I know that this was deliberate.”
“This is in the Royston area near Lee Lane at the allotments. There’s several cats gone missing around this area, luckily our cat has managed to drag herself home in agony!!!! If you are responsible for this you ought to be ashamed of yourself!!!!!!!!!”
They took Bella to the vet, where she was assessed and treated. The video shows a cat in seemingly good spirits, but that leg has got to hurt.
“Look who’s home even if she’s got a leg triple the size!” Morris wrote in an update. “She’s got to be house bound for a week and she may (lose) her leg if she doesn’t get blood flow back in it, here’s hoping that’s not the case! we have reported this to rspca and they are looking in to it.”
“The police will not do anything as rspca have power to prosecute. Thank you for all your concerns and well wishes.”
Apparently, some people started calling foul on Morris and Bella, claiming that the photos show a gin trap on the cat’s right leg and a bandage afterwards on the left leg. Morris had some choice words for these nonbelievers.
“I don’t know why I’m having to prove it’s real but some people are saying it’s not real,” she wrote. “The leg in the bandage is the opposite leg because she had to have a Cannula in this leg for antibiotics and whatever else she’s had.”
“You can clearly see her right leg is abnormal. If you don’t think it’s real you can gladly cover the vet bill that is on going; so far we have paid £600!”
Fortunately Bella made it home — in many cases, these kinds of traps are well-anchored and meant to keep the trapped animal in place.
If someone is setting these up to catch people’s pets on purpose as Morris seems to believe, then hopefully this find will help them track the evil-doer down or stop them from doing more damage.
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