A cat that was caught in an illegal leghold trap in Athol and rescued last Thursday by the League’s Rescue Team is back at our shelter recovering from an amputation. Thanks to our Rescue Team’s efforts and those of Athol Animal Control and the Foster Hospital for Small Animals at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, this traumatic tale will hopefully have a positive ending. We need your support to help cover the approximately $2,000 needed for post-op care for the cat.
What happened: On the morning of Thursday, June 20, the League’s Rescue Services Team received an urgent call from Athol Animal Control requesting assistance with a stray cat they found under a porch that had an illegal leghold trap clamped to one of its legs. Rescue Services caught and transported the cat to Tufts, where veterinarians had to amputate the cat’s leg due to the extent of its injuries. The cat was transferred Tuesday to the League’s shelter in Boston where it will be housed and monitored during the required isolation period. Results are still pending to confirm whether this cat might have rabies or other infectious diseases, so human contact is being limited at this time.
“The surgery went smoothly and we expect that the cat will be able to do all the things it did before,” said Dr. Emily McCobb, D.V.M., a board certified veterinary anesthesiologist and director of the Shelter Medicine Program at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. “Animals are able to recover from amputations quickly and are able to resume normal activity, especially cats. While the cat was in our care, we were able to manage his pain and also get him neutered, which is an important aspect of care for free-roaming cats such as this one.”
Watch out for and report traps: The Animal Rescue League of Boston would like to remind the public to keep an eye on their outdoor pets during the summer, and to report any traps they might find. The trap in this case is known as a “leghold trap” which is intended to catch bobcats or fox. These types of traps are illegal in the Commonwealth.
Anyone who finds an empty trap is warned to not touch it, and asked to call your local police, animal control officer, or the Massachusetts Environmental Police at 800.632.8075 to report the trap. If you find a trap with an animal in it, contact the League’s Rescue Team at 617.426.9170.