A weak and frightened cat with its leg caught in an illegal trap had to be euthanized Friday after she was spotted in Port Washington dragging the metal contraption along, the Nassau SPCA said.
The Nassau County SPCA is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible.
“The trap was staked into the ground, and she had gotten it loose and was dragging this through the neighborhood,” said Gary Rogers, head of the Nassau Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
The female cat’s leg was very badly mangled and there were indications she had suffered for days before a resident saw her on Sandy Hollow Lane about 11 a.m., he said.
Besides the metal stake and chain, the leg trap consists of a metal tube that has teeth inside and springs shut when an animal walks on it, usually to get the food that someone has spread nearby as bait.
Such traps have been banned for decades because of the suffering they cause.
“Animals will chew their legs off to get out of these,” Rogers said.
The cat, estimated to be 10 years old, had a clipped ear, indicating she was a stray cat that had been spayed.
She was taken to a veterinary hospital, where Rogers saw her breathing heavily and in such bad shape that surgery could have killed her, he said.
“There was no way we could have done the surgery and rehabilitated her,” he said. “Let’s say she could have survived surgery. How do you rehabilitate a cat that you can’t handle? Where do you put a feral cat back with three legs?”
The Nassau SPCA recently gave out a $5,000 reward in an abandoned dog case that got a conviction and is asking for the public’s help in this case and in replenishing its reward fund.
Authorities ask anyone with information to call the Animal Cruelty Stoppers Hotline 516-THE-SPCA. Donors may go to rewardfund.ncspca.us.