Cats getting caught in coyote traps becoming a common problem

A cat got its back leg caught in a coyote trap and will need to have it amputated, St. George, Utah | Photo courtesy of Kris Neal, St. George News

ALERT: This story includes details and visual material of severe injuries to an animal. Reader discretion is advised.

ST. GEORGE — A stray cat was found by Washington City Animal Welfare Services around 1000 Bluff Street after having one of its back legs caught in a coyote trap.

The cat was able to be freed of the trap and was then transported to the Washington Animal Shelter, before being picked up by Kris Neal and the One More Chance animal rescue group.

“It’s a back leg, which is a real plus for the cat,” Neal said. “They do fairly well losing a back leg, not so much on a front leg. The cat will resume life as normal but it will probably need to be an indoor cat when we find the cat a new home.”

The cat went to the veterinarian where it was looked over before being scheduled for a leg amputation on Tuesday morning. Neal said that the group has seen an increase in injured and abandoned animals right now and many are a result of coyote traps.

“I think right now I’ve got five cats that have lost their limbs to coyote traps. It’s a big problem,” Neal said. “It’s a big enough problem that I petitioned St. George city to outlaw them within the city limits and we were successful. Coyote traps fall under the Division of Wildlife Resources and the laws on them are extremely loose, to the point that they can be within feet of our walking paths.”

Neal said that most cities will not take the problem seriously until there is a human involved in an incident with a trap.

A cat got its back leg caught in a coyote trap and will need to have it amputated, St. George, Utah | Photo courtesy of Kris Neal, St. George News

“A stray cat being caught in one or somebody’s pet that wanders off the walking path, they’re pretty easy to overlook,” Neal said. “That’s historically what have been caught in them. We haven’t had a human incident so far.”

The coyote traps need to be registered with the DWR but many are not. There is a serial number on each trap and when they are found, they are turned over to the local shelters who call in the DWR. The DWR then checks the registration but Neal said that of the many traps she has seen, none of them have been registered.

Even if they are legal, Neal mentioned that people only have to check the traps every 48 hours. If something were to get caught in the trap, the owner of the trap would not have to check it often.

As for the cat’s rehab, it will be several weeks to let the infusion heal and get the cat used to walking on three legs.

The rescue group is asking for donations to cover the veterinary bills for the cat by calling the Washington Family Vet at 435-627-1300 and donating to the One More Chance account or going to their website.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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