A SNARE was pulled so tightly on a trapped cat that the back end of its body was reduced to two inches in diameter.
Firefighters were shocked when they were called to rescue the trapped animal.
It was found by a walker in Rossendale in the snare next to a stile in fields off Hurst Lane.
Sub Officer Nigel Boden said: “Its claws were bleeding from trying to free itself and it was in a very distressed state as you can imagine.
“The snare was pulled so tightly round its abdomen that it was only two inches in diameter.” Bolt croppers were used to cut through the snare but the wire was so tight around the animal that it had to be taken back to Rawtenstall Fire Station where a cutter for taking rings from people’s fingers was used to finally free the black and white cat.
It was then taken away by a vet and the RSPCA to the Pet Medics at Walkden.
Mr Boden said: “There must be a good chance that it has suffered internal injuries, the snare was so tight.”
The Fire and Rescue Service was called out at 7.15pm and had to walk about half a mile across fields from Edge Cote Farm.
Mr Boden said: “There is no way of knowing how long the cat was trapped but it must have been going on for an hour after it was found until we managed to cut it free.”
He added: “It seemed remarkably well afterwards considering the trauma it went through.
Mr Boden was later told that the animal had suffered no permanent damage and that it was hoped to release it back into the same area possibly later today.
Mr Boden said pet owners ought to be aware of the dangers. Only last week a cat was caught by a snare around its neck in Waterfoot.
Rossendale dog warden David East said there was apparently no law against using snares to catch rabbits but he didn’t think they should be allowed.
There were some cruel people and he warned pet owners to be vigilant.