A CAT has been found dead in a public park after it became caught in a snare.

The young, black, un-neutered male was discovered by a member of the public in Quarry Moor Park, Ripon, on Wednesday of last week.

He had become caught in a “free-running” snare, which is legal if used correctly. But because it was in a public place, where domestic animals would be put at risk by it, the person responsible could be prosecuted.

RSPCA officers are appealing for anyone with information to come forward.

Insp Will Rippon said: “The park is very popular with dog walkers, and we don’t think the cat had been there long when we got the call.

“Setting a snare in these circumstances was totally indiscriminate. We are keen to find out who is responsible, and what their motivation was. Anyone who thinks they saw anything should contact the RSPCA cruelty hotline on 0300-1234-999, and ask to leave a message for me.”

The cat was not wearing an identifying collar and he had not been chipped, so the RSPCA has no way of finding out who he belonged to. It is hoped that the owner will come forward.

Insp Rippon added: “It’s awfully distressing when a pet doesn’t come home.

“Although it’s not a happy ending, I hope knowing what happened will give the owner some closure.”