A PET owner has spoken of her distress after her cat was hurt when a homemade rabbit snare became embedded in his fur.

Lynn Smith of Monks Dyke Road, Louth was horrified when she found her beloved family pet, Snuggles, a four year-old, fluffy, ginger Tom cat ‘crying’ after being caught by a rabbit snare on Saturday, April 25.

The trap, also known as a ‘free-running snare’ and made from copper bent into a loop, had entwined itself in Snuggle’s long, bushy fur and was close to cutting through his stomach after he had been roaming around in nearby fields.

Now Lynn, who has another cat and a dog, wants to warn other families of the dangers. She said: “When I saw him I was crying my eyes out. I couldn’t believe these things still existed. It has definitely shaken him up. If it hadn’t been for his long fur I think it would have gone through to his stomach”.

“I want to make other people aware of this. It is cruel. There are a lot of other domestic animals around there, especially with the new estate. There is just no need for it”.

Lynn freed Snuggles from the snare with wire cutters who only suffered slight discomfort and did not need to visit the vet.

However, Lynn says she will be keeping a close eye on Snuggles who appears apprehensive about venturing out.

“I think he is a bit wary” added Lynn. “If you could talk to him he would probably say ‘I don’t want to go out’.

“He is normally out and about all the time, but now he is just sleeping – like we do when we’re not right”.

Lynn contacted the police the following day. They say these traps are common place on farm land but are not illegal.

A spokesperson from Lincolnshire Police said: “The only devices that are illegal are the self-locking snares that literally cut an animal in two and are understandably inhumane.

“Free-running snares are used widely in rural areas for trapping rabbits and foxes – very rarely have we received reports of domestic animals being caught in them”.