A cat had to be treated for injuries to its front paw after it was trapped in an illegal snare on a housing estate near Torquay.

The stray cat, now named Hunter, was caught in a trap which has been left in a residential street.

The cat was found in a distressed state with his front left paw caught in the jaws of the trap. His rescuers believe he had been struggling to free himself for some time.

He was rescued by the RSPCA after the charity was alerted to the trapped animal and is now being cared for by the Blue Cross.

Tim Sillis, centre manager at Torbay’s Blue Cross centre, said: “It’s horrifying that someone left this trap out where pets, wildlife or even a playing child could have been injured. It’s lucky that someone found Hunter in time to save him, but these traps are so vicious, it could have been much worse.”

Hunter is now on the road to recovery and waiting to find a new home, but the charity is warning people to be vigilant to the traps.

RSPCA inspector Jim Farr said: “Incidents like these illustrate the cruel and indiscriminate nature of snares which often catch non-target species. Even when they are legally set, snares can cause animals to face a painful and lingering death.”

Anyone with information about the person responsible for setting the snare should call the RSPCA on 0300 1234999. To offer Hunter a new home call the Blue Cross centre in Torbay on 0300 7771550.