Snare that killed her beloved cat Suzy
DEVASTATED: Helen Halliday with the snare that killed her beloved cat Suzy

A WOMAN is warning other animal lovers to be vigilant over people setting lethal snares in residential areas of the North-East countryside.

Suzy, a 14-year-old pet cat belonging to Helen Halliday, died after becoming trapped a week ago, less than 200 yards from her home in Satley, near Lanchester, County Durham.

Mrs Halliday, of Glebeside, said: “It had caught her around the neck. I am absolutely devastated.

“It is bad enough losing a pet to illness or old age, but knowing that she has suffered is terrible. It is a wicked and vile way for her to go. It makes me feel sick.”

The snare is a wire noose that is attached to a stake or heavy object that acts as an anchor to stop the animal escaping.

They are usually set to catch foxes or rabbits, but their victims can often be badgers, cats or dogs.

Free running snares with no locking mechanism are not illegal, but should be checked every day.

Police Community Support Officer Steve Mann said: “It is totally irresponsible for someone to be setting snares in this way in an area where a lot of the residents have cats.

“Cat owners are understandably very worried that their pet might be the next victim of one of these cruel contraptions.”