FAMILY moggie Pebbles is lucky to be alive after stepping into a crude wire snare that embedded itself into her waist.

A vet had to sedate her to remove her from the trap, which the SSPCA are trying to ban.

Tortoise shell Pebbles (14) recently returned home to Baron’s Hill Avenue, Linlithgow, later than expected to a shocked family.

Cheryl Aubrey-Petrie, husband Hamish and daughter Isla (8) were distressed to see their cat in so much pain and it took a few attempts for them to catch her.

Childminder Cheryl said: “It was good weather and Pebbles hadn’t come back home in the morning. We don’t usually let her out at night as she’s getting old, but she appeared around 5pm with the wire totally embedded in her fur just above her legs in the pelvis area.

“She was obviously uncomfortable and it was very upsetting to see her like that, especially for Isla. Her nails were shredded.”

The family took her along to the vet the following morning who sedated her and removed the snare.

Cheryl added: “Our vet said that she was extremely lucky to only have bad bruising, as the wire could have cut into her stomach, or, worse still, she could have died.”

The family got Pebbles as a rescue cat when she was three years old and they were relieved the damage wasn’t worse. But they are now concerned about Pebbles’ welfare when she goes out hunting.

Cheryl added: “Local pet owners should be aware that snares are being used close to our housing estates, putting the lives of our pets and wild animals in danger.”

It is unclear whether the snare was legal or illegal.

Catriona Urquhart, a vet at the West Port veterinary clinic, said: “I’m only aware of a few cases like this in the last few years. Snares can cause nasty wounds, and then there are the animals you don’t see – those that never get found. Because of that we don’t know how common it is and how many there are.

“Snares can cause very serious injuries – they cut right into the skin, usually the neck or the middle. There are different types of snare – some are legal and more humane than others. If they are not checked, the animal is suffering to the end and can starve to death. It’s about the type of snare and how often they are checked.”

Mike Flynn, Scottish SPCA chief superintendent, said: “It is not at all uncommon for cats, dogs, other domestic animals and wildlife to be caught in snares, which are indiscriminate and cruel.

“The Scottish SPCA is in favour of an outright ban on snaring as they can cause a great deal of pain and suffering to animals. In this instance it was extremely lucky that the cat was not severely injured or even killed.

“If anyone comes across a snare and is unsure if it is illegal they should call our animal helpline on 03000 999 999.”