The owner of a dog whose leg had to be amputated after being caught in a snare has called for them to be banned.

Molly, a seven-year-old terrier, went missing last month from Trebetherick, Cornwall, where she was being looked after while her owners were on holiday.

Ten days later, a gardener found the dog trapped by the leg in a snare under a hedge.

Sarah Nuttall, who has had the dog since she was a puppy, said it was a miracle Molly survived.

Mrs Nuttall, who lives in Rock, was on holiday in Greece with her husband Andrew and two daughters when Molly went missing on 17 June.

She had been left with Mrs Nuttall’s parents, Elaine and Graham Jones, who live nearby in Trebetherick.

“Molly’s a terrier and often wanders away so at first my parents weren’t too concerned,” she told BBC News.

“They knew something was wrong when she didn’t return after a couple of hours and began searching for her.”

When Mrs Nuttall returned from holiday to discover Molly had been missing for a week, she too began searching and put up posters around the village.

She said: “I went to letting agents asking them to check in case she’d been locked in a shed or garage and searched the fields shouting and whistling down rabbit holes.

“Molly was trapped in a rabbit snare and was in such pain she wouldn’t let him (the gardener) touch her.”

As well as the serious leg injury, Mrs Nuttall said the dog was dehydrated and painfully thin with all her ribs showing.

Although Wadebridge vet Andrew Moore had initially hoped the dog’s leg could be saved, it was amputated on 2 July.

“Molly’s doing exceptionally well considering it’s only been a week, and although she’s getting around fine, she’s still got a few problems with her balance and sometimes falls over,” Mrs Nuttall said.

“She’s lost all her muscle tone and is still very thin, but I’m feeding her up with tins of salmon.”

Daily checks

Mrs Nuttall has so far been unable to contact the owners of the property where the snare was set, who are believed to live outside the county.

“I know snares aren’t banned – although I think they should be – but whoever sets them is supposed to check them every 24 hours and that obviously didn’t happen.

“It’s a miracle Molly survived at all.”

The RSPCA said it is illegal to set snares for birds, deer and badgers, but they can be legally used to control foxes and rabbits.

The animal charity confirmed it was a legal requirement that snares be checked at least once a day, but it said from the severity of indiscriminate injuries snares cause, it would appear that some people do not follow this requirement.