Norton family’s cat injured by illegal wire snare trap

NORTON, Mass. — A Norton family is warning pet owners after their cat was injured in an illegal wire snare trap near their home.

Eight-year-old rescue Sampson, a barn cat who roams his family’s wooded property, was crying out in pain early Friday morning and dragging himself home.

“He was screaming out, and my dad didn’t see blood. He thought he was hit by car,” said owner Jillian Blye. “No one would expect a wire or a trap or anything like this.”

A closer look showed a wire sticking into his body. When the family rushed Sampson to the veterinarian’s office, the doctor found a wire snare still tight around his stomach, hidden in his fur. His mouth was cut up from trying to chew the wire off.

Snare traps, which are illegal in Massachusetts, involve a wire loop that an animal walks through before tightening around its neck and strangling the animal as it fights to free itself.

“It was meant to go around his throat, but since he’s skinny and very fuzzy, I think he managed to slip through it,” Blye said. “I think he almost got out of it, but his hind legs were too big, so it got wrapped around his abdomen.”

Norton’s animal control officer told Boston 25 News Environmental Police will be in town investigating the case Thursday.

Traps such as snares and metal leg traps have been outlaws in Massachusetts for years. But cases continue to turn up with the most common victims wildlife.

Weeks ago, a five-month-old coyote in Swampscott had to be euthanized after its jaw was crushed in an illegal metal trap. The pup suffered for about a week, unable to eat, the damage to its jaw irreparable. The Animal Legal Defense Fund is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible.

Meanwhile, Sampson is on antibiotics and is expected to recover. But Blye wants others to know about the danger of such traps.

“Definitely keep your eye out. Our fur babies are always innocent,” Blye said. “I always say I love animals more than humans, and I think this is a great example as of why.”

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