SOUTHBRIDGE (CBS) – The MSPCA is seeking the public’s help in finding whoever is responsible for placing an animal trap along a hiking trail in Southbridge that caught and severely injured a cat on Tuesday.

A hiker found the cat caught in the trap on Tuesday and alerted Animal Control officers.

Surgeons later concluded that the only way to save the cat’s life was to amputate its left front leg. So, the cat underwent surgery later that afternoon.

WBZ-TV’s Kate Merrill reports

“The operation went very well and he is now recovering in our critical care unit. He ate this morning and is resting comfortably on pain medication. Despite having only one front leg, we expect him to adjust and live a relatively normal life indoors,” said Dr. Meg Whelan, an emergency critical care veterinarian at Angell.

The cat, a male named Mr. Bates, was not wearing a collar and was not micro-chipped, so it is not known if he has an owner. He will be sheltered at the MSPCA until the owner is found or he can be placed in a permanent home.

catpostamputation1 Cat Caught In Illegal Trap In Southbridge; Leg Amputated

The surgery was successful. (Photo Credit: MSPCA)

According to the MSPCA, the trap was illegally set because it was not tagged or registered.

The MSPCA has offered a $1,000 reward leading to a conviction for animal cruelty in this case.

Anyone with information is asked to call the MSPCA’s Law Enforcement Hotline at 800-628-5808.

Comments (22)
  1. Patti says:

    Just last month, in Southbridge, by a school, there was a coyote hanging by the neck with a rope on a tree for all to see. People in this town are disgusting.

  2. PeeWee says:

    Coyotes kill cats and dogs–it’s possible that someone set the trap to catch a coyote. On the positive side, thank God this cat was rescued and I hope they find him a good home (as his current owner obviously doesn’t care about his whereabouts if he was found in the woods.) I love that someone at the MSPCA named him Mr. Bates after the Downton Abbey character.

    1. web says:

      Let’s assume someone wanted to catch a coyote..then what? You have a coyote with it’s leg trapped…what then? Shoot it? Let it bleed out? What kind of person does this? And this was on a hiking trail, people walk around..thank goodness I am not that kind of person that can understand that kind of behavior.

      1. PeeWee says:

        And here we go. I don’t like coyotes. They are not native to this area and they will attack humans. A coyote bit a nine year old girl in Haverhill just last month:

        It’s against the law to kill them, but let’s face it: this person decided to take matters into their own hands.

        To those who say “keep your cats indoors”, if you take in a stray cat that was accustomed to living outdoors for a long period of time, it is not always possible.

      2. Willow says:

        web, I was thinking the same thing. What if a person had been caught in that trap? And, I don’t think any living thing should experience that kind of pain. That’s just plain torturing and is animal abuse. There have been lots of coyotes and fisher cats in this town for many, many years, like most other communities. If the coyotes weren’t feeding on some of the rodents and keeping that population down, everyone would be complaining about the bunny eating their vegetable garden. Why is the solution to most problems to just torture it or kill it?

      3. Tsalnew says:

        Pee wee. Coyotes are not native. Are we? So if you don’t like them we should kill them. Bears kill people too do we kill all of them. Where does it end?

      4. Tsalnew says:

        Oh wait…….humans attack other humans. Do we kill all of them too?

  3. Matt says:

    Keep your cats in you own yard. I don’t want them in mine. One less cat that I have to deal with. Dogs belong on a leash and so do cats and if you can’t do that then keep them inside.

    1. ELaw says:

      And who are you expecting to put a leash on the squirrels, raccoons, deer, birds…?

      Animals are a natural part of our environment… deal with it.

      1. Matt says:

        Wild animals are not domestic animals.

  4. Smitty says:

    I’m just curious as to why the cat was taken all the way into Boston when the Cummin’s School of Veterinary Medicine (at Tuft’s university) in North Grafton is so much closer.

  5. Willow says:

    I love animals and own three cats and two dogs. My dogs are leashed and my cats are indoor animals. There are neighborhood cats that come onto my property all the time, but I don’t mind and would never harm them. I only wish I didn’t have to witness some of them being hit by cars like I have. I think traps are inhumane no matter what they are set to trap. I live in Southbridge, and there are a lot of disgusting things that happen here that don’t even make the news. I used to be proud of the town I live in, but not anymore. I hope the owner comes forward to claim their pet and care for it, otherwise I hope it goes to a home that it will be protected from something like this happening again. If I learn who is responsible for setting the trap, I’ll scream it from the rooftops.

  6. Willow says:

    They do make special harnesses and leashes for cats. My son had a run set up for his cat to allow him to go outdoors, and not bother the neighbors or be harmed. So, even if a cat us used to being an outdoor cat, they continue to be. Maiming or killing doesn’t have to be an option. Most wild animals are afraid of humans, and rightly so. It’s another story if they are rabid or starving, but it’s their world too.

  7. matt souza says:

    I have this large area of marshland and woods. We have a large population of ferrel cats. We also have fisher cats. Also to the matt above its called a fence.
    Also there are cat collar that come off if they get stuck in something. That might of happened. Also why use traps ,they are not nessesary.. We need to remember that they are living things and do not deserve to be trapped. think about iif you were the one trapped. Cats that live outside are just tring to survive. a cat indoors can live for 18 years or more. cats in the wild averages 2 to 4 years.

  8. Lucas D. age10 says:

    I hope that little fur ball has a better life waiting for him. Why would people do that to a cute cat? maybe they just don’t have a heart. Such a shame.

    1. Willow says:

      Lucas D, you sound like an awesome young man. Some people really don’t like animals and don’t think anything of hurting them. It’s people like you and others who fight for animal rights who will make the difference in an animals life. I loved your comment. :)

  9. Beverly DuBois says:

    oh my god what is wrong with people. I love cats that poor baby. I want him. IF no one claims him can I take him. We will snuggle and love him. Poor thing.

    1. what next ? says:

      There are plenty of cats around here. Why pay for this cat ? I love cats too but I wouldn’t rush out to Boston to spend lots of money on an animal when there more than enough right here. The waiting list at Second Chance is more than 6 months to surrender there.

      1. Willow says:

        Second Chance is a wonderful shelter. That’s where I adopted my animals from. The problem with trying to tame a feral cat is that you can’t. I’ve had two feral cats that pretty much remained wild. If they haven’t had human interaction, it’s very difficult to tame them. It doesn’t mean that they should be harmed in any way. This cat must have had a home because he looks well fed. My guess is the owners won’t step forward because they won’t want to pay the vet bill for his care. I hope that isn’t the case, but I just want to see him for to a loving home where he’ll never get hurt again.

    2. jeffsmom says:

      my first thought when i saw the poor thing was he looked very well fed. i myself have 4 adult cats (3 from shelters) i do hope the owners come forward and as far as the vet bill i am sure they can get help to pay, perhaps work out a payment plan. as far as people wanting to adopt it, please look into shelters all around the area as many are waiting to find a home. spring is coming which usually means kittens..

  10. just me says:

    Poor kitty, feral or domestic.

    I am equally disturbed by that fact that someone set a trap so close to a hiking trail.

    1. Willow says:

      Me too. I live in Southbridge and have taken my dogs walking in that area. I can only imagine if a child had stepped into that. I wish all traps were outlawed.

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