A KITTEN suffered horrific injuries to its paws after running into a lethal trap designed to kill rats.
Seven-month-old Sid had to be put down after becoming ensnared in a spring trap believed to have been set illegally.
Animal charities believe fed- up residents are setting the traps in a response to a growing rat problem across the Scotland, but reports are regularly received of family pets stumbling in to the devices.
One charity worker said: “There’s a high number of cases where these traps are being used illegally, but if people are acting outside the law there’s nothing that we can really do to stop them.”
The black and white tom’s owner, Rose Nimmo, said Sid appeared outside her Duddingston Avenue home on Saturday with two severely maimed front legs. It is believed he became caught in a spring trap which had been set up illegally in a residential garden before staggering home.
Sid was rushed to a vet, who said his injuries were so severe that the kindest option was to put him to sleep.
Anti-trap campaigners have warned the devices – which are used to kill small animals instantly – should never be used in a residential area.
Devastated Rose, a lecturer and musician, said: “Sid showed up at the back door with his front legs completely mangled, one paw was destroyed right away.
“The emergency vet said she thought he would survive but the next morning there were signs that the blood supply to his other paw had been cut off and he had to be put down.
“Sid was the most beloved animal you could imagine, everybody loved him – the whole family is distraught.”
It is not known how Sid, who is believed to have been trapped for several hours, managed to get free.
Rose added: “Sid didn’t have a big range and he wouldn’t go far, we have this terrible sense of him having been trapped for so long.
“We think someone must have found him and let him, out of the trap so they would have known what happened.
“Eventually, I think we will get another cat, but I don’t think I could go through this heartache again.”
Last year figures revealed councils in Scotland’s four biggest cities receive an average of 16 calls a day from people reporting infestations of the rodents.
Officers from the SSPCA confirmed they believe Sid was caught in an incorrectly set trap, which is an offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
Chief Superintendent Mike Flynn said: “Sid would have been in a tremendous amount of pain and, while it is tragic he had to be put to sleep, we are glad he was found so that he could receive the help he needed. His owners are understandably devastated and they are desperate to understand what happened to their much-loved pet.”
Edinburgh-based animal protection charity One Kind, which opposes the use of traps, said they should always be covered to ensure that only the target species is caught – adding there is always a strong chance of catching an animal in the wrong way. Policy director Libby Anderson said: “We have to ask what the operator was thinking when he set this trap.”