CORNER BROOK It wasn’t the very next day and the story is not all good news, but Pamela Gill is glad her cat came back home.
The Corner Brook woman and her family are not happy that Nahla, the nearly two-year-old feline, will have to have her right leg amputated because it was caught in a snare.
Nahla had been missing for more than three weeks when Gill was awakened at around 4:45 a.m. Thursday morning to what she described as the “most atrocious sound” coming from her back deck. Thinking it must have been one of the many feral cats that live near her home on Philip Drive, she was surprised to see Nahla bolt into the house when Gill opened the door.
Before she could get a good look at her pet, Gill could smell something was awfully wrong. One of Nahla’s front paws had snare wire still wrapped around it and was obviously beyond saving.
“I have never witnessed such a horrible site on an animal in all my life,” said Gill. “Her paw was dead. It was black with maggots crawling in it. Clearly, she was stuck for long time.”
Gill figures Nahla ate whatever critters came her way while trapped and is thankful the wet weather of late likely kept her from dying of dehydration.
The cat proved to be remarkably healthy otherwise when checked out by a veterinarian later Thursday morning. She will, though, have to have her entire right leg amputated from the shoulder down.
Gill is well aware that the City of Corner Brook’s bylaws prohibit pets roaming without a leash and she takes a risk any time she lets her two cats outside. Still, she thinks whoever set the snare that Nahla encountered should have been more responsible too.
There is no municipal bylaw against setting snares within city limits, but there are provincial laws and regulations regarding setting snares. The season for setting snares does not open until Oct. 13, where it is permitted, and has been closed in the Corner Brook area since Feb. 26.
According to the “Snaring Code of Conduct” included in the annual hunting and trapping guide published by the Department of Environment and Conservation, snares are to be checked daily and should be pulled through or removed if they are not tended daily.
Snares must also be removed on or before the season closing date.
Acknowledging the onus is on her to not let her cats out, Gill said she should not have to worry about an abandoned or illegally set snare if she does decide to let them out for some fresh air and a romp in the woods near her home.
“I beg all hunters and trappers to be as humane as possible and use these traps responsibly,” she said. “It’s very unfortunate what happened to poor Nahla. I will have to think very hard about whether or not to let my cats out in the future.
“But, leg or no leg, we are extremely pleased to have that part of our family home with us again.”