A HEARTFELT appeal to find out how a gentle cat was ensnared in a "barbaric" trap has been issued by rescuers.
Squire was found terrified and hungry, sneaking into a home in Ardersier to scavenge some food.
The homeowners believe that he had been accessing the house for a fortnight through a cat flap to eat from their cat’s bowl.
They could tell that the cat was injured but could not get close enough to the frightened animal to help it.
They borrowed a humane trap from the Inverness Cat Rescue centre to catch Squire and get him the help he needed.
Squire had to be anaesthetised so that a wire snare could be removed from below his ribs.
The vet that helped remove the wire at the Eastgate Veterinary Practice on Monday believes that he may have been tangled in the snare for up to eight weeks from the extent of the damage but otherwise it is obvious that he had previously been well looked after.
Heather Swinton Raven (62) runs Inverness Cat Rescue with her husband Derik (67). She is currently caring for Squire but has appealed for anyone with any information to come forward.
"I wouldn’t want to see any animal trapped like that, it is barbaric and if there are snares hidden in woodland than a child could be caught in it," she said.
"He was found in Ardersier but there is no way of knowing where exactly this could have happened and other than his wound he is in good condition and was obviously someone’s pet."
As he has been injured for some time she is appealing for any dog walkers or locals who may have seen the cat or any snares to get in touch and help them piece together what happened to Squire.
The vet believes that he is around two or three years old and thanks to his gentle nature should be able to be rehomed once he is well enough – if his owner does not come forward to claim him.
"It is not something that we have come across before and we want to get to the bottom of it," Mrs Raven said.
"Right now it is just conjecture but it was obvious that the cat was injured.
"We need to find out where he has been and why his owner couldn’t get him help – someone has bothered to get him neutered."
Snares are legal in Scotland but are subject to an application process by the police. They are only supposed to be used to catch rabbits and foxes, and should be checked every 24 hours.
Scottish SPCSA Chief Superintendent Mike Flynn said: "These incidents highlight how completely indiscriminate snares are.
"While snaring continues suffering will continue and that is why we are in favour of an outright ban on the use of snares in Scotland."
The SSPCA ask that snares are left untouched and reported to them on 03000 999 999 if illegal.
To enquire about Squire call 01463 226279 or email firstname.lastname@example.org