FAMILY pets are in danger from lethal wire snares, claims an animal welfare charity, after hearing of a dramatic case in Bury.

The League Against Cruel Sports says that pet owners need to "wise up" to the danger of snares which are often used on shooting estates and grouse moors to catch foxes.

Maisie, a cat from Bury, had to have a leg amputated after being caught in a snare.

Tom Quinn, Director of Campaigns for the League Against Cruel Sports, said: “Snares are cruel and extremely dangerous, not least because once they are set, there is no real way of knowing which animals will be caught in them. 

“Around 1.7 million animals are caught by snares each year – they are usually intended for foxes and rabbits, but two out of every three animals caught are unintended victims like dogs and cats.

“Although they are meant to be a restraining device rather than a lethal trap, in many instances the animals suffer a slow and painful death from strangulation, evisceration, exposure to the elements, predation, starvation or dehydration.”

Maisie’s owner Danielle Lodge, from Bury, said: “Maisie came home and she literally had half her leg missing. 

“It was a mess. There were claws and bone hanging out at the bottom as if she’d had to rip her own leg off to get free. My mum and little sister were in a right state but Maisie was really calm.

“We took her to the vet and he said it could only have been a snare because it was such a clean cut.

“I don’t know how she made it home as she must have lost loads of blood. I really don’t know how she’s still alive.”

Mr Quinn added: “The whole thing is horrific and that’s why we’re calling for a full ban on snares.”