The RSPCA and North Yorkshire Police are appealing for information after a fox was found with his lower jaw caught in an illegal gin trap in York, causing horrific injuries.
The plight of the male fox – known as a ‘dog’ – was first reported to the RSPCA and North Yorkshire Police on Saturday (21 January).
The RSPCA set a live-catch fox trap in a garden where he was seen but to no avail.
He was finally captured by police officers and volunteers from a group called ‘Band of Rescuers North Yorkshire’ in a field off New Lane, Huntington at around 3.30pm yesterday (Sunday 22 January) and taken to a local vets.
RSPCA inspector Geoff Edmond said: “This was a real team effort to get help for this poor fox.
“The public, North Yorkshire Police and Vets4Pets were brilliant.
“We had lots of reports coming in about where the fox was, particularly via social media, and eventually it paid off.
“Despite still being very active, the fox became tangled in some bushes and the volunteers and police officers were able to capture him and take him to the vets.
“The enormous metal trap was clamped tightly shut around his lower jaw causing horrendous injuries. His jaw was broken and it was literally hanging on by the skin. He was put to sleep to end his suffering.”
A gin trap is a metal, spring-operated device designed to catch an animal by the leg or head. The setting and using of a gin trap is an offence.
RSPCA inspector Edmond said: “Gin traps are indiscriminate – catching family pets as well as wildlife – and cause terrible injuries and suffering, which is why it is illegal to use them.
“Trapped animals struggle when caught and may succeed in pulling the trap from its anchor only to die later, which is what would have happened here eventually.
“I want to hear from anyone who may have any information on the RSPCA inspector appeal line 0300 123 8018. Ask to leave a message for me.”
Anyone with information that could assist the investigation is asked to contact North Yorkshire Police on 101. Select option 2, and ask for PC Ruth Atkins or York Police. Alternatively, email email@example.com Please quote reference number 12170012374.
The RSPCA is a charity and we rely on public donations to exist. To assist our inspectors in carrying out their vital work please text HELP to 78866 to give £3 (Texts cost £3 + one standard network rate message).