Illegal animal traps kill at least two pets - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Illegal animal traps kill at least two pets

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Neighbors are outraged, after illegal and deadly animal traps are discovered in San Diego.

On Monday, National City police said steel-leg hold traps are accidents waiting to happen, and they've already trapped pets and could easily trap a child.

One woman has been traumatized. On her way to church, she said she found her cat hanging from her fence caught in a steel-leg hold trap.

Another woman said she found one in her backyard, and now police are investigating to find who would trap pets and why.

Nicole Bagu took an image of a cat caught in a steel-leg hold trap in her backyard in East National City, above the canyon under some brush near Manchester and Ethel Place.

"It felt more personal because it was on my private property," said Bagu.

Bagu said she does not know why she would be a target, but she has found more traps buried in the brush.

"The danger of leaving that out there is irresponsible," she said.

Another woman said she also found a trapped cat dangling from her chain link fence on East 4th Street and Kenton.

"Never, ever, ever, you do not hurt animals of any kind," said Mary Despirito.

Despirito believes someone is trying to kill her neighborhood cats.

"It was set on purpose," she said.

National City Animal Regulations were called because under California trapping laws, it is illegal to use these traps for fur animals. That includes dogs and cats.

"Both had paws caught in the trap," said Officer Jane Gordon with National City Animal Regulations.

Officer Gordon said she believes the cats were trying to get help. Last year, according to Officer Gordon, a coyote was reported dragging a trap in the same neighborhood where the cat were found.

"I get a lot of complaints of coyotes in these particular neighborhoods where both of these cats were caught," said Despirito.

According to Officer Gordon, with the canyon and open space, it may not be intentional.

With kids playing in the fields, police and homeowners worry a child could be next.

Animal control hopes to catch the culprit, or it scares them in their tracks and they stop.

Animal Regulations said one of the cats found ran off when released from the trap. The other had to be put down because of the complications.

Fish and Wildlife laws state that if found trapping illegally, individuals face up to a $2,000 fine, and a year in jail.

Anyone with information is asked to call National City Animal Control at 619-336-4478.

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