August 27, 2011

By Mark LaFlamme, SunJournal.com

LEWISTON — A Minot man has been charged with setting a trap that snared a cat in the woods near Marden’s last week.

Michael Small was charged by the Maine Warden Service with trapping within a built-up portion of a city.

The Warden Service said punishment would be determined by the District Attorney’s Office. Investigators will recommend that Small pay a fine and the cost of treating the cat that was injured, said Edith Smith, director of information for the Warden Service.

An Auburn veterinarian had to amputate one of the cat’s legs in order to save it.

On Aug. 18, Animal Control Officer Wendell Strout received a call about a cat stuck in a metal leg-hold trap in the woods near Marden’s.

The trap is the type normally used to capture raccoons and foxes, Strout said. He eventually caught the cat and took it to veterinarian Stephen Kinney, who found the wound was infected, infested with maggots and gave off the stench of gangrene.

Earlier in the week, Kinney said the cat showed remarkable resilience to the trauma it had suffered. Once it has recovered, he said, it will be put up for adoption through the Greater Androscoggin Humane Society.

The condition of the cat could not be determined Saturday afternoon.

The type of trap that injured the cat should not have been set up within a half-mile of the built-up section of the city, wildlife officials said. Additionally, it was not trapping season for any animal.

Small, who owns Roak the Florist on Main Street near Marden’s, said he had set the trap in hopes of catching woodchucks that had invaded 1,000 fall chrysanthemums.

“A bad choice on my part,” Small said. “I use Have-a-Heart traps and the foothold trap placed at the woodchuck hole was a bad choice and I’m deeply sorry. I am an animal lover and was just trying to protect my living. It was an incidental catch and will never happen again.”

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