A homeowner has been fined after two small kittens found in a trap on their property in early July had to be euthanized.
The sound of faint meows caught the attention of Joe Ferenac's wife as she was on a walk in the north Edmonton neighborhood of Glengarry.
At first she dismissed the sound as a stray litter, but later she decided to take Ferenac and a neighbour back to the area.
"Once we got closer and deeper into the grass we noticed that the two cats were trapped," Ferenac said. "[It] was almost like [a trap] you would get for a bear. A snare is basically what it's called … both kittens, they must have only been a month old, had a paw each caught in the snare."
Ferenac said once they realized the situation they knocked on doors in the area looking for tools to try to pry open the trap. When that failed, he reached out to the city. Animal control officers arrived at the scene and took the cats to the city's Animal Care & Control Centre.
"It's very scary to find a trap like that in your neighborhood."
Ferenac said the trap was found in a yard with tall grass that was not fully fenced in, which could also have been a danger to kids or other neighbours as well as animals.
"I think it was planted there because the grass was so high," he said. "It wasn't maintained for a long time and I think that gave somebody the opportunity to do this."
He called the person responsible a "sick individual."
"There's better ways to trap animals, more humane ways to trap animals. To set a trap like this — it's gross. I can't believe I saw it."
Ferenac and his family moved to the area about a year ago but he says many of his neighbours have lived in the area for decades. He also said despite a number of cameras in the alley, no one seems to have caught anything.
Chrystal Coleman, a city spokesperson, confirmed the cats were humanely euthanized due to the severity of their injuries.
According to Coleman, leg traps are not permitted to be used in the city.
Coleman also confirmed that the owner of the home where the kittens were found has been issued a provincial violation ticket that carries with it a fine of $500.
Initially, Ferenac did not believe the homeowners were responsible and he still doesn't believe they laid the trap.
"They are cat owners themselves and they were feeding these little kittens, apparently they were living under their shed," he said. "So, I highly doubt they would be the ones trying to trap them."
However, Ferenac doesn't oppose the fine laid against the homeowner.
"Anything that's on your property is technically under your jurisdiction," he said. "The way I look at it, if it's on your property then you should be charged for it."