Dog owners have been warned to stay alert after a border collie was caught in an illegal snare trap on Warwick Racecourse on Friday.
Investigations with the racecourse manager and police are ongoing, with all walkers are urged to beware in case more traps have been laid.
Horrified resident, Janet Davies said she was making her usual loop of the outdoor space when her dog, Biddy emerged from grass with a potentially lethal wire trap caught around her back leg.
The 60-year-old support worker said: “I was coming down from the woods and Biddy ran over to the brook to cool off just like she always does.
“When she came across the grass she had something round her leg, I assumed it was fishing wire, but my son went over and we realised it was a snare trap.
“I just looked in horror, the wire was in a lasso around her back leg and the more she moved the tighter it got. I had to hold her down to stop her moving. The trap was really deep into the ground, and tightening all the time.”
If Biddy had been on recall or chasing a ball, I don’t want to think what could have happened.Janet Davies
“I’ve never seen anything like it. It is sickening that these traps are out there.
“We took her to the vets and they were equally horrified, we just want to warn other people to be careful.
“If Biddy had been on recall or chasing a ball, I don’t want to think what could have happened. It is school holidays, there are children around, it doesn’t bear thinking about.”
The five-year-old border collie suffered no lasting effects thanks to the quick actions of Janet’s son, David.
The Sainsbury’s worker had met his mother after finishing a shift, and still had a box cutter in his pocket with which he was able to eventually cut the dog free.
Mrs Davies, who lives in the Forbes Estate just minutes from the racecourse, has since met with the racecourse manager and police to show where in the ground the trap was.
She was told that with one trap laid in the ground, there are likely to be more nearby.
Under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, self-locking snares which can only become tighter are illegal.
The racecourse grounds, which are regularly used by dog walkers, are managed privately, but partly owned by Warwick District Council.
After Biddy was taken to be checked over at Emscote Vets, staff put out an instant plea for awareness on Facebook which was shared hundreds of times over the weekend.
Her vet, Paula Bailey said he had not seen anything like it in 15 years treating animals.
“This could have been so much worse,” she said. “If there hadn’t been two people walking Biddy then the outcome could have been very different, she would not have been freed so easily.”
A plea from the practise read: “Luckily her owners were able to get it off her before it tightened too much and her leg is undamaged, but it might have been a very different story if she wasn’t being walked by two people.
“Please be vigilant, and look out for any more snares.”
Huw Williams, manager of Warwick Racecourse, said: “We have all been shocked and dismayed to hear of this incident and will work with our landlord and the necessary authorities to ensure that this does not happen again.”
The council said it had not been made aware of any issues with snares at the site.