Young cat loses limb in leghold trap 

Bigfoot lost a limb in a leghold trap meant for wildlife. The six-month-old tabby cat was caught in Los Alamos, and it’s not known long he suffered in the trap. When he was surrendered to Española Humane for help, his foot had swelled to twice the normal size and his leg had lost all blood supply; Bigfoot needed an immediate amputation surgery in the Española shelter’s clinic.

Despite the pain and trauma Bigfoot endured, he charmed the shelter’s staff with his near-constant purring and head boops, meowing to everyone with what seemed like gratitude. He charmed his way into his adopter’s heart too. Marty Moreland of Chimayó had scheduled an appointment to meet several other adoptable cats at the shelter, but when he arrived, he was immediately drawn to Bigfoot – but didn’t realize his leg had been amputated.

“He was laying down, so his missing leg was covered. When the staff told me his leg had just been amputated after being caught in a leghold trap, I thought to myself ‘he is the one.’ I mean how many people actually think, ‘hey I want a three-legged cat,’ you know? Giving this sweet boy a second chance at a loving home is what I want to do. And I’m so happy with this little guy in my life.”

Bigfoot doesn’t mind his missing leg and is adapting quickly to life as a tripod, revealing how pets possess a resilience of spirit and generosity of heart despite the greatest of wounds. “When we walked through the door, he knew he was finally home.”

Roxy’s Law, also known as the Wildlife Conservation & Public Safety Act, bans the use of traps (including leghold, body-gripping, and cage traps), snares, and poisons on public lands in New Mexico. It was signed into law last month by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.

Published in the Santa Fe New Mexican, May 13, 2021