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Tonawanda man's cat injured by jaw-style animal trap

Joshua Mueller says he understands there's a problem with rats near Niagara Falls Boulevard in the Town of Tonawanda.

But that doesn't mean it's OK for someone to set the jaw-style, leg iron trap that his cat came home with on his foot, Mueller told the Town of Tonawanda Town Board on Monday night.

His cat suffered a "dislocated digit" and he spent $600 on veterinarian costs, Mueller complained as he showed the Town Board the trap.

"I don't even think that is legal," said Councilman John A. Bargnesi Jr. "That's not a small animal trap."

Mueller agreed and said he had contacted the Department of Environmental Conservation after he was unable to get help from the town police department.

"Someone in my neighborhood is trapping animals," said Mueller. "I want to figure out what we can do."

The news could have been much worse if a child had happened on the trap, said Mueller. He added, "I have a 3-year-old and a daughter on the way ... Obviously I don't want this to happen to anyone else."

Joshua Mueller's cat injured its leg in this animal trap left by an unknown person in the Town of Tonawanda. (Photo provided by Joshua Mueller)

Mueller said he was not sure where the trap came from, but said the DEC traced the trap to a man from Depew, who said he had sold all of his trapping equipment.

After the meeting, Bargnesi said a child or even an adult could have been harmed by the trap. He said he had never seen a trap like that in the town. He told Mueller the town's animal control officer will be asked to follow up on the case.

"We started our (covered) garbage totes program 12 years ago because of the rodents," Bargnesi noted after the meeting.

During the meeting the Town Board amended its local law on totes to include covered recycling totes.

The town had been using crate-style orange totes for recycling and will spend $1.6 million to purchase covered recycling totes, which will be collected every other week. There will be no cost to residents for the totes. The town is seeking a grant to cover about half of the costs of the 30,000 recycling totes.

The board debated the size of recycling totes to purchase, but agreed to buy mostly 65-gallon totes. Those are similar in size to the new totes the Village of Kenmore will hand out to residents at the end of this month, and to what is used in the City of Tonawanda, which already has a covered recycling totes program in place. Town of Tonawanda residents who want larger 95-gallon totes will be able to request them.

The new recycling totes are expected to be delivered to residences at the end of the summer or the beginning of fall, according to the Town Board.

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