EDMONTON -- A woman is urging pet owners to keep close tabs on their animals after her cat got caught in a snare in northeast Edmonton.

Sharin Engler rescued and rehabilitated a litter of feral kittens five years ago. Howard was part of that litter.

"We just fell in love with each other and I kept him," said Engler.

Howard quickly became part of Engler's family in the Bannerman neighbourhood, but she says he still had a wild side.

"He wasn't a house cat. He had a good life, he had a heat lamp and a nice home in our garage," said Engler.

When Howard didn't come home Saturday, she became worried.

"There was just no sign of him, which is so out of character. He was never gone for long. As soon as I'd call him and shake his treats he'd come running."

Sunday morning, a neighbour helped with the search and found Howard hanging from a fence next to his favourite tree.

"At first we thought his collar had gotten caught, and then we discovered it was a wire noose tied around his neck," said Engler.

They believe the wire is from a snare, set by someone in the neighbourhood.

"He had been cut loose from it, and it had about an 18-inch or so trail behind it, which got tangled in the fence when he tried to come home to safety," said Engler.

Howard didn't survive the ordeal, his claw marks are still visible on their neighbour's fence.

Animal Care and Control say officers retrieved the wire and cat for further examination, then turned the investigation over to police. However, a spokesperson from EPS tells CTV News it has not been formally asked to look into it.

"He had two collars on... Everybody knew where Howard belonged, if somebody had an issue with him they could've come and knocked on my door," said Engler.

With files from CTV News Edmonton's Amanda Anderson