COVINA, Calif. (AP) — A kitten caught in a rusty steel-jawed trap has a pair of Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies to thank this holiday season after they followed the feline’s anguished cries to a suburban backyard and set it free.

Deputies Jorge Romero and Jose Mora arrived at a Covina home Thanksgiving morning after a woman reported a cat being abused.

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They followed the kitten’s wailing to a home where they knocked on the door.

When nobody answered they climbed a fence and found the animal with a badly injured paw caught in the trap.

After releasing the cat they stayed to comfort it until animal control officers arrived.

Sheriff’s Deputy Juanita Navarro-Suarez said Friday the trap was placed by a koi pond, apparently to protect fish.

Deputies are investigating whether that’s legal.

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