This is the heartbreaking story of a 10-year-old girl saying goodbye to her cat. Since the photo hit social media a few days ago, those on both sides of the issue of the cat being euthanized have made the photo go viral.
Here is some information from both sides, in hopes you can decide whether this vet had the legal right to euthanize the cat.
The family of the cat
Julie Neeson, the owner of the 15-year-old cat, posted on the Facebook: Pets at Home page on March 3
“This is my 10-year-old daughter saying her final Goodbyes to a cat which has been our family for 15 years – After letting him out on Sunday a neighbor decided to take him in overnight.. Myself and my daughters were up to 2am calling him,The next morning we looked for him again unbeknown to us that she still had him?! At 5.10pm yesterday the neighbor took him to the ” PETS AT HOME VETS IN NEWTOWNABBEY ” & presented him as a stray by 5.30pm the Vet had made the decision to euthanize him!! They said that they felt that he was a young cat that was unwell… No blood tests or tests where performed what so ever!!”
A statement made by Vets4Pets Newtownabbey states
“To all the people commenting, I wanted to assure you that this poor cat was suffering from chronic renal failure and had been for some time. The cat was presented to us as a stray by a concerned member of the public who felt sorry for him and took it upon herself to bring him to the vets.
She firstly asked us to check for a microchip. None were detected and he didn’t have any other means of identification. She then asked for him to be examined by a vet.
I have 12 years of experience as a vet and was able to diagnose and recognise the severity of the cat’s condition as a result of a thorough, clinical examination.
The cat was very thin and had lost an awful lot of weight. He was very dehydrated, had very smelly uraemic breath (and no tartar or oral disease to be anything else). I examined his abdomen and his left kidney was grossly enlarged. I could also feel a knobbly irregular indented surface which indicates renal infarction and major internal damage in the kidney. We discussed blood tests, but I subsequently advised that the poor cat was too far gone and that putting him to sleep was the kindest option. He was given an injection and drifted slowly off to sleep while being stroked by the young lady and the vet.”
The statement is signed by Arthur at Vets4Pets Newtownabbey, and goes on to add he’s a great animal lover, and pet parent to four rescue cats at home. He expresses his sympathy to the cat’s family, and apologizes for euthanizing their cat without a family member present.
Questions raised on both sides of the tragedy
The story is tragic on many levels. Questions are being raised, such as
*Why weren’t blood tests performed to verify renal failure?
*Why was it necessary to euthanize the cat so quickly?
*Since the person taking in the cat said the cat was a stray, why not hold the cat overnight in case an owner came forward?
*How did the neighbor not know this cat had a home?
*Was the cat really that ill, when other neighbors had seen the cat outside the day before and it was playing
*Why was a 15-year-old cat outside?
*If the cat was in such poor health, why did the family not know this or seek veterinary treatment?
In a recent case, Gisele Paris took a Siberian Husky named Thor from his own yard on Thanksgiving Day, 2013, and had him euthanized. Thor’s owner, Mark Boehler, was heartbroken. Paris was found guilty back in December of unlawfully taking, receiving stolen property and animal cruelty after having Thor euthanized in February 2014.
The cases are similar, if not identical. Those who have read this most recent story of someone besides the legal owner having an animal euthanized are torn over whom to believe and what was the proper thing to do.
Not saying this will ever turn into a legal battle, but should this vet have euthanized on the word of a stranger that the cat was a stray? This is a very sad story, that could unfortunately happen to anyone who allows their cat outdoors unsupervised.
Your comments are welcome.