This could happen to humans if Kevorkian gets his way

The South Waikato SPCA has distressed a family by euthanising their pet cat without their permission due to their standard eight-day holding period. Imagine if the same administrative rules were in place for the euthanasia of human beings.

It sounds like a joke but once we allow euthanasia of the terminally ill, the sick and the old there will be rules and regulations just like the SPCA have and whenever you have rules and regulations mistakes can and will happen. In this case, I don’t think that the SPCA consider the death of the family cat to be a mistake as they followed their rules and regulations to the letter.

A Tokoroa woman is calling for policy changes at the South Waikato SPCA after it euthanised her family’s beloved pet cat.

Tokoroa mother Tina Hitchens became worried after her family’s two-year-old black and white manx-cross cat Lestat hadn’t return home for a week.

She’d made calls to local vets to see if Lestat, who had a distinct stump tail due to his breeding, had been brought in injured but no one had seen him.

[…] Hitchens, who lives in a built up area of Tokoroa, said the last thing she thought was that the affectionate cat would have been picked up as a stray.

“Friends were keeping an eye on Facebook buy sell pages because they all knew he was missing and then the New Zealand Lost Pet Register shared the South Waikato SPCA’s post of him being held as a stray hold,” she said.

“My mum saw it and instantly sent it to me. At that stage I was so elated I had found him.”

But elation soon turned to shock and anger. She discovered the SPCA had euthanised Lestat when no one came forward to claim him after its standard eight day holding period was up.

Their vet had discovered he had a kidney problem which meant he couldn’t be rehomed.

“I kind of lost it. I’d finally found my cat but I was too late,” she said.

She said she was told Lestat had been caught in a cat trap while the SPCA was trying to catch a white feral cat in her area and a veterinary check up discovered the kidney issue.

Hitchens said while she could understand a sick stray being euthanised, Lestat shouldn’t have been caught in the first place.

“Because he did not match the description of the cat they were trying to trap I asked why he hadn’t been allowed out of the trap,” she said.

“The manager said it was not the SPCA’s policy after they had issues with releasing another cat so now they don’t let any cats go but he was caught in a residential area, obviously they are going to catch neighbourhood cats?

There was no way you could mistake him for being a stray either as on the outside he was a perfectly happy, healthy, and playful cat. I am furious that they could take someone’s pet like this.”

So did the cat have a collar? I would be very surprised if a cat with a collar was mistaken for a stray.

Hitchens said the SPCA needs to change its policy to prevent further heartache.

“Why didn’t they paper collar him? He would have come home and I could have rung to say he was not a stray but now it’s too late,” she said.

SPCA chief executive Andrea Midgen said she felt for the family […]

“The cat was not trapped by the SPCA but rather by a member of public who had seen the cat wandering around alone for three weeks,” she said.

“The South Waikato SPCA then followed our standard processes for all incoming animals. Unfortunately, after eight days, there was no response.

“Due to [his] illness and its poor prognosis, the veterinarian recommended that euthanasia was the best option for this cat.”

Midgen encouraged pet owners to try a variety of methods if their pets go missing, including contacting the SPCA.

Hitchens has laid a formal complaint and is waiting for the results of the SPCA’s investigation into the incident.

Imagine if a parent who has dementia goes wandering and gets lost just like this families cat. Now imagine a set of rules and regulations that mean that if you don’t locate your lost parent in time you may rock up to the hospital where they have been held for the allocated period just in time to discover that they have been euthanised because they had no identification on them and no one claimed them. Science fiction or a possible future if we go down the Euthanasia route? What do you think?

 

– Stuff


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