This tabby cat fell through the cracks in the procedures governing animal control services in Newfoundland, Canada. There are lessons to be learned.
Megan LeRoux let her five-year-old tabby cat, George, roam outside. Megan was feeling unwell and confined to her home. She heard from a friend that a cat had been killed on the road. Megan did not think it was her cat.
George failed to turn up for a few days so she became concerned that the cat killed on the road was George. She inquired at the town hall and learned that the cat had been disposed of at the local landfill site where the huge amount of rubbish is compacted.
It transpired that George had been chucked onto the landfill site. Megan dreams of George and it hurts her to realise he is buried amongst piles of household rubbish. It is particularly tough for her because George wore an ID tag. He could and should have been returned to her. It is impossible now to recover him.
Normal procedures were not followed. When cats are killed on the road Animal Control are informed who check the ID of the cat and where one exists the cat is returned to the owner when possible.
In this case, a resident had taken George from the road and placed his body in a plastic bag. George had been badly injured and there was lots of blood.
The Animal Control officer could not respond initially but when he turned up to collect George’s body he did not check for an ID tag because of ‘health issues’. He needed to wear protective clothing which he did not have at the time. The person who had bagged up George did not mention to Animal Control that the cat was identified.
So, Animal Control did not properly check George for a form of identification and it seems carelessly decided to throw him away on landfill.
The better course of action would have been for either (1) the Animal Control officer to have asked the resident to confirm that the cat had an ID tag and ask him/her to check or (2) get his health and safety clothes and check himself (3) or take George to a vet to scan for a microchip or find the tag.
It must be very distressing for Megan. Emotionally she’ll have a difficult time dealing with it (if she is the caring type). Although George was killed on a busy road and Megan must have known that he was at risk. I am afraid she contributed to his death. That may hurt her too.
Multiple human error caused this unfortunate outcome.
Source: The Telegraph. The photo is by Megan LeRoux I believe.
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