Beth Davies and her daughter Kez were distraught to discover that their cat, a ginger tabby, had been killed on the road and the local authority waste disposal service had picked him up and thrown him onto the back of a lorry and taken him to a landfill site where he was dumped like a piece of trash.
Of course, like most other cat owners they wanted their cat to be cremated once they had learned that he had been killed on the road through Facebook. Initially the council were not forthcoming as to what had happened but eventually after about a week they discovered that the waste disposal services had disposed of their cat. The council apologetic because procedures are in place which include scanning a cat killed on the road to see if there is a microchip and therefore an identifiable owner. Clearly, the procedure had not been followed.
It would seem that this sort of problem occurs across the United Kingdom to varying degrees. Some councils are probably better than others. But about a quarter million cats are killed on the road every year and their owners don’t always find them. I don’t know how often owners find their dead cat but I suspect it is not that often. I wonder in fact whether some owners even bother to go searching. It depends upon, of course, the quality of the owner.
A lady, Mandy Lowe, is the co-founder of a campaign to get councils to ensure that cats killed on the road are reunited with their owners.
In other words, all councils should have a duty to scan dead pets. She says that councils come along and simply collect dead cats as if they are rubbish to be disposed of with general waste.
Mandy had the same problem as Beth, her cat was killed on the road and although he was microchip he ended up being dumped in a landfill site.
Apparently, there is no national UK policy on how to deal with roadkill with respect to ensuring that the cat is returned to his/her owner. Owners sometimes search for months because they want closure. I know what it is like because I lost my cat for six days and I had to convince myself that he had been killed because that was the only way I could deal with it emotionally. It is not knowing what has happened which is painful emotionally and very hard to deal with on a day-to-day basis.
The well-known charity, Cats Protection, state that they would like councils to always scan cat accident victims to inform the owner but they are aware that councils are under work pressures and therefore the demands on their resources and budgets sometimes gets in the way of doing the right thing for cat owners and their tragically deceased cats.
To return to Beth Davies: Wigan Council admitted that they had made a mistake and that their staff had not followed procedures. They therefore offered her a £100 donation to any animal charity in memory of their dearly departed cat, whose name by the way was Kelloggs.
I would be interested to know what happens in America in the circumstances. One last point: As ME King says in a comment, Beth Davies was at fault too. She let her cat roam outside and it was obviously near a road. Is this good cat guardianship?