This is a UK story. The story concerns a tabby cat who was nearly 20 years of age. He went wandering outside which is typical in the UK. Some students picked him up, they fed him and say that he looked well. They handed the old boy to a local veterinarian in New Dover Road, Canterbury.
There, a veterinarian working for an emergency animal specialist company called Vets Now, put down (euthanised or better still in this instance, killed) the old cat.
They justified the killing by saying that he was not microchipped and looked in a poor way. They say he drank a lot of water (hint at kidney disease) and ate very little. They say that his breathing deteriorated the day after he was placed at the veterinarian’s clinic. And they say that he appeared to be distressed. They assessed him as “benefiting from euthanasia”.
However, the cat’s owner said that he was not in poor condition. They say he looked old and therefore was a bit thin but there was no need to euthanise him. His owner says that they do not accept he had a breathing problem or loss of appetite. They’re surprised that all these problems developed over a matter of days after he went wandering.
As mentioned above, the students confirmed that he had a good appetite and was fine. The only reason they took him to the vet was because they did not know what else to do.
The reason in my view why the cat, whose name was Tom, was euthanised is because:
- He was not microchipped. That alone would have saved his life.
- He was old and therefore was thin. This is typical of elderly cats. It does not mean that they are ill or ready for euthanasia. But old cats look unhealthy sometimes for various reasons, one of which is thinness and a poor coat.
- He went wandering which is typical in the UK. This can be dangerous.
- The veterinarian made a bad, hasty decision. He should have waited for things to develop. Sometimes developments take place which clear up the matter allowing the owners to be reunited with their cat. Owners often telephone local vets in searching for their cat.
Tom’s owner Ms Emma Rush said that when they went to pick him up, they were told he had been euthanised. She found her cat in the freezer, curled up. A combination of events caused his unnecessary death.