This is a hellish and British cat story. It is an important story and it is a long and complicated one. I cannot recite the entirety of the story because it is too complicated and too involved but I can summarise the most important points (in my opinion) in order to satisfy internet readers who like things to be short and concise.
Important note: the details set out here come from the statement of Julie Nadian, which is one side of the story. Anyone can leave a comment to rectify any perceived errors that I they believe I have made.
The story concerns three cats: Ziggy, Tuppence, and William and their owner: Julie Nadian. They live in Hull. My understanding is that Julie is autistic, in her late 40s and a caring, responsible and thoughtful cat caretaker who knows her cats well and has more than an average knowledge of cat caretaking.
Her 3 cats were originally strays. Accordingly, in taking them in and caring for them she had, in that single step, improved their lives.
Julie lives on a very tight budget and therefore was unable at the outset to take her cats to a veterinarian who would charge her. As a result, she took her cat, Ziggy, to a very well established and respected cat charity called the PDSA (The People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals). The PDSA provided 2.3 million treatments to pets in 2014. They must have a lot of veterinarians working for them.
The veterinarian who saw Ziggy appears to me to have been highly unreasonable. Julie took Ziggy to the PDSA because he was unsteady on his feet and was having trouble finding his food bowl. I am told by Julie that the PDSA vet said that he was blind and that because he was blind he could not have a decent quality of life and should therefore be euthanised. That was her shocking recommendation. It was the first in a long line of recommendations, assessments and diagnoses about Julie’s cats from various people in authority about which Julie disagreed.
Julie disagreed with the PDSA veterinarian that advised that Ziggy should be euthanised. Julie was correct and the veterinarian was incorrect because any reasonably knowledgeable cat caretaker understands that a blind cat can have a very good quality of life in the right home because they are highly adaptable and can behave almost as if they have sight.
Because the veterinarian made such an unreasonable recommendation Julie had to reject it. Any decent cat owner would do the same thing. Julie took her cat to another veterinarian. I won’t describe the detailed events that took place but she found herself returning to the PDSA for treatment to Ziggy.
The PDSA had learnt that Julie had taken Ziggy to another veterinarian. They were upset by that. They shouldn’t have been. It was unprofessional to be upset by a cat owner seeking a second opinion. That was another example of unreasonableness.
During the journey to the PDSA with Ziggy, Ziggy urinated and defecated in his carrier. This is absolutely normal and fairly commonplace because as we all know cats are nervous about being in carriers and travelling and going to the veterinarian. In any case, Julie decided to clean him up when she got to the PDSA. A person that Julie believed to be a veterinarian allegedly told her that Ziggy was incontinent. The vet had made this diagnosis because of the state of Ziggy’s paws. They had become messy because he was sitting in his urine and feces.
This was the second misdiagnosis and another example of unreasonable behaviour because the person who made the diagnosis of incontinence – presumed to be a veterinarian – refused to listen to the owner of the cat which a professional should do and if necessary be flexible enough to change his or her mind. Once again, Julie rejected this incorrect diagnosis (she had to), which exacerbated the already stressed relationship between herself and the PDSA.
The PDSA threatened to call in the RSPCA (The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals). This was a very serious threat. The RSPCA have the right to criminally prosecute people who in their opinion do not care for animals to the standard required by the law, namely, the Animal Welfare Act 2006. In threatening to call in the RSPCA this was an implied threat to criminalise Julie’s behaviour in reasonably rejecting the misdiagnoses and unreasonable requests and advice of the PDSA staff.
From that moment on a chain reaction of events followed in which the RSPCA was involved who in turn called in the police who it is alleged trespassed on Julie’s property to take here cats from her. The authorities, the PDSA in league with the RSPCA and the police have branded this cat owner a substandard cat caretaker and someone incapable of caring for her cats.
In the event, Julie was prosecuted in the criminal courts under several headings one of which was failing to take the advice of her veterinarian to put down her cat, Ziggy, which it is was claimed (in the charge) had caused the cat unnecessary suffering which is a crime under the Animal Welfare Act 2006. There were other charges, which through a lack of space and time, I won’t go over here.
I find the prosecution of Julie to be shocking. It was clearly wrong and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) decided that the charges against her in respect of Ziggy should be dropped due to insufficient evidence. This essentially means that it was decided that it was impossible to successfully prosecute her, which actually is commonsense because the vet was wrong! The other charges were dropped too except for one. The case is live in respect of this charge.
The behaviour of the RSPCA and the police in this matter begs the question as to whether a cat owner in the British Isles is acting in a criminal manner when he or she disagrees with their veterinarian on the issue of euthanising a cat in her care! This is the crazy conclusion that one must draw from this unfortunate case, which exposes the case for what it is; a nonsense.
This was a case of a veterinary clinic making allegedly poor judgements and then becoming vindictive enough to call in people, the RSPCA, who could prosecute the client because she had an opinion and disagreed. As it happens the RSPCA compounded the injustice because they are out to seek prosecutions against people as a means to publicise their organisation and in the misguided belief that in doing so they will prevent animal abuse.