Categories: negligence

Veterinarian accidentally euthanized Bengal cat and asked owner what urn she’d like

A veterinary clinic in South Australia accidentally euthanized a purebred, AU$1,500 Bengal cat registered with the veterinary clinic, micro-chipped and registered on a national database. The owner couldn’t have done much more to establish that the cat was domesticated, socialised and belonged to her. She had ticked the boxes but unfortunately her cat escaped from her home and had been missing for a fortnight. Her Bengal cat was captured by an officer by which I presume a person employed by the local authority.

Tyga was euthanized accidentally and carelessly. Photo: Facebook.

The cat was taken to the veterinary clinic where he had been a regular patient. The clinic knew this particular purebred cat as they had treated him during the summer after he was bitten by a snake. At the time the staff said that they loved Tyga. The clinic failed to contact the owner, Ms Boyd.

“The vet said…they saw the post on Facebook [lost cat post on FB] again yesterday and thought they’d better let us know they had him there…” – Ms Boyd

The veterinary clinic has not explained why they accidentally euthanized Tyga. The local authority have washed their hands of the matter. The veterinary clinic asked the cat’s owner, Ms Boyd, whether she would like the ashes in an urn but have refused to pay compensation despite her demands that they pay full compensation of AU$1500. This, as I understand it, represents value of the cat plus veterinary bills.

Ms Boyd, as I understand it, believes that the veterinarian decided that her cat was feral and wild perhaps because he was in a cage and noisy and agitated. I don’t know but they appear to have made a snap decision and that decision may have been partly fed by an attitude in Australia which is hostile to feral cats and about which I have written on many occasions.

Bengal cats are tabby cats and they could be mistaken for a feral cat as feral cats are wild cats and Bengal cats are wildcat hybrids. Nonetheless, the clinic knew this cat, he was microchipped and registered with the clinic and therefore there can be no excuse for euthanizing him.

Comment: the clinic must pay full compensation and if they don’t I would advise the lady to sue them in the Small Claims Court under negligence as soon as possible. She should surely win unless the clinic can pull something out of the bag as a defence which at present I cannot see happening based on what I have read online.

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Michael Broad

Hi, I am 70-years-of-age at 2019. For 14 years before I retired at 57, I worked as a solicitor in general law specialising in family law. Before that I worked in a number of different jobs including professional photography. I have a longstanding girlfriend, Michelle. We like to walk in Richmond Park which is near my home because I love nature and the landscape (as well as cats and all animals).

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