A tragic mix-up occurred recently when a woman sent her cat to the vet for a simple flea bath, and the animal was mistakenly euthanized.
Colleen Conlon, a Massachusetts woman, filed a complaint against the Broadway Animal Hospital after dropping off her 8-year-old cat Lady to the vet for a simple flea bath, only to find later that her beloved pet had been put down. Claiming negligence, Conlon shared her story with the Worcester Telegram & Gazette News in order to prevent other pets from being harmed.
Dr. Muhammad Malik advised Conlon to have Lady bathed to combat the fleas affecting the family’s sensitive dog. Conlon’s 24-year-old son Jesse dropped Lady off at the hospital 15 minutes after she called to confirm the appointment and the price, reports Newser. Jesse returned home to retrieve the family’s other cat, Little Bit, who was also to be bathed Monday.
“They had him fill out some paperwork; he said they were like index cards which had basic pet information,” Ms. Conlon said. “He filled it out and signed it and he left to go get Little Bit.”
When Jesse returned with Little Bit, he asked if Lady was ready to be taken home. The vet then asked “You want the bodies?” surprising the young man.
“At first he thought it was some cruel joke,” Conlon said, until the vet told him that he’d signed papers for euthanasia.
Her son took Little Bit home, delivering the sad news. Conlon said that she couldn’t bear to return for Lady’s body.
“I don’t think there was any malicious intent, but I do think it was negligent,” Ms. Conlon said. “I’m sure there are standards of practice they have to follow.”
Ms. Conlon filed a complaint with the attorney general’s office and plans to talk with the State Board of Registration. She is urging pet owners to double-check any paperwork they are required to sign.
“She was a beautiful cat and perfectly healthy,” she said. “She was the one who would know when I was sad and would climb in my lap.”