Hi everyone, today is Phoebe’s day to post, but she is allowing me to steal her day ( for the price of many, many treats). I hate reading sad stories about cats and I am going to warn you that this will probably make you cry. I was asked to share this story in the hopes that this will never happen again. I am also in contact with a state representative to work on legislation to prevent this from happening as well.
My friend’s daughter, actually she is also my friend. I will just call her M for this post. M had a very sweet older grey cat named Reggie. He was friendly with everyone and great with her 11-year-old son and her 1-year-old daughter. Reggie was an indoor only cat, but like many cats, he was tempted by the sights and smells of the outdoors. One day, a few weeks ago, he escaped through the front door as M was carrying the baby and all her equipment inside. He had done this a few times before and came right to her when he was called so she set the baby down and went back out for him. This time, he was not in sight and didn’t come when called.
An older neighbor in the same complex ( a row of 12 townhouses) has 3 grey cats. Her cats are indoor/outdoor and she also has a dog. At some point in the short time M was in her apartment, this woman grabbed Reggie and brought him into her apartment thinking it was one of her cats. Reggie was afraid of dogs and acted aggressively toward the dog. The lady panicked and thought one of her cats was rabid ( I know, you are probably thinking all the thoughts I was when I heard this story -how do you mistake someone’s cat for your own? and rabies is so uncommon in cats ? Hers all had their vaccines so why think he had it? )
She called the vet hospital and they told her that her cats were up-to-date on their shots. She claimed they all look alike and maybe she brought one in twice and had missed one. She brought Reggie in and insisted he be euthanized. They tried to convince her to let them hold him for a quarantine, but she wanted him euthanized. Then she gets home and discovers all 3 cats are there. She called the vet and told them so they checked for a microchip and discovered it was M’s cat. Needless to say M was heartbroken as well as her son. He wouldn’t even stay in the apartment for days and would pet a blanket pretending it was Reggie.
M has asked me to share this story so nothing like this ever happens again. I contacted a state representative and he was more than cooperative to work on a law that all cats and dogs being euthanized have a mandatory microchip scan. I was at the vet’s today so I asked what the cost of a microchip scanner was as part of my research. This led to a discussion with more to think about for this law.
One question was, if you are a grieving owner and bring your pet in for euthanization- are you going to be mad that they want to scan for a microchip? I would not be mad if I was told it was a law to protect animals.
One of the vets also pointed out that the rabies law needs to be changed so is not a first option. Quarantine should be required, but then some hospitals don’t have the space to quarantine and some owners would not be willing to pay for boarding. This also led to a conversation about the lack of rights pets have, they are only considered property and basically have no real rights. I wish I could change all that, but for now, I want to work on the microchip scan and the rabies law.
Until there are laws in place, I highly recommend a collar with a name tag on all pets. I am planning to do this, although where I live, I would be more concerned with coyotes than a neighbor. Do you think there should be a law to scan microchips before euthanasia?
I took this photo of Reggie at the 1 year old’s birthday party at the end of January. He loved people and was visiting with all the guests.