Family Grieves After Beloved Cat Put to Sleep Without Owner's Knowledge"A family's 19-year-old cat named Splat was euthanized at a vet surgery in North Hykeham, devastating the family, who was not informed of Splat's condition. Splat, who had arthritis, disappeared after going on a walk in Hartsholme Park, and the family was later informed through Facebook that Splat was lost. Local cat charity Lincoln Cat Care was contacted by concerned members of the public about Splat and found the cat to be unchipped and requiring veterinary attention. The charity took Splat to Vets Now, where she was put down due to no microchip being detected and no owners coming forward. The family was heartbroken by the decision, as Splat was not just a pet, but a member of the family.
According to the family, Splat's life was centered around their home and Hartsholme Park, which was like her extended garden. The family was surprised when Splat did not return from a walk in the park, and a Facebook post on a lost and found pets page was published by a concerned member of the public. Lincoln Cat Care was contacted about Splat by concerned individuals and found the cat to be unchipped and requiring urgent veterinary attention, leading to Splat being taken to Vets Now for treatment. Despite claims from the owners that Splat was chipped 19 years ago, no microchip was detected at the veterinary clinic, and Splat was euthanized.
The veterinary clinic maintains that their team had a duty of care towards Splat and had to make a difficult decision to prevent the cat from further suffering. As veterinary professionals, the decision to put an animal to sleep is only made after careful consideration of the animal's welfare, and it was done in the absence of any owners coming forward.
According to Nigel Williams, Chair of Trustees at Lincoln Cat Care, the charity has always promoted the use of microchipping as a reliable homing aid. Unfortunately, Splat was unchipped, and there was no establishment of identity possible. Hence the charity followed the aims of the Charity as outlined on the Declaration of Trust.
In the UK, cats are considered one of the most popular pets, with an estimated population of 10.9 million pet cats in households in 2021, according to Statista. Microchipping is a legal requirement for dogs in the UK, but it is not mandatory for cats. However, the UK government is currently considering whether to make microchipping compulsory for cats to improve the identification of lost and stolen pets.