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Family cat put to sleep by mistake
                                                               
02-Sep-2000
 

THE RSPCA put a family cat to sleep by mistake – then asked for a donation to the charity.

Vets put the cat to sleep thinking he was a stray. But its loving owners had been phoning all week to see if their pet moggie had been handed in.

Distraught Maggie and Roger Curtis searched high and low when their little cat Corky went missing.

They asked neighbours to check sheds and outbuildings and asked children playing in the field close to their home in Tippetts Road, Kingswood, if they had spotted the tabby. But when they could not find him they rang the RSPCA centre in Albert Road, St Philip’s.

They gave a full description of the 14-year-old cat to staff at the centre, who assured the family that if he turned up he would be returned to them.

When he still did not return home, they phoned again and again. The next time they phoned staff at the centre said the cat had been with them all week. The family jumped for joy – then almost burst into tears when staff told them he had been put to sleep just hours earlier. Corky had been bought to the centre by the parents of some youngsters who had found him and thought he was ill.

The Curtis’ daughter Amy said: “We were all devastated. The RSPCA are supposed to look after animals.

“They said the mix-up was my dad’s fault because he hadn’t told them the exact day Corky had gone missing. They sent us a snotty letter.

“We all loved Corky. He was one of the family. All the children around here knew him. He was an old but very friendly cat, he used to walk up to the park and the children would all smooth him.”

Days later Amy, who already donates 5 a month to the RSPCA, received a letter from them asking for another donation.

She said: “We are all animal lovers. But they’ve really made me angry.”

RSPCA spokeswoman Janet Kipling said: “Corky was bought in on March 22, but Mr Curtis said he had not gone missing until March 23.

“When we checked our records we only went back as far as the date he had given us.”

She said: “We are extremely sympathetic for the distress they have gone through, however it does highlight the need to put identification on your cat.”