Anyone searching for a missing pet should make their local vets their first port of call.
That was the message from Newtownabbey woman Helen McCrea after her 20-year-old cat, Chester, was euthanised by a local vet, four days after he went missing.
Chester went missing on Monday, July 18 from the McCrea family home near Mallusk, but it was not until, Friday, July 22 that Helen was informed that her beloved pet had been put to sleep.
Speaking to the Times, Helen said: “Chester went missing on the Monday, but we didn’t think much of it as he would usually stay with a neighbour for a couple of days at a time. It was only later in the week that we realised that he was actually missing.
“A member of the public had found Chester on the street on the Monday and believing he was a stray had taken him to a local vets practice. He had not been microchipped and was not wearing a collar as he found it to be uncomfortable.”
Helen added: “After a number of days at the vets, his condition was said to be deteriorating and the vet took the decision to put him to sleep on Thursday, July 21. It was not until the following day that we received the news that he had been euthanised.
“I would urge everyone to make vets their first port of call if your pets go missing as it is too late for us and I wouldn’t want other pet owners to go through what we are going through.”
The Times has been informed that Chester received treatment for a number of ailments at the vets. However, his condition deteriorated to the point that the vet felt he had no option other than to put him to sleep.
It’s understood it is a legal obligation for vets to euthanise animals in their care on humane grounds, if they feel it is the necessary option.