This Is All Kinds Of Wrong of the Day: The Arizona Humane Society has come under fire for euthanizing the nine-month old kitten of a recovering heroin addict who was unable to pay $400 for the animal’s surgery.
Scruffy the cat was Daniel Dockery’s “closest companion.” Dockery had raised the feline from birth.
Earlier this month, Scruffy sustained severe injuries after getting tangled in some barbed-wire fencing. The AHS demanded $400 from Dockery to treat his pet. He requested 24 hours to obtain the money by wire from his mother in Michigan, but staff members would not allow it. They even rejected his request to have his mother provide her credit card information over the phone.
They left him with one option: Sign over Scruffy’s ownership rights or the cat would go untreated.
Dockery reluctantly gave Scruffy over to the AHS after being assured the cat would receive medical aid and put in foster care. He then spent two weeks attempting to track Scruffy down at every local shelter, but to no avail.
Yesterday, Arizona Republic‘s Robert Anglen learned the heartbreaking truth: Scruffy had been euthanized.
Asked to explain its actions, AHS told Anglen the kitten was put down “not because of its wounds, but because its owner could not immediately pay for its care.”
Apparently there were only enough resources to treat two of the three ailing cats at the clinic, and Scruffy pulled out the short straw.
“Now I’ve got to think about how I failed that beautiful animal,” Dockery said. “I failed her. … That’s so wrong. There was no reason for her not to be treated.”
AHS told Anglen it would be reconsidering its policy of rejecting payment over the phone.
Despite all he’s been through, Dockery still feels taking Scruffy to the AHS was the right decision. “I don’t want to turn people away from the Humane Society,” he said. “They do do good works.”