A Berk’s County animal shelter has apologized to the owner of a pet cat after the animal was euthanized despite having a mircrochip to help identify him. Cody Lesher, of Fleetwood, Pennsylvania is trying to deal with his beloved cat, Diddy’s untimely death.
According to NbcNews, Lesher and his girlfriend had adopted Diddy who had escaped from home on Sunday. It so happened that Diddy had managed to run away in the past, but always came home. Lesher had a microchip which would give his name and address should the cat get lost. When a neighbor found Diddy and brought him to the Animal Rescue League of Berks County, it should have been a simple task to scan the back of Diddy’s neck to find the microchip.
Two staff members at the shelter stated they did not find a microchip after scanning him and as protocol demands, gave the cat his vaccinations and housed him in the cat section of the shelter. Executive director, Tom Hubric said they checked all the logs with lost cats as well as checking social media for clues to Diddy’s identity and his owner. And then the story gets a bit more complicated when Hubric said the cat became aggressive, and because of the overcrowding of cats, insufficient staff and not able to find any other shelters to take the cat, it was decided to end Diddy’s life.
On Tuesday, Cody arrived at the shelter to look for his cat and was shocked to find out Diddy had been euthanized. The following explanation was given by Hubric about Diddy’s microchip:
“When the owner informed us that the cat was originally adopted by us and it was microchipped, we did a third scan of the cat and found that the chip had migrated high up on his neck, likely close to the base of his skull and the two previous scans did not identify the microchip.”
The shelter has agreed to change their policies and will now increase their holding periods for found pets, better educate the staff about scanning for microchips and hold a town meeting for citizens to voice their concerns. Of course, none of this will bring Diddy back, but perhaps the next life hanging on the brink of death because he/she is a stray, will be reunited with the family.
Rest in peace Diddy.
(Photo of cat Diddy courtesy of Cody Lester)
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