A GRAVE blunder by street cleaners has led to a dead cat being cremated before the owner had a chance to say goodbye.
Sharon Singh, of Orchard Avenue, Bedfont, was distraught when she was informed by a neighbour her beloved rescue cat, called Dog, had been killed in an accident on March 3.
The 30-year-old discovered the news two days later, and desperately tried to get hold of someone at the council to reclaim her pet so he could be given a proper burial.
After numerous phone calls, a council employee admitted two-year-old Dog had mistakenly been put in a truckload of dead cats and taken to the incinerator, in under four hours.
The supervisor apologised and said procedures would be checked.
Miss Singh, who named the cat after his dog-like personality when she adopted him at two weeks old, said: “I kept being advised someone will contact me. I finally received a call back at 4pm. It explained Dog should have been scanned for his microchip and kept for two days while the owner is notified, but ‘procedures had not been followed’.
“I had paid for him to be microchipped to prevent an incident like this happening because he was dearly loved. The manner in which my pet was disposed of is something I am greatly suffering with.”
The family requested for the conversation in writing and chased Hounslow Council for nearly three weeks. Finally a letter arrived accepting all liability some 38 days later.
A formal complaint has been lodged against the council and Miss Singh added: “I am in utter shock at the manner in which the council have dealt with this incident. Losing a pet is traumatic enough without being treated so coldly and cruelly by the council.”
A council spokesman said: “We would like to apologise un-reservedly for the obvious distress caused to Mrs Singh.”
He added that highways staff procedures with deceased pets are now being ‘tightened.