A woman with dementia was left ‘heartbroken’ and ‘spiralling downwards’ after a veterinary centre lost her ‘wonderful’ cat who helps to stabilise her condition.
Rase Vets, in Gallamore Lane Industrial Estate, Market Rasen, has apologised after Purdy the cat escaped from her basket while staff transferred her to a vehicle to go back to the Spilsby branch.
Remarkably, Purdy was discovered on the same industrial estate four days later after Paula Cadman launched a desperate search for her mother’s pet.
Ms Cadman said: “My mother suffers with dementia following the loss of my father and Purdy is beyond doubt the most important thing in her life.
“She has, over the past three years become an incredibly wonderful, loyal friend and companion to my mum and in many ways she displays almost dog-like devotion to her.
“It is difficult to adequately describe the unique bond that Purdy and my mum have but this is a cat who appears to gravitate towards the elderly with memory problems and her presence has had a profoundly positive effect in stabilising my mother’s condition.
“That the two have been separated is heartbreaking.”
Ms Cadman made the 80-mile round trip from her home in Boston every day during the four days Purdy was missing - and spent hours looking for the cat and calling her name.
She eventually found Purdy at 10pm on Thursday evening (June 7), but it took another four hours to get close enough to rescue her.
Ms Cadman said: “I still can’t believe I actually got her back.
“She (mum) was spiralling downwards, the pressure to find the cat was immense.
“I don’t think I’ll ever want to go back to Market Rasen again.”
A spokesman for Rase Vets said: “Firstly we would like to apologise for any distress and heartache experienced as a result of Purdy’s disappearance.
“We can not even begin to imagine how worried Mrs Cadman must have been.
“We have been taking the matter incredibly seriously, and a full investigation as to how this happened has taken place.
“Mrs Cadman advised the member of staff on admittance of the animal that the cat basket she had provided for travelling was not very safe and additional measures should be taken to ensure that the cat was confined adequately.”
Continued from page 1.
A Rase Vets spokesman continued: “We are extremely sorry about the cat making a determined escape from her basket.
“In the eyes of the nurse, the cat was correctly secured with additional ties, however, it was decided that if there was any question of the cat escaping the protocol was to place it in a surgery basket for its own safety.
“And this protocol was not followed.
“We have internal policies in place to ensure this doesn’t happen including a specially adapted pet ambulance with detachable carriers that ensure the safe movement of small animals to and from the vehicle.
“Procedures were not followed correctly on this one occasion and the member of staff involved feels dreadful.
“We are delighted the cat has been found and is back home safe and well.”
Purdy was taken to the vet in Spilsby for an emergency appointment in the early hours of the morning, and transferred to Market Rasen for an x-ray.
Ms Cadman said fortunately Purdy turned out to be fit and well.