The Humane Society is facing heat for euthanizing the cat of a former heroin addict after it had been brought in for medical treatment.
Phoenix resident Daniel Dockery brought in his 9-month old cat Scruffy for treatment of cuts it got from a fence, only to have his kitty put down because he could not immediately pay the $400 bill. Dockery credits the feline friend with helping him overcome drug addiction.
Humane Society officials told the Arizona Republic that the cat was euthanized because its owner could not immediately pay for its care, not because of its wounds.
Dockery had taken the cat to the Humane Society's Campus for Compassion three weeks ago, and surrendered ownership of the animal on Dec. 8 after clinic officials refused to accept payment in the form of the 49-year-old's mother's credit card. They also refused to wait 24 hours for cash payment.
Dockery was left wondering what happened to Scruffy before the Humane Society finally admitted to putting the pet down.
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.
Stacy Pearson, a spokeswoman for the organization told the Arizona Republic a lack of resources led to Scruffy's demise. The cat was one of four cats transported to a second-chance clinic but only had enough doctors to treat two.
The Humane Society took that cat with every intention of treating the cat and putting it in foster care, Pearson said. It was never intended for that cat to be euthanized.
This truly is a worst-case scenario ... and it is one the Arizona Humane Society must deal with every day.
A backlash on the Society's Facebook page has many promising to pull back donations, but Dockery hopes folks will temper their anger.
I don't want to turn people away from the Humane Society, he said. They do do good works.