Owner of grieving animal, the cattery arranges for a confusion

Sue Peoples says being bitter won’t bring her beloved three-legged “furry baby” back.

Te Anau resident Jac’s cat died after being brought home from a cattery by the wrong family.

But the owner of the grieving cat believes that the Southland Cattery paid its dues after filing a complaint with the Litigation Tribunal.

The experience had been hard; she now believed that catteries should be audited, have standards set and licenses held to prevent others from going through the same thing.

“We just trust those people we feed our animals to are reliable, capable and knowledgeable.”

However, she did not want to name the cattery, as she believed it was a mistake.

“While this is a tragedy, in the end, it’s a cat… bad press could really devastate their business. “

In July this year, Ms Peoples’ vacation on the North Island was cut short when she received a call from the cattery, in which the news was announced.

It was a Wednesday.

The previous Friday, two teenagers had picked up Jac, thinking she was their four-legged male cat with an injured leg.

Jac was released and she ran away.

On Monday, still thinking she was their cat, the family assumed they were doing what their cat normally did after being at the cattery: staying outside for a multi-day fling.

The next day, however, they received a call from the cattery telling them that they had the wrong cat.

What annoyed Ms. Peoples most was that Jac was supposed to be medicated and chatted daily.

It looked like the company had tried to find Jac before telling him, she said.

Immediately canceling reservations for her vacation, Ms Peoples flew to Invercargill to begin the search for her beloved pet.

There were phone calls, flyers, door knockings, social media posts and business notices – but the hunt for Jac ended when a local farmer found his body on his property. about three weeks ago.

It looked like she had curled up and fell asleep.

Jac was cremated and sent home to Te Anau, and Ms. Peoples’ fight for justice began.

She wanted to know what her rights were as a person using a cattery, so she contacted various agencies.

“It didn’t bring Jac back, but I can’t afford the $ 2,000 we ended up spending. “

After the cattery gave him a $ 200 gas voucher, Ms. Peoples sent him back.

” They needed to learn a lesson. ”

She filed a complaint with the court and received an email last month saying the cattery would settle out of court, which covered the money spent on finding Jac.

Consumer NZ said boarding schools were not audited, but had to adhere to animal welfare law and the welfare code.

However, the SPCA could investigate the complaints and take action.

Anyone who is interested in knowing their rights as a pet owner can consult the Animal Welfare Act and the Pet Welfare Code on Temporary Accommodation of Pets.

People also had rights under the Consumer Warranties Act, and catteries and kennels were required to provide services with reasonable care and skill.

If they don’t, you can request compensation, such as a refund or partial refund of boarding costs.

You can also claim compensation for any reasonably foreseeable indirect damage. These are personal expenses you incurred due to the inability of the business to provide its services. ”

Consumer NZ also said it asked 12 city councils whether boarding schools (kennels / catteries) should be registered. Only Wellington City Council said they did.

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