FIFE COUNCIL has admitted giving “wrong advice” after a Dunfermline householder was told to dump a dead cat he had found in his blue bin.
The tragic pet was discovered in Duloch Park’s Brodick Gardens last Tuesday by resident Norman McQuade and partner Deborah Fairgrieve who called the council to ask what they should do.
He was shocked to hear their response.
“They said if it was on the road they can take it away but, if not, put it in a bag and put it in the blue bin,” he told the Press.
“I wasn’t really sure what to do as it was on the edge of a driveway.
“I looked online for the Cats Protection and Deborah phoned them and they thankfully came and took it away.”
West Fife Cats Protection’s co-ordinator, Anita Guy, has since written to the council in an effort to make sure such advice is never repeated.
“Usually, Fife Council have got scanners and what they do is scan the cat and keep it for a week in case their owner comes forward,” she explained.
“A woman phoned me about it and I said I would be there in 15 minutes and not to let anyone take him. He was a beautiful boy.
“Later that evening, a call to Cats Protection was received about a missing cat of this cat’s description and the caller was given the sad news about her pet but was then able to view and claim her cat the following day, distraught to find he had been killed but relieved to know what had happened to him but also thankful to be able to tend to her much-loved pet herself.
“If they had taken the pet away, she would still have been looking for her cat.
“Any deceased cat that is found should be taken where possible to the nearest vets for scanning for a microchip, by any finder, this is done free of charge.
“If the cat is chipped the registered, the owner can be informed and will be asked to take responsibility for the body.
"If the cat is not chipped, the body can be left at the vets by the finder for proper disposal. The vet will also record the cat’s description, sex and approximate age in case of any further enquiries.
“While it is still not compulsory to report the death of a cat, it is extremely disappointing to find that a member of staff at Fife Council is unaware of an agreed and recognised protocol for dealing with a deceased cat once it has been reported.”
Fife Council acknowledged that the “wrong information” was provided.
Service manager for Parks, Streets & Open Spaces, Damien Woods, said their normal recommendation would be for a dead cat to be taken to the nearest vet.
“If a cat is reported to us as road kill, we will scan the cat to see if any identification is recorded so we can contact the owner and return it,” he added.
“I’m disappointed to hear that on this occasion the wrong information was given to a customer and we will follow this up with our contact centre to ensure that everyone is reminded of the authorised procedures.”