Humane Society Euthanizes Cat Over Payment Issue
A Phoenix man says the Arizona Humane Society euthanized a cat that helped him overcome his heroin addiction after he brought it to the shelter for treatment of a laceration.
Officials at the Arizona Humane Society confirmed the 9-month-old cat, named Scruffy, was euthanized but said it was because Daniel Dockery, the cat's owner, could not immediately pay for its care.
Dockery, who had been searching for the cat since taking it to the Humane Society's clinic three weeks ago, said he was devastated.
"Now I've got to think about how I failed that beautiful animal," Dockery, 49, told The Arizona Republic. "I failed her. ... That's so wrong. There was no reason for her not to be treated."
Dockery, who credits Scruffy with helping him maintain sobriety after a lifetime of heroin addiction, said he raised Scruffy from birth.
He said he surrendered ownership of Scruffy on Dec. 8 after clinic officials declined to take a credit card from his mother over the phone or wait 24 hours for cash.
A Humane Society spokeswoman said a lack of resources led to Scruffy's being euthanized. "The Humane Society took that cat with every intention of treating the cat and putting it in foster care," Stacy Pearson said. "It was never intended for that cat to be euthanized."
Pearson said Scruffy was transported to the Humane Society's second-chance clinic along with three other cats where doctors were available to treat only two.
"This truly is a worst-case scenario ... and it is one the Arizona Humane Society must deal with every day," Pearson said.