A healthy family pet has been accidentally put down after going to the SPCA for desexing.
A vet at the Thames SPCA grabbed the wrong cat and euthanised Kathryn Brown's cat Buttons.
"I took my three cats to be desexed and when I went to collect them there were only two," Brown told the Herald on Sunday.
"I asked where my other cat was and the guy said he must have escaped and they would set a trap. They called later to say they were sorry but they had found him under another cat at the mortuary."
Buttons was a tabby and Brown was told the cat due to be euthanised was black and white. "All I want to know is how this happened and some reassurance this is not going to happen to another family's pet."
Brown said her family, including six young children, were distraught at the loss of Buttons, who was a rescued wild cat and had "just become smoochy".
They didn't even have a photo to remember him by. The family paid $195 for the three cats to be desexed and were told the SPCA would credit Brown's account $40 for Button's operation.
SPCA vet Jonathan Steel-Carroll said Buttons "went ballistic" as he came out of anesthetic. He was put in a cage with other wild cats and was accidentally put down.
"This is not a case of a friendly family moggy that has been euthanised," Steel-Carroll said.
Steel-Carroll said the SPCA regretted the error and now put a fluorescent red marker on the cages of cats to be euthanised.
The SPCA offered to cremate Buttons but Brown collected his body to bury at home under a fruit tree. "I was scared they would lose his ashes." Kirsty Wynn