Tokoroa woman Tina Hitchens is urging SPCA to revise its policies after her family's beloved pet cat was euthanised by the institution.
Her two-year-old black and white manx-cross cat Lestat went missing and ended up being euthanised by the SPCA despite the family's multiple attempts to find him.
Lestat was missing for a week and, despite calls to multiple local vets, Hitchens could not track him down.
"At first I didn't think much of it as it wasn't unusual for him not to come home for a night but I was getting concerned when I hadn't seen him by Sunday afternoon," she told Fairfax.
She had friends looking out for the cat on Facebook local groups until eventually he was being held as a stray at the SPCA.
While at first Hitchens was happy to have located her beloved cat, her happiness quickly turned to grief as she discovered that, because no one had claimed Listet after the SPCA's standard eight-day holding period, he had been euthanised.
A vet for the SPCA reportedly found Lestat had a kidney issue which meant he couldn't even be put up for adoption.
He was caught in a trap while the SPCA was trying to get a white feral cat and Hitchens says he should not have been kept as he did not match the description of the feral cat they were trying to catch.
"There was no way you could mistake him for being a stray either as on the outside he was a perfectly happy, healthy, and playful cat. I am furious that they could take someone's pet like this," she added.
The SPCA told Fairfax the cat was not trapped by them but rather by a member of the public and added that they followed "standard procedures".
Hitchens has now filed a formal complaint.