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Cat Euthanized Because Owner Couldn’t Afford Vet Bill

January 2, 2012

Please click on and sign petition HERE

From Force Change

Target: The Humane Society

Goal: Apologize for the death of Daniel Dockery’s cat and review the procedure regarding payment for veterinary services

Lovers of animals and compassionate people will feel sorrow and even outrage at the story of Daniel Dockery and the cat that saved him from addiction and despair.  After rushing Scruffy to the Humane Society’s Campus for Compassion in Arizona for treatment of non-life threatening wounds, Dockery discovered that because of his inability to pay in a timely manner, his beloved kitten had been euthanized.  This callous lack of compassion is unacceptable in any circumstance, but especially from an organization known for their compassion for animals.  Tell the Humane Society that they need to apologize for Scruffy’s death and review Dockery’s case to make sure something like this never happens again.

Daniel Dockery raised Scruffy since she was 4 years old.  He claims that through raising and caring for her, he was able to recover from his 20 year heroin addiction.  When he brought her to Humane Society’s clinic on December 8th, he was confronted with an inexplicable lack of compassion, understanding and common sense.  When Dockery presented them with his mother’s credit card, they refused it according to their “no credit card” policy.  He then asked for 24 hours to come up with the cash and was again refused.  Instead, they insisted he sign ownership over to them.  The Humane Society would later confirm that Scruffy was euthanized a few hours after being brought in because they were only able to treat two cats at their clinic.  The 49 year old Dockery is devastated, feeling like he has failed the cat that he loved so dearly.

Dockery received a massive outpouring of financial and emotional support from the people of Arizona.  We also stand with Dockery in asking the Humane Society of Arizona to issue a formal apology and to review their policies concerning payment for services.  No animal should be killed because their owner can’t pay, especially an animal that brought such joy into the life of someone who suffered for so long.

See More: Force Change

Very sad that
In the name of
Living creatures
End up, dead
Or lost

Karen Lyons Kalmenson

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Karin Yates permalink
    January 2, 2012 3:50 pm

    Anyone involved in this incident should be immediately fired. There should be new management brought in — those who genuinely CARE FOR ANIMALS!!!. And I hope there is a lawsuit forcing the HS to perform free spay/neuters for the year.


  2. Deb Basha permalink
    January 2, 2012 4:08 pm

    WHY are people wroking in this area who are not only NOT heartcentered…They are HEARTLESS! A precious cat was killed because of a medical bill?! Pathetic. JUST hateful!


  3. Karen Lyons kalmenson permalink
    January 2, 2012 4:09 pm

    Very sad that
    In the name of
    Living creatures
    End up, dead
    Or lost


    • catwhispurrer permalink
      January 2, 2012 5:06 pm

      Very well said Karen.
      What kind of Vet… won’t save a pet?
      RIP sweet kitten.


  4. carol crunkhorn permalink
    January 2, 2012 8:28 pm

    I was finding it hard to believe that a humane society could be so callous as to do this and so I visited the HSUS site, as they say they support local Humane Societies. There was no mention of this story, but under the heading “Having Trouble Affording Your Pet”…

    …I found another link to the Animal Guardian Network in Arizona, one of four listed under Arizona:

    The following is an excerpt from a page on their site:

    “Please chip in to help provide desperately needed veterinary care for the pets of the financially disadvantaged. Their are little to no resources available for vet care assistance. Together we can become that resource, help end suffering and keep pet families together. Please ChipIn today to our PET CARE FUND.”

    Now what I am wondering is why did the HS not tell Daniel about this? It would appear that this organisation is prepared to offer assistance and if the Arizona HS does not know about them, why not? As this HS is affiliated to the HSUS, then they should be aware of Animal Guardian Network. I’m sure Daniel is not the first person who has been unable to provide cash up front and I wonder how many other treatable pets this has happened to.

    I think the Arizona Humane Society owes Daniel more than an apology. It is outrageous that they talked him into signing Scruffy over to them only to euthanise her within hours. How much did that cost? Probably more than it would have cost to treat Scruffy’s injuries, because $400 to treat a cut sounds exorbitant anyway!

    If Animal Guardian Network can have a PET CARE FUND, then so can the Arizona Humane Society – they should start up a fund in Scruffy’s name that will help those whose financial circumstances fall short of covering immediate medical care; Scruffy’s Help Fund, would be a condolence to Daniel for the heartache he is going through and would be a timely reminder to the Arizona Humane Society about why they are there.

    I do hope Daniel continues to do well without heroin, for his recovery makes Scruffy’s life (short as it was) all the more important. Not everyone is so heartless as the motley crew at Campus for Compassion (is that a joke?) and I hope the outpouring of grief from so many people on his and Scruffy’s behalf will inspire him to continue with his rehabilitation.


  5. tracey permalink
    January 3, 2012 8:15 am

    Same thing almost happened to me, they wanted $2000 up front to save my cats life or put him to sleep, I used alternative medicine and he is doing GREAT!!!


  6. January 3, 2012 8:16 am

    Same thing almost happened to me, they wanted $2000 up front to save my cats life or put him to sleep, I used alternative medicine and he is doing GREAT!!!


  7. Sharon Kennedy permalink
    January 3, 2012 9:24 am

    When greed replaces compassion, abd when we put the lust of a dollar ahead of
    doing the compassion Christ instructs us to do, we fail ourselves, our communities,
    our families,and mostly especially the brother who died on the cross to give justice
    to all creation.


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