A Newsome pet lover has been left devastated after finding out that Kirklees Council cremated her cat without her knowledge.

Cross Lane resident Shauna Madden now wants the council to review what she describes as its “atrocious” policies and standards after the distressing incident which happened after council staff found her young cat, Henry, on her street on November 6. Henry had been run over.

But although he was microchipped Shauna says it took her six days to find out what had happened to him and she believes she was only found out due to making constant calls to the council’s waste department to try track him down.

Shauna said that in between those times she received a series of misleading and contradictory phone calls and emails which at one point even suggested that Henry could still be alive.

Shauna, who got Henry as a kitten in July 2013, said: “I just want to highlight the council’s atrocious standards regarding the collection of dead animals.

“We decided to have Henry microchipped despite the cost to reassure us that if anything happened to him we would be made aware.

“But when he disappeared on November 6 it took a lot of effort to find out what had happened to him even though someone told me that they had reported a dead cat like Henry to the council.

“Every time I contacted them I was told a different, contradicting story.

Henry the cat, with his owner, Shauna Madden
Henry the cat, with his owner, Shauna Madden
 

“First they told me no cats had been reported, then that they’d found a cat and scanned it but it wasn’t microchipped and then, after I sent an email with some photos, they said that a cat like mine had been removed the day he went missing.

“It was the blunt way that the told me that they didn’t scan that cat and that he’d already been cremated so couldn’t be properly identified that hurt.

“To add to the blow, I was told a day later that they hadn’t actually found Henry and that they scan each pet before being emailed again to be told that Henry had, in fact, been killed and removed.

“It made a sad time even more difficult. Their standards are extremely hurtful.”

She is calling on pet lovers to sign an e-petition to urge the government to introduce Harvey’s Law, in the absence of any similar existing policies, which would make it mandatory to scan all pets retrieved from highways and to create a log report to help owner’s identify their pets.

Henry the cat
Henry the cat
 

Shauna said: “Until a law like this is passed every pet and owner in Kirklees is at risk of being treated with disregard.”

Joanne Bartholomew, Assistant Director Place, said: “Over the last 12 months 368 deceased animals have been reported to the council and in each case we aim to carry out our duties as sympathetically and professionally as possible.

“While it is not council policy to scan for microchips on all cases we do generally achieve a 90% coverage.

“There were a number of factors in this specific case that resulted in confusion on both sides and we apologise for any distress caused in dealing with this unfortunate incident.”