Man angry over vet's mistake

PUBLISHED: 18:00 13 July 2011



A WESTON cat-lover claims he was left feeling 'physically sick' after a town vet bungled his beloved pet's cremation.

Mark Cokayne took his 17-year-old cat Poppy to the Clarendon Veterinary Centre in Weston with a medical condition in April.

When he was told that Poppy was not going to get any better, Mark signed a declaration agreeing to have her put down.

Mark, of Dunster Crescent, Weston, asked for Poppy’s ashes to be returned, so he could keep them with the ashes of his three previous cats.

When signing the declaration, Mark ticked a box confirming he wanted Poppy to have an individual cremation.

Mark did not hear from the vets for a month and telephoned to enquire about Poppy’s remains.

He says staff at the vets told him they did not know what had happened and they would have to get in touch with the crematorium.

Last week, Mark was told that Poppy had been denied the individual cremation he had asked for, and was instead cremated alongside other animals.

Mark said: “They said it was a mistake. But I was told I could have some of her remains back, which made it far worse. It doubled the pain of losing her, and made me feel physically sick. It made a bad situation worse.

“Whatever happens, I will not get my cat’s proper ashes back.

“Poppy was in my care for 17 years and I had her and her sister from when they were about six weeks old.

“To me she was very, very special and I wanted her back. I have always asked for all my cats to be cremated individually.”

Mark has asked for a full signed report from the vets, admitting what he says amounts to negligence in their handling of the cremation, and says he will also seek compensation. He has also asked for a copy of the paperwork which he signed to have Poppy individually cremated.

He added: “Compensation isn’t the issue here, the main issue is that this has denied me my pet.

“But I do feel they need to pay in some way for the mistreatment of my animal.

“To me she was part of my family for 17 years and they are not being particularly sympathetic. Being sorry isn’t enough.”

The Mercury contacted Clarendon Veterinary Centre, but staff refused to comment on the issue.

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