Cat back home after escape from Redbourn vets

Stuart Beagle, Taelor Beagle and Annie Beagle with their cat Boots

Stuart Beagle, Taelor Beagle and Annie Beagle with their cat Boots - Credit: Archant

A ROUTINE operation on a family’s cat turned into a dramatic search and rescue last week when he escaped through an open window.

Stuart Beagle was shocked to be told his precious pet Boots had gone missing from Medivet in Redbourn on Tuesday and claims they suggested the cat had opened the window himself.

But when the father of one went in to inspect the surgery’s recovery room he saw the window had to be opened using a handle and it eventually transpired it had been left ajar.

He said: “They were bringing him around from the anaesthetic and tried to get one of those cones over his head. They had an open window and he saw his chance.”

After hearing the black and white cat had escaped Stuart immediately began looking for him as he still had a surgical tube in his leg, leaving him vulnerable to infection. The guidelines say after the operation the animal should be kept inside for approximately two weeks, so there is obviously a risk to the pet.

“I asked the student vet if there was an issue with the cat being outside still suffering from the anaesthetic and having an open wound with no protective collar, and he could not give an answer.

“When I asked to speak to a vet, I was told that she was very new to this country and did not speak good English, which I am absolutely furious about.”

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The vets apparently offered to make posters to help the family and claimed the area manager would make an appearance, but neither of these promises came to fruition according to Stuart.

He eventually found the shaken five-year-old cat on Redbourn High Street at around 1.30pm the following day – almost 24 hours after he had disappeared.

Medivet waived the charge for the operation after the incident, but Stuart, of Nicholls Close, is still not happy: “This company has a duty of care to provide to any animal that is brought in and they clearly disregarded this.

“Why would you have an open window in a recovery room, where animals have been traumatised through operations, and bring them round in unfamiliar surroundings? Of course they are going to be scared and run.”

The 39-year-old spoke to the practice’s area manager as he was dismayed not to receive a courtesy call or apology from her and claims she said the vets had told her everything was in hand: “She did not feel it was necessary to call the upset, worried or angry owners to ensure we were happy, and when I started to explain how we felt there was no empathy shown towards either myself, my wife, or my very distraught eight year old daughter, and she told me she was going to terminate the call and hung up.”

He added: “I am glad to say my cat is now home with us and I am hopeful he will be better soon.”

A spokesperson for Medivet said the incident was rare and something they take very seriously. They said as soon as Boots escaped branch staff organised a search along with the area manager who was on annual leave: “She arranged that other local veterinary practices, animal shelters and the police were contacted, and for missing posters of Boots to be put up around the area.

“She remained in constant contact with the staff at the practice as well as Boots’ owners, ensuring that everything possible was done to ensure his safe return.”

They went on: “A Medivet Senior Partner has apologised sincerely to Boots’ owners for the distress caused.”