Microchip warning after family pet is put down

PUBLISHED: 11:35 02 November 2006 | UPDATED: 11:08 06 May 2010

Kirren, Makhail and Neelan Rehman with a photograph of their pet cat Sophie

Kirren, Makhail and Neelan Rehman with a photograph of their pet cat Sophie

A CAT owner has warned of the importance of microchipping after her pet was mistaken for a stray and put down. Nosheen Rehman, 40, of Dryden Crescent, Stevenage, discovered her cat Sophie had been put to sleep after being taken to a vets by a stranger. M

A CAT owner has warned of the importance of microchipping after her pet was mistaken for a stray and put down.

Nosheen Rehman, 40, of Dryden Crescent, Stevenage, discovered her cat Sophie had been put to sleep after being taken to a vets' by a stranger.

Mrs Rehman said that as the cat never left the family's drive or their neighbour's, she must have been close to home when she was found, but as Sophie was elderly and quite thin, the person must have assumed she was a stray.

It took some time for the Rehmans to notice she was missing as she had "adopted" their neighbour and would spend a lot of time next door.

But when the neighbour went on holiday and they still had not seen the cat, alarm bells started to ring.

They rang vets' surgeries and discovered Sophie had initially been taken to a vets in Stevenage and then transferred by the RSPCA to Berry House Veterinary Practice in Hitchin, where she was eventually put down as she was too elderly and too ill to be rehomed.

Mrs Rehman said Sophie, who had been the family's pet for 18 years, did not have a microchip as she "didn't go anywhere".

But now she is urging pet owners to have their animals chipped.

"The vet said that if she'd been microchipped they'd have phoned us straight away," she said.

Stuart De Wolf, a vet at Berry House Veterinary Practice, said Sophie had been at the surgery for nine or 10 days by the time she was put to sleep on humane grounds.

He also confirmed the case highlights the importance of microchips.

As well as urging owners to have their pets chipped, Mrs Rehman also has a message for animal lovers who think they may be helping.

"If they'd have knocked on any one of the doors around here they'd have said she belonged in a house in the neighbourhood," she said.

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