A woman was left “completely broken” when an animal hospital mistakenly lost her pet dog’s dead body and wrongfully scattered her ashes. Catherine Mitchell, 31, who lives in Walton, was devastated when her Yorkshire terrier Poppy died after spending 15 years by her side.
Catherine made arrangements with PDSA Huyton, an animal end-of-life charity, to have her individually cremated so she could keep the ashes of her “best friend”. But a member of staff mislabelled her dog’s body and later called Catherine to tell her Poppy had been “lost”. The mum-of-two said her broken heart was “shattered” receiving the news.
The hospital then discovered that Poppy had been communally cremated with other animals and their ashes were scattered together over a memorial garden, Liverpool Echo reports.
Catherine, originally from Wolverhampton, said: “I stayed with Poppy as she died. She’d been with me 15 years.
“After she died I made arrangements with the staff for her to be individually cremated. Then later they rang me and told me they can’t find my dog’s body.
“I was questioning them like what do you mean you don’t know where Poppy is?
“All day Tuesday I was going to the PDSA. It was like I was chasing after her even though she was dead.
“They soon told me Poppy’s body had been labelled to be part of a communal cremation, not individual like I’d asked. A member of staff had mislabelled her for communal cremation. They’d scattered her ashes like fertiliser.
“I was just completely broken. My heart was shattered when I heard. I’d thought the PDSA was top notch.
“Poppy was 15 years of my life, she was my whole world. She went with me through everything and everyone knew who she was through me.”
In her tribute to Poppy, Catherine said: “My little sweetheart Poppy. What am I going to do without you now that you’re gone, nearly 15 years of happy memories and you gave me all your love as so did I to you.
“You went so quickly. I didn’t see it coming.
“But I suppose this was your time to go to that rainbow bridge with my dad there waiting for you I hope I did a good job being your mummy. I’ll never forget you my little best friend.
“Goodnight my Sweetheart Poppy. May you rest in peace and in no more pain. I love you so very much. Always and forever, girl.”
A spokesperson for PDSA said: “We’re very sorry to hear about the loss of Ms Mitchell’s beloved dog and would like to send our sincere condolences, both to her and her family at this difficult time. Due to client confidentiality rules we are unable to comment on individual cases.
“We can, however, confirm that an issue has been raised regarding our Huyton Pet Hospital and that we are in contact with the owner regarding the situation. We aim to provide a professional and caring service at all times and take complaints very seriously.
“Along with our out-of-hours provider, we will fully explore Ms Mitchell’s concerns to establish what has happened, and will be in contact with her directly when a thorough investigation has taken place.”