Humane Society Kills Cat After Refusing To Take Credit Card Payment Over The Phone

Photo: The Arizona Republic

This story is just heartbreaking.

When a Phoenix man couldn’t afford the $400 veterinary bill for his injured 9-month-old kitten, Scruffy, he did what seemed logical at the time: surrendering ownership to the clinic on Dec. 8.But what happened next was every pet owner’s worst nightmare: The Humane Society Campus for Compassion put Scruffy down.

Daniel Dockery, a heroin addict who credits his beloved pet with keeping him clean, told the Arizona Republic that the clinic refused to take his credit card over the phone or accept a wire transfer 24 hours later from his mother, due to fraud concerns.

“Now I’ve got to think about how I failed that beautiful animal,” Dockery told the Republic. “I failed her. … That’s so wrong. There was no reason for her not to be treated.”

Dockery rescued Scruffy from the streets and raised her for most of her life. He had been searching for her for three weeks when he learned what happened.

Humane Society spokesperson Stacy Pearson said the outcome was due to a “lack of resources”—Scruffy was one of three cats to be transferred to the Society’s second chance clinic and the doctors could only treat two.

Dockery’s story underscores the importance of having an emergency fund. Had he socked away enough emergency cash, perhaps he would have been able to save Scruffy.

Not having an emergency fund stashed away for your pet can be one of the dumbest—and costliest—mistakes you’ll ever make. It puts your pet’s life at risk, and you could ending up paying thousands for treatments that wouldn’t have been necessary to begin with.

Of course, Dockery isn’t the only person who lacks emergency funds—the average American family couldn’t cover a $1,000 emergency—but that doesn’t mean you should too. (See the best and worst places to hide your emergency cash.) 

Now read these tips to keep your pet out of the ER >

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