GARDNER, Mass. -- A Massachusetts woman says her cat went to the veterinarian for a flea bath but was mistakenly put to death.
Colleen Conlon of Gardner is grieving the loss of 8-year-old Lady, which she attributes to negligence by the vet, Muhammad Malik. Malik's lawyer says people should wait until all the facts come out before passing judgment.
Conlon's 24-year-old son, Jesse, took Lady to the Broadway Animal Hospital last week and unknowingly authorized the cat to be put to sleep after he says he was handed the wrong forms. He says he learned of the mix-up when he returned with a second cat and the vet asked whether he wanted to keep the body.
"At first he thought it was some cruel joke," Conlon told the Telegram & Gazette.
But the vet told her son he'd signed the papers. Her son didn't leave the other cat at the vet's office, Conlon said.
Conlon said she has filed a complaint with the state attorney general's office and plans to talk with state licensing officials.
"I don't think there was any malicious intent, but I do think it was negligent," Conlon said. "I'm sure there are standards of practice they have to follow."
Conlon's daughter had given her the cat about a year before she was killed in a car accident in 2010.
Malik's lawyer, Michael Sheridan, said Malik is well-respected and has saved many animals' lives during his 30 years as a veterinarian.
"He's treated thousands of animals, keeping them healthy and strong," Sheridan said.
Sheridan declined to comment on a one-year probation period imposed on Malik's license in 2005, for failing to follow standards when he treated a dog's paw in 2002, the newspaper reported. Malik also was ordered to take 25 hours of continuing education in radiology and orthopedics.
Also on HuffPost:
$44 Million Hospital Visit
Unemployed doorman Alexis Rodriguez <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/16/bronx-lebanon-hospital-center_n_1208921.html" target="_hplink">received a bill for $44.8 million from Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center</a>. Thankfully, the outrageous bill was the result of a billing company error, in which they mistakenly put the invoice number in the space where the invoice amount should go.
$201,000 Cell Phone Bill
Celina Aarons of South Florida received a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/18/celina-aarons-201000-cell-phone-bill_n_1017723.html" target="_hplink">43-page cell phone bill </a>adding up to $201,000. The bill was no mistake. Aarons, who also has her two deaf-mute brothers on her plan, forgot to change their data to international after the pair spent two weeks in Canada, accruing up to $2,000 in data charges.
Paying For Crime
After Loretta Robinson's son was killed by a drunk driver, she was <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/24/loretta-robinson-mother-billed-cleanup-son-killed-by-undocumented-drunk-driver_n_1622301.html" target="_hplink">billed for various charges, including a $50 charge to clean up her son's blood</a> from the road along with charges to tow and store the suspect's vehicle after the incident.
Auto Bill-Pay Nightmare
Alina Simone thought she didn't have to worry about her cell phone bill as she had set up auto bill-pay. However, when she finally checked her statement, she discovered that she was <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/01/sprint-cell-bill-autopay_n_1310312.html" target="_hplink">being charged per text message</a>, racking up more than $700 in fees despite the fact that her plan entitled her to 1,000 free texts per month.
$37,000 In Sweets
A Middletown, Ohio teen got caught <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/02/10/teen-charged-with-billing_n_165531.html" target="_hplink">charging over $37,000 worth of candy</a> to his high school's purchasing number. After the company, The Goodies Factory, became suspicious, authorities arrested the 18-year-old at his home when he went to receive the empty package.
Breast cancer survivor Lisa Lindsay was <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/23/lisa-lindsay-breast-cancer-survivor-debtors-jail_n_1446391.html" target="_hplink">arrested after she refused to pay a $280 medical bill</a>, which was sent to her by accident.
Billed After Body Violation
A New Mexico woman was <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/07/woman-sent-1000-bill-for-_n_952135.html" target="_hplink">billed for a mandatory body cavity search</a> after being accused of concealing heroin. The search turned up nothing and the woman was not arrested or charged, however she received a bill for $1,122 from the hospital that performed the search.
$16 Million Cable Bill
An Ohio man was <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/04/04/time-warner-cable-bill_n_844506.html" target="_hplink">charged over $16,000,000 by Time Warner Cable</a> after he accrued some odd charges for watching the March Madness tournament. The bill was eventually blamed on human error.