The therapy cat that was taken away from an elderly woman in a Duncan care facility and replaced with a stuffed animal is now with the woman’s family in Parksville.
Dawn Douglas, 66, suffers from dementia and is staying at Sunridge Care Home.
Her son Bill Court said she was told her cat Snoop Cat could live with her at the facility as long as the family supplied appropriate documentation from the family doctor and a veterinarian, and that they would look after its day-to-day needs.
But within 24 hours of the cat moving in with Douglas, Court said staff at the care home told Douglas that they were taking the cat for a bath, then replaced it it with a robotic stuffed toy.
“We have managed to get Snoop Cat back with our family after a couple hours of arguing with the administrative staff and with the assistance of media on our side,” Court said on Facebook on Feb. 23.
“We are still continuing to look into this and will continue to fight for mom to have her cat. Sunridge has clearly stated they now have a no pet policy from here on out and no pets are allowed in the building.”
Lynda Foley, vice president of quality assurance at Sunridge, said the facility’s number one duty is to protect the safety and well being of the residents in its care.
She said that equally important to Sunridge is the safety and well being of the staff that work there and provide the exceptional care its residents require.
“(Sunridge) does recognize the importance of pets to our residents well being and we make every reasonable effort to ensure a resident can have a visit from a pet where it is appropriate to do so,” Foley said.
“Due to severe allergies identified with a staff member that needed to seek emergent medical attention, we are not able to accommodate the resident’s cat living at the care home, but we will continue to work with her family to ensure she can have visits with her pet.”