One-year-old Winston is now recovering after suffering two broken legs.

One-year-old Winston is now recovering after suffering two broken legs.

VIDEO: Woman files complaint over treatment of cat with two broken legs

Ariel Johnston of Abbotsford says her pet was sent home without pain medication

An Abbotsford woman says her badly injured cat was sent home this week from a local veterinary hospital without being properly assessed or provided pain medication.

Ariel Johnston has now filed a complaint with the College of Veterinarians of B.C. after another veterinary hospital discovered that her one-year-old cat Winston had two broken legs.

But the clinic that is the subject of the complaint says there has been a “terrible misunderstanding,” and the cat was indeed assessed and given a pain injection.

The incident took place last Monday (Sept. 17), when Johnston received a call from Glenn Mountain Animal Hospital on McMillan Road, alerting her that Winston had been dropped off there by someone who had found him.

Winston has a tattoo ID in his ear that matched him to Johnston.

Johnston said Winston, who is an indoor-outdoor cat, sometimes wanders off for up to 24 hours but, at that point, he had been missing for three days.

Johnston said she arrived at the clinic about 20 minutes after the phone call, and, when the woman at the front desk went back to get Winston, she heard a cat screaming in pain.

RELATED: 64 cats seized from ‘bad situation’ now in BC SPCA care

Johnston says the woman brought him to the front desk and placed him on the counter, as he continued to scream. She said Winston could not stand, and Johnston questioned whether he was medicated, but she was told he hadn’t been.

“I said, ‘This isn’t normal. Are you sure he’s OK?’ She replied, ‘No, he’s fine. He was just sleeping,’ ” Johnston said.

She said she was told that Winston had been eating and drinking, and he was good to take home.

Johnston said he screamed on the drive home, and, when they arrived, Winston continued to show signs of distress, including shaking and fast breathing.

Even more troubling was that he could not stand, and was dragging himself across the floor, using his front legs. Johnston said his lower right back leg was “obviously deformed.”

She then called her regular vet – Fraser Valley Animal Hospital – who told her Winston should be seen immediately, but they didn’t have a spot available, so they sent her to Gladys Pet Hospital on Gladys Avenue.

Right after that call, Johnston said she called Glenn Mountain to tell them what was happening with her cat, but she was then put on hold and she hung up because she was anxious to get Winston’s injury dealt with.

At Gladys Pet Hospital, Johnston said Winston was immediately assessed, and she was told he was too unstable to do further testing right away. Instead, he was placed on pain medication and put on an IV overnight.

She said the vet told her that it appeared Winston had been hit by a car. Blood tests revealed that Winston had not suffered any internal damage but X-rays showed that both of his legs were broken, the left one so severely that it likely wouldn’t heal properly and amputation was recommended.

Johnston said the veterinarian has assured her that Winston, who is in stable condition, should adapt well to having just three legs.

She said she understands that Glenn Mountain could not have done any tests or procedures on Winston without her permission, but she questions why he was not given pain medication to make him more comfortable until she arrived and why they let her walk out the door with him in such dire condition.

“This is inhumane and straight-up negligence. My boy was in pain and (they) chose to ignore it,” Johnston said.

Janice Toplass, office manager at Glenn Mountain Animal Hospital, said Winston ended up at the clinic on the evening of Sunday, Sept. 16 after they received a call about an injured cat.

The person was advised to call animal control and the SPCA, but they were both closed, so the caller was told to bring the cat to Glenn Mountain. Toplass said Winston was examined and given a pain injection, but that information did not become known to her until Tuesday, Sept. 18, when the Sunday staff came to work.

Toplass said that she had not noticed any external injuries to Winston and thought he was fine when Johnston arrived to pick him up on Sept. 17.

“We cannot do X-rays and blood work without consent of an owner or the SPCA. We have the best treatment we could at the time. We gave it pain control, a clean comfortable environmnent, food and water,” Toplass said.

“This was a terrible misunderstanding and if the owner had given us a bit more time to check with the staff that admitted the cat, we could have been able to give her that information.”

Toplass said Glenn Mountain deals with a few rescue groups, and strays are dropped off at the clinic all the time.

“We would never intentionally let an animal suffer. We are glad that the cat is getting the treatment it needed,” she said.



vhopes@abbynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Ariel Johnston of Abbotsford with her cat Winston.

Ariel Johnston of Abbotsford with her cat Winston.

Just Posted

A proposed multi-family, multi-building development in east White Rock was the subject of a public hearing Monday evening. (City of White Rock image)
Pros and cons of White Rock housing development debated at virtual public hearing

Affordable housing need, traffic concerns among reasons cited for and against Beachway project

Photo: Surrey RCMP
Surrey RCMP arrests two boys, age 16, during dial-a-dope investigation in Whalley

Sergeant Elenore Sturko said one boy is ‘alleged to have been in possession of a loaded handgun at the time of his arrest’

The new Phoenix Flame BBQ truck serves as a “Mobile Community Kitchen” in the Surrey area. (Photo: phoenixsociety.com)
New ‘Phoenix Flame BBQ’ truck now mobile with food for Surrey’s ‘hard-to-reach populations’

Also launched: Another Surrey Honda Raffle to help the Surrey-based agency and others

Teachers at Maple Green Elementary in Surrey stage a walk-in before school on Wednesday (March 3, 2021), as Fraser Health continues to announce variant exposure cases at Surrey schools throughout the district. (Submitted photo: Julia MacRae)
Surrey Teachers’ Association calls for district-specific COVID-19 safety measures

STA holds third and fourth walk-ins after multiple COVID-19 variant exposures

A memorial of flowers, notes and photos grew quickly on the median adjacent to where Paul Prestbakmo died on Aug. 16. (Tracy Holmes photo)
Witness in South Surrey murder trial says he saw Paul Prestbakmo get stabbed

Defence questions difference between witness’ statements to police, testimony

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for British Columbia in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Provincial health officials reported 18 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern

The City of Vancouver estimates there are 3,500 Canada geese in the city right now, and that number is growing. (Bruce Hogarth)
Help tame Vancouver’s Canada goose population by reporting nests: park officials

The city is asking residents to be on the lookout so staff can remove nests or addle eggs

Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson (Office of the Chief Justice)
Judge questions whether B.C.’s top doctor appreciated right to religious freedom

Lawyer for province says Dr. Henry has outlined the reasons for her orders publicly

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A sample of guns seized at the Pacific Highway border crossing from the U.S. into B.C. in 2014. Guns smuggled from the U.S. are used in criminal activity, often associated with drug gangs. (Canada Border Service Agency)
B.C. moves to seize vehicles transporting illegal firearms

Bill bans sale of imitation or BB guns to young people

BC Housing minister David Eby is concerned that Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter will result in a “tent city” similar to this one in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / Black Press file)
‘Disappointed and baffled’ B.C. housing minister warns of tent city in Penticton

Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter could create tent city, says David Eby

A recently published study out of UBC has found a link between life satisfaction levels and overall health. (Pixabay)
Satisfied with life? It’s likely you’re healthier for it: UBC study

UBC psychologists have found those more satisfied with their life have a 26% reduced risk of dying

A vial of some of the first 500,000 of the two million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada has secured through a deal with the Serum Institute of India in partnership with Verity Pharma at a facility in Milton, Ont., on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio - POOL
Federal panel recommends 4-month gap between COVID vaccine doses due to limited supply

The recommendation applies to all COVID-19 vaccines currently approved in Canada

Emergency crews are on scene at Walnut Grove Secondary School after a report of a bomb threat at Walnut Grove Secondary School on March 3, 2021. The school was safely evacuated. (Shane MacKichan/Special to Langley Advance Times)
UPDATE: Bomb threat forces evacuation of Langley high school

Police asked the public to avoid 88th Avenue and Walnut Grove Drive

Most Read