A KITTEN which had to be put down after suffering a broken leg could have been saved but for an administration error.
Georgina Hawes’ 12-year-old daughter still wakes up crying at night after the death of her two month old cat Molly.
But the beautiful silver tabby could have been saved if vets had faxed an insurance policy across at the right time.
Georgina, of Anson Road, Wolverton, had taken out a Kitten Premium Package policy costing £99 at Companion Care Vets in Rooksley, and told the paperwork would be sent off to insurer PetPlan in September.
The plan gave her four weeks’ free insurance, with the option of later taking out a full policy. But three weeks later her daughter fell while carrying Molly, causing the kitten to fracture its right leg.
A trip to the out-of-hours vet cost £400, but when Georgina rang PetPlan she wasn’t on its system.
Companion Care admitted it hadn’t faxed the policy over, but promised to speak to PetPlan.
But the issue was further complicated as Companion did not have a vet available to operate on Molly and the pet had to be taken to another vets in Hitchin.
Once there Georgina was told the op would cost £3,500 – but when she rang PetPlan she was again told she wasn’t on their system.
And when she checked a pack provided by Companion she found a leaflet stating she was covered for just £2,000.
Worried about spiralling bills, she took the heartbreaking decision to have Molly put down. But just a day later she rang PetPlan again – to be told she had insurance cover for up to £4,000. She said: “We have been left feeling devastated at this tragic loss.
“The vets’ error led to me making the wrong decision and losing a beloved pet.”
Georgina complained to Companion Care which apologised for failing to fax the paperwork but stressed staff had done ‘everything possible’ to resolve the situation.
Operations manager Simon Archibald said the leaflet ‘which referenced the £2,000 ceiling’ was superseded by details in the Pet Plan Policy – which stated that the cover ran to £4,000.
It took a further letter of complaint before Mr Archibald offered a ‘goodwill’ payment of £99 to refund the cost of the insurance plan. But that offer came with a disclaimer and a later refusal to pay a further £65 in costs for Molly’s euthanasia and cremation. Ms Hawes said: “It all came across as very cold.
“If they had send a bunch of flowers I would have dropped the whole thing.
“It’s important to warn people to be careful when signing up to these things and don’t think the vet is doing it all for you.”
Companion Care Vets’ Huw Morgan-Jones said: “We recognise the distress of losing a pet and offer sincere condolences. In this case a number of treatment options were offered by the referral veterinary surgery. Although there was an administrative error on our part when the four-week insurance plan was set up, the cover note given to Mrs Hawes correctly identified that the full cover of £4,000 was in place to facilitate a claim.”