(Pexels)

B.C. family says care home switched mom’s cat with robot cat

Staff alleged to have said they were taking cat for bath, then replaced her with robotic stuffed toy

The family of a Vancouver Island woman who has dementia say staff at a care home removed her cat and replaced it with a robotic stuffed animal.

Dawn Douglas has been living at the Sunridge Place care home in Duncan for nearly two years and her family says they’ve been working to reunite their mother with Snoop.

Bill Court says he was told Snoop could move in with his mother if they supplied appropriate documentation from the family doctor and a veterinarian, and also agreed to be responsible for the cat’s hygiene and vet bills.

Lisa Douglas says negotiations took some time to reunite her mother with Snoop.

“It took a year and a half to jump through all the loops and hoops and permissions,” Douglas said.

Within a day of the reunion, Court alleges staff at the care home told his mother they were taking Snoop for a bath, then replaced her with a robotic stuffed toy, leaving his 66-year-old mother distraught.

A spokeswoman for Park Place Seniors Living, which operates the home, said a staff member had a severe allergic reaction and the cat had to be removed.

“What we ended up having to do was rehome the pet with a staff member who is lovely and real animal lover until we could find a resolution and work with the family,” said Lynda Foley, vice-president of quality assurance.

Foley said she could not comment on allegations that Douglas was told the cat was being removed to have a bath, but she said Park Place does use robotic animals for some residents.

She said live-in pets are not permitted at any Park Place facility and she had not seen documents the family believe show permission for the cat’s permanent stay at Sunridge Place.

“My side of the story continues to be that the well being of our residents and our staff comes first,” she said.

Court, who now has Snoop, and Douglas say they are pursuing the matter on their mother’s behalf with the Vancouver Island Health Authority.

“She was so much more calm and focused and that was the whole point of her having the cat, was to relieve her of her anxiety,” said Douglas.

Beth Leighton

The Canadian Press

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

Just Posted

Salmon Arm Silverbacks meet Snakes in BCHL simulated conference final

BCHL turns to video game and players from remaining teams to crown a simulated league playoff winner

Okanagan Spirits donating free sanitizer to those most at risk during COVID-19 pandemic

The Okanagan distillery has ceased spirits operations and has produced over 3,000 litres of sanitizer since March 26

Second million-dollar lotto ticket sold in Vernon

Same thing happened on March 7; somebody won Guaranteed Match Number prize

WATCH: Coldstream producer treats neighbours to live music from safe distance

Neighbours practiced social distancing as Jeff Johnson played songs from his front steps

Salmon Arm mayor supports parking solution for hungry truckers

Alternative to Highway 1 suggested for drivers wanting access to McDonald’s

World COVID-19 morning update: Olympics delayed one year; 12,000 health care workers infected

Comprehensive world news update: Lockdown in UK showing signs of hope

Summerland skeletons carry COVID-19 messages

Heather Pescada’s skeletons, normally displayed at Halloween, are appearing on Facebook and Instagram

First responders continue to rally in support of health care workers in Kelowna

Pandosy Street was packed with supporters for the second night in a row

Newspapers are safe to touch, World Health Organization confirms

Just make sure to wash your hands as you would after touching any surface or object

‘It’s up to us: Recently-returned B.C. couple urges Canadians to take COVID-19 seriously

Garrett Kucher and Tory Apostoliuk make it home after almost a week of lockdown in Spain

‘Nothing concrete’: Tenants, landlords lack details after B.C. unveils COVID-19 rental aid

Single mom in Golden says she’s already going to the food bank after being laid off

Canada will make sure masks sent by China meet quality standards: Trudeau

Chinese Embassy tweeted that China was sending 30,000 medical masks along with gowns, gloves and goggles

B.C. issues guidelines about distancing, reusable bags to grocery stores amid COVID-19

Hand sanitizer and markers to keep lines two metres are apart are needed, province says

Most Read