(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

Just Posted

Chilliwack school kids draw ‘don’t drink and drive’ messages on liquor store bags

Children from six elementary schools decorate bags as part of promotion created by local Mountie

New exercise class in Hope fills a need for those who can’t attend other seniors fitness classes

Get Up & Go is gentle exercise with a goal of increasing quality of life and social connections

PHOTOS: Christmas comes early for Hope shoppers

Local merchants kept shops open late for Dec. 8 Ho Ho Hope Christmas Fest

Strong winds to hit B.C.’s south coast

Western regions may see winds of up to 80 km/hr

WATCH: Kan Yon restaurant break-in caught on camera

Owner Kevin Kwong said the break-in will not stop him from doing business

Story of the Year: Deadly Humboldt Broncos bus crash

The Canadian Press annual survey of newsrooms across the country saw 53 out of 129 editors cast their votes for the Humboldt Broncos bus crash.

Retailers feel the squeeze of their generous return policies

Technology data tracking can clamp down on fraudulent abuse

Canadians to get low-cost data-only mobile phone plans within 90 days: CRTC

Bell, Rogers and Telus will provide plans as cheap as 250MB for $15

5 to start your day

B.C.’s top cop says Surrey needs more Mounties, nublication ban lifted on name of girl killed in Abbotsford school stabbing and more

Police have ‘viable suspects’ in B.C. gangster’s 2017 murder

Crown prosecutor Neil Wiberg was successful in asking a judge to extend the length of time police can hold onto exhibits seized in connection with the homicide.

Man rescued from sinking boat off the coast of Vancouver Island

Mayday call came into Coast Guard saying vessel had taken on water, BC Ferries dispatched to scene

Four per cent of Canadian women report being sexually harassed in the workplace

One per cent of men report being sexually harassed in the workplace

Stricter drunk driving laws to take effect across Canada today

It gives police officers the right to ask for a breath sample from any driver they lawfully stop

Winter storm warning issued for Coquihalla highway

Total snow accumulations of 40-50 cm expected by Wednesday

Most Read