A woman’s cherished cat has died after an unfortunate botch-up with a cattery led to its death.

Sue Peoples had put her cat Jac into a cattery before going away on holiday with her partner.

But a week into their adventure, they received an upsetting call to say the cattery had given her cat to another family and had run away.

The cat had been mistaken for another feline – something Sue found hard to accept given her cat Jac only has three legs.

“Of course, I was very upset. I don’t have kids, so Jac’s like my fur baby,” she said.

To make matters worse, Jac’s arthritis medication was given to the other cat.

Sue quickly cut her holiday short and raced back home to search for her pet.

After a lengthy search and help from locals, Sue’s efforts to find Jac were in vain.

Sadly, three weeks later, Jac’s body was found curled up under some rushes by a local farmer.

Sue filed a claim in the Disputes Tribunal against the cattery, claiming back costs accrued in her search for Jac.

The case was settled before the hearing and Sue was reimbursed $2000 for accommodation and flights.

Consumer NZ head of content Caitlin Cherry said it’s heartbreaking for Sue and the cattery failed to its duty of care.

“This is such a tragedy for Sue. She trusted a cattery with a member of her family. But the business didn’t carry out its service with reasonable care and skill. You should expect your pets to be safe when you leave them at a boarding facility.

“Catteries and kennels must adhere to a code of welfare developed under the Animal Welfare Act. If you’re looking for a facility, ask your vet for a recommendation and consider making a visit before booking.

“Don’t be shy about asking about staff experience and qualifications. Also check that it is clean and secure.”

In the past two years, the SPCA has received 56 complaints about pet care facilities.

Dirty premises, inadequate security to prevent animals escaping, lack of supervision, lack of veterinary care for sick animals and insufficient staff were among the complaints.

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