GARDNER (FOX 25 / MyFoxBoston.com) A Gardner woman is grieving the loss of her cat that was taken to the veterinarian for a flea bath, but was accidentally euthanized instead.
"She was healthy, she was beautiful, she didn't have a bit of sickness about her," says Colleen Conlon of her cat, Lady.
Colleen's son, Jesse Conway, brought Lady to the Broadway Animal Hospital in Gardner last Monday and unknowingly authorized the cat to be put to sleep after he says he was handed the wrong forms by Dr. Muhammad Malik.
"I made the mistake of signing those papers but I didn't know what I was signing, nothing was explained to me," says Conway.
Conway had an appointment for both of his cats to have flea baths, but since they can't ride in the same car at the same time, he had to bring them separately. He says he dropped Lady off first, filled out some paperwork and left to pick up the second cat.
When he returned, he learned of the mix-up.
"He asked me if I wanted to keep the bodies," says Conway. "It was like a blank stare back at each other for the first 10 seconds, then he immediately grabbed the papers I thought were registration forms and told me I had signed the papers."
Dr. Malik originally agreed to talk to FOX 25 about what happened, but then deferred to his attorney, Michael Sheridan.
Attorney Sheridan, spoke with FOX 25 via telephone on Monday about the incident.
While Sheridan did not point the finger at the family, he did say the form explicitly mentions the cat would be euthanized twice. He added that Conway filled out the forms himself and had a personal conversation with Dr. Malik before the procedure went forward.
FOX 25 has learned that Dr. Malik was put on a year-long probation back in 2005 for improperly treating a dog's paw.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.