Vet who mistakenly euthanized cat off the hook for now

A Gardner, Mass., veterinarian who mistakenly euthanized a cat that had been brought in for a flea dip has been let off the hook, according to the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.

The Board of Registration in Veterinary Medicine reviewed the case and determined that the incident apparently resulted from a paperwork mix-up in which the client’s son mistakenly signed euthanasia consent papers, the Telegram said.

The story made national headlines in September 2012 when a woman accused Broadway Animal Hospital's Dr. Muhammad Malik of euthanizing her 8-year-old cat named Lady, even though the cat only needed help with a flea problem.

According to the Telegram, the cat owner’s son brought the cat into the hospital for a flea bath in September. The hospital staff - under the impression that Lady was due for euthanasia - explained the euthanasia paperwork to him before he signed it, the veterinarian’s attorney told the media.

When the son returned to pick up the cat and drop off the family’s other cat, he reportedly was shocked to learn that Lady had been euthanized.

One possible explanation for the mix-up was put forth by the veterinarian’s lawyer, who told media that at the same time the client's son brought Lady in, the hospital expected another man to bring in a cat for euthanization.

While Malik is cleared for now, the case could come up for review again if a complaint is filed because the board dismissed it without prejudice, the Telegram said.