Boy: 'Grown-Ups Killed My Kitty'
8-year-old pens a heartbreaking letter after a shelter mistakenly euthanizes his cat.
By Shayna Meliker
A Utah boy's tragedy is pulling at heartstrings across the world, thanks to a letter that the 8-year-old wrote to his local newspaper about his cat's untimely death. Rayden Sazama composed the note after his pet, Toothless, was mistakenly euthanized by the Cache Humane Society — after the boy's father turned up at the shelter to claim the cat.
"Yesterday grown-ups killed my kitty, my best friend, when they weren’t supposed to," wrote Rayden.
In the letter, published in The Herald Journal, Rayden lays out the sad turn of events that led to his cat's demise: He and his 5-year-old brother began to worry when Toothless didn't return home for two days, prompting them to go door to door through their neighborhood to ask people if they'd seen the cat.
Though none of the neighbors admitted to seeing Toothless, the family would later find out that some neighbors had actually played a part in the kitty's disappearance.
"I didn’t think big people lied because they are grown ups and know what is right," wrote Rayden. "Now I don’t know what to do."
Once it was determined that Toothless was missing, Rayden's father went to a local animal shelter just as it was closing — and there was Toothless, with his big green eyes and fluffy black fur, sitting inside a cage.
"When my dad made his funny meow sound that he does to make him come home, Toothless jumped up and came to the screen and rubbed up against it and was so happy to see my dad, and he wasn’t scared anymore," noted Rayden.
A Bureaucratic Mistake Leads to Devastating Results
The shelter wouldn't allow Rayden's father to take the cat home until he paid a fee at the shelter's office the next day, but one of the employees assured him that he could pick up Toothless then.
But when Rayden's dad returned the next day, the shelter informed him that they didn't have any fluffy black cats. Cache Humane Society Director Brenda Smith confirmed to The Herald Journal that an employee had neglected to write on Toothless' cage that his family had claimed him.
"She had forgotten to leave a note to tell the people my dad would be there for Toothless and they had just killed my cat that morning," wrote Rayden. "She had just forgotten to write a note to save a member of my family. They killed him and I don't know why."
And there was even more to the story: Rayden's family ultimately found out that neighbors who didn't like animals had trapped Toothless and had him taken to the shelter.
Rayden's mother, Tiandra Sazama, says that her son thinks it's neat that so many people are hearing his story — and if anything positive comes out of this tragedy, it's the valuable lessons that Rayden has learned.
"We realize that it's been good for Rayden, who's learned forgiveness," she says. "He went to the shelter and talked to the lady, and told her that he's not mad. He's learned that it's good to speak out about how you feel."
For its part, the Cache Humane Society posted this mea culpa on its Facebook page:
"The Sazama family was offered a new cat as part of the formal, in-person apology that was given to them. They turned it down saying they wanted to wait a while. The offer for them to get a new cat is on the table for them whenever they are ready to get one.”
Other Tales of Preventable Tragedy
This isn't the first time that accidentally euthanized pets have wound up in the headlines.
Last month, a Massachusetts woman took her cat to the vet for a flea treatment, and she was unknowingly given the wrong paperwork — the forms she signed actually instructed the vet to put down the 8-year-old cat.
And in 2010, a war hero named Target was euthanized by mistake at an Arizona shelter. After helping prevent a suicide bombing in Afghanistan, the German Shepherd mix was adopted by an Army sergeant. When Target escaped from her new home, the dog was put down by a shelter just days later — even though she was never scheduled for euthanasia.
Bing: Best pets for children
More from Vetstreet:
5 Strategies for Surviving the Loss of a Pet
How to Talk to Kids About Pet Death
"I'd Do Anything for My Puppy Mill Dog"
Confessions From Pro Pet Sitters: 6 Truly Outrageous Pet Owner Requests
Kitten Scares Off Gang of Puppies
Thats so sad!! I would also like the public to be aware that most shelters SUGAR COAT EUTHANIZED!! Example.... GASSED a horrible DEATH that needs to STOP! Yes the USA STILL does this cruel death. Only 18 States do not!!!!! BE their VOICES and HELP STOP THIS!!!!!! Look this up and learn.
News, stories, tips and laughs for moms & dads
Watch the video of Kristen Bell going head to head with paparazzi - it will make you angry
Every year, toy makers from around the world gather to show their latest creations at the Toy Fair in New York City. The high-tech models, gadgets and trinkets on display put those basic Legos we played with at kids to shame. Here are 10 new toys that we'd happily buy or children. Or, really, ourselves.
Find yourself wandering the aisles, suddenly needing an owl-shaped candle while drinking a $5 latte? You're not alone, moms...
Here's some parenting advice for whatever stage of separation or divorce you're in.
Whether you pop it in the mail or post it on social media, a creative photo is a surefire way to grab everyone’s attention and proudly say, “I’m pregnant!” Prepare for a lot of likes.
Remember the magical children’s rooms in Peter Pan and The Little Prince? These timeless novels described spaces that were enchanting and made us wish that we could inhabit the rooms ourselves. The sumptuous interiors that were filled with never-ending toys and fort-like draping may seem like a fairytale, but thanks to four of our favorite kids' furniture websites, the dream could actually become a reality. Click through the slideshow to check out the best kids furniture websites that have everything necessary to create a fantasy room for your little one. And check out Sophia Demenge's super-fun space in the video below. By Barry Samaha
They lay, they play, and they take selfies with supermodels. Meet 5 of the most social media-savvy pets—animals taking control of their own fashionable online image.
We could try to offer you carefully researched and crafted words of Dad-centric inspiration, intended to show you the path to being a better man and, in turn, a better father. But Tom Limbert took up the task for us in his new book 'Dad's Playbook: Wisdom for Fathers from the Greatest Coaches of All Time,' so we left it to him. Limbert -- a parent coach and the founder of the Studio Grow children's play space in Berkeley, California -- has collected pearls of wisdom from an elite crew of coaches who have not only experienced greatness themselves, but also found ways to consistently instill it in their teams. "It's monkey-see, monkey-do," Limbert told us, after we asked him to gather the best quotes on achieving one's goals. "If you want your child to follow, you have to lead." Click on to read the often simple-seeming words that have inspired countless others to follow through on the field, but that can also easily be translated to the school, work, fitness, and, of course, parenting arenas.
What parents need to know
It's raining, it's pouring ... but that doesn't mean the day has to be a snore. Rather than let the kids grow restless and rambunctious, why not divert their energy toward some fun family bonding activities? Although the weather may have scotched your original plans for the day, seize the opportunity to reconnect and let loose with your loved ones. Click through this slideshow for ten refreshing rainy day activities that'll make you glad the clouds (almost) rained on your parade.
Every family has its oddballs. And the holiday season is the one time of year when you’re pretty much forced to interact and play nice with the grand majority of them. Click through the slideshow above for our guide to dealing with the five worst kinds of kin. *Disclaimer: All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
Not great with a budget? Don't sweat it. Try these simple ways to save.