A Sussex woman said she was ‘shocked and upset’ to find her dead cat had been thrown in a bin after it was found on the side of the road.
Sallie Goodall, 42, from Hastings, said her one-year-old cat Teddy had been missing since Wednesday evening.
Her neighbour found Teddy on the side of the road by Alexandra Park, Hastings, on Thursday and, unaware it was Sallie’s cat, informed staff from landscapers idverde who put the animal in a bag.
Sallie spoke to her neighbour on Saturday who told her she had found a catch matching Teddy’s description and told her to speak to staff at idverde.
On Monday, a manager informed her Teddy had been disposed of along with their waste, which had since been incinerated.
She said: “Myself, my husband and three children spent the weekend calling and looking for him as we did not speak to our neighbour until Saturday evening who then told us she had found a cat matching Teddy’s description.
“On Monday morning first thing my husband and I went to the office of idverde in Alexandra Park and spoke to the manager who informed us that they had found a cat which they moved so passing school children wouldn’t see it, which I completely understand. He also said the body was in a ‘bad way’.
“He then told us the body had been ‘disposed’ of.”
Sallie said she returned to the depot on two more occasions where she was told Teddy had been disposed of alongside their waste, which had been taken to the incinerator.
A spokesman for idverde said: “Our colleague removed the deceased cat from public view to our depot, with the best of intentions to avoid causing upset to local children.
“Unfortunately it was then mistakenly removed before the correct process for its identification and disposal could be followed.
“The idverde colleagues involved have been briefed and made aware of the correct process and our operations manager has spoken personally to the owners of the cat to apologise for the distress caused.”
Sallie added: “Teddy has a twin brother Pixie who has been looking for him since his disappearance. We hoped we could bring his body home for him to see and smell so he knew he would no longer be around.”