The Registered Veterinary Nurse Disciplinary Committee of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) has suspended a registered veterinary nurse who admitted to taking home a patient that was supposed to have been euthanised.
During the hearing the committee heard how Sally-Ann Roberts had deliberately gone against the wishes of the owners of a 14-year-old Maine Coon cat called Jason and instead had taken the cat home with her for “intensive nursing”.
The cat then escaped from Sally-Ann’s residence, leading her to fabricate a story to the Pet Database Company, Jason’s owners and her employer. She maintained that he had escaped from the practice, until a second interview with her area manager revealed otherwise.
Jason was returned by a member of the public two days after escaping and then euthanised as per the original request of the owners.
Sally-Ann received a three-month suspension from the RCVS Disciplinary Committee in December 2012 having repeated the false account on a number of occasions and also forging the signature of Jason’s owner on official documentation.
Explaining her actions to the committee, Ms Roberts said she was upset that Jason’s owners wanted him to be euthanised and felt that he could recover if given love and attention.
In view of the admitted facts, the committee judged that Ms Robert’s dishonesty and breach of client trust, as well the distinct risk of injury to which she exposed Jason, amounted to serious professional misconduct.
Image: Dominique Jacholke