Monday, January 8, 2018

Pet Loss: Curious Cats Still Getting Killed in Clothes Dryers

Precaution is better than cure.  ~ Edward Coke

In an earlier post I shared a number of stories from members of our online pet loss forum describing their personal experiences with cats and kittens being accidentally killed in clothes dryers.

As I said then, losing a beloved animal in such a horrific way leaves pet parents traumatized with gruesome images and devastating feelings of grief, guilt and remorse.

I’m sorry to say that despite my own efforts to alert and to warn, with an eye toward prevention, these tragic accidents continue to this day.
See, for example, the comments left at the base of that earlier post.

And here is the most recent incident, as reported in our online Loss of a Pet forum:
I Need Help - I had a kitten who did everything with me. She ate with me, slept with me and went everywhere I went around my house. Wednesday morning my 2 ½ year old daughter woke up after she had wet the bed through her diaper, so I immediately washed her sheets and blankets. As I was rushing her and my school-aged daughter out the door so we could get to the store, I quickly threw the bed sheets and blankets in the dryer, without paying attention to my kitten’s whereabouts. When I came home to let our dog out I could smell a foul odor, but I just passed it off as maybe dog gas or a dog accident in the kennel. A couple hours later I came downstairs to get the bed stuff from the dryer and saw my poor helpless limp kitten dead in my dryer. I feel so guilty! I’ve barely eaten the last 3 days and all I can think about is how much I miss her. How I could have taken 2 seconds to inspect the dryer. All these what if’s and I’m so severely devastated and depressed I don’t know what to do. I cry every day and I’m so upset with myself that I will never be able to forgive myself for not looking this one time. How scared she must have been. I don’t know what to do this pain is so unbearable. I’m literally broken and my world stopped. My cats are like my own children only with fur and a tail. I’ll never be able to move on and the guilt will be here forever.
I am sick at heart to think that this has happened to yet another pet parent, and once again, if you have cats or kittens in your home, I urge you to consider taking these precautions:
  • Always keep the doors to appliances closed (washer, dryer, refrigerator, freezer).
  • Keep the door to your laundry room closed.
  • Place sticky notes on your appliances to remind you to check first for kitty’s presence.
  • Once you’ve loaded your washer or dryer (and before you turn it on), check the inside with a sweep of your hand.
  • If you hear any noise or strange sound coming from your washer or dryer, investigate immediately.
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