Family whose cat Coco was killed on road suffer double heartbreak after binmen picked up the two-year-old’s body and incinerated him before his owners had learned he had died
- Tony and Sarah Brown and six-year-old daughter Hannah heard Coco had died
- The family went to collect the cat to bury him but found his body had vanished
- Waste contractors Biffa initially denied incinerating him but later admitted it
A family’s beloved cat was killed in a road accident and then incinerated after council bin men took him away.
Tony and Sarah Brown and their six-year-old daughter Hannah were devastated when their pet, Coco, was found dead near their home in Abingdon, Oxfordshire.
By the time they went to collect the black cat in order to bury him in the garden, his body had vanished.
Waste contractors Biffa initially denied they had collected the cat’s body, but later admitted it had been taken to their Culham depot for incineration.
Tony and Sarah Brown and their six-year-old daughter Hannah, pictured left, were devastated when their pet, Coco, right, was found dead near their home in Oxfordshire
Mrs Brown called the firm’s behaviour ‘outrageous’, saying they had denied the family the chance to bury their cat.
She said: ‘We were left without closure and we have no chance of getting him back.
‘Some people will say he was just a cat, but we’d had him since he was a kitten and he was irreplaceable.
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‘It’s just been my father’s funeral, and all this with Coco has added to the trauma during a time of grief.’
She said Biffa did not attempt to trace Coco’s owners before destroying his body, despite him being microchipped.
‘Cats should be treated like dogs – there should be a law that their microchip has to be scanned,’ she said.
The day after Coco went missing, Mrs Brown saw a Facebook post about a dead cat matching his description.
By the time the family went to collect the black cat (pictured) in order to bury him in the garden, his body had vanished and the firm eventually admitted it had been incinerated
Her husband went to the site, between Farm Road and Parsons Mead in Abingdon, but the cat had gone.
After a resident suggested binmen might have collected him, the Browns contacted Biffa but were told he had not been brought in.
They put up a roadside banner about Coco, logged details on missing pet websites and checked bins and bushes in case someone had moved him, to no avail.
About a week later, a woman said she had seen a Biffa caged van collect the cat just after 9am and put it in a blue bag.
Tony went to the Culham depot, and the manager said he would investigate.
The Biffa depot manager later called back with the bad news that he had been incinerated without the family’s knowledge or consent.
The council confirmed it received a formal complaint, but a spokesperson said it would be ‘inappropriate to respond’ while the investigation is ongoing.
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