There's been a rash of prominent accidental animal deaths lately—from the supermodel who blames United Airlines for killing her golden retriever during a cross-country trip to the woman whose cat was mistakenly euthanized after being brought to a local animal hospital for a flea bath. And now, there's been yet ANOTHER accidental animal death: an 8-year-old Utah boy wrote a letter to his local paper about his cat being euthanized by a local animal shelter: "Yesterday grown-ups killed my kitty, my best friend, when they weren't supposed to."
Rayden Sazama's heartbreaking letter appeared in The Herald Journal newspaper on Thursday. It's worth reading the whole thing, but here's one excerpt:
My name is Rayden. I am 8 years old and I live in Logan. Yesterday grown-ups killed my kitty, my best friend, when they weren’t supposed to. Because I really don’t know how to write, my PaPa is writing down the things I think and say. My kitty’s name is Toothless. When I got him I had just seen “How to Train a Dragon” at the movies. My kitty looked just like the dragon Toothless with big green eyes and the hair around his head. Toothless, my cat, has long fluffy hair and sleeps on my bed and loved to play with my brother and me. Toothless would let us carry him around all the time. He was our best friend.
Toothless slipped out of their home on September 28th and ended up at a local animal shelter in Logan, Utah. The boy's father found it there, but couldn't take the kitty immediately because "they said he had to go to another office building and pay a fee. The lady at the shelter said it would be OK and told him to come back the next day and we could get Toothless." When he went back the next day, Toothless was dead:
The same lady that told my dad to come back the next day said she was sorry. 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. She had just forgotten to write a note to save a member of my family. They killed him and I don’t know why.
As if all that isn't bad enough, they also found out how the cat ended up at the shelter‚ one of their cat-hating neighbors had trapped it:
They had caught him in a trap and gave him to the police to take him away. When Devin and I knocked on their door and asked if they had seen Toothless they told us no, and that was a lie. My dad and mom tell me and Devin not to lie and that is right. I didn’t think big people lied because they are grown ups and know what is right. Now I don’t know what to do. My cat Toothless is dead; the people that killed him didn’t even give him to my dad so we could bury him. What do I do now?
Rayden's father, Jason Sazama, told the Daily News that his son was devastated: “He and the cat were tight. Toothless used to let the kids tug him around and love on him all day.” Rayden wrote the letter with his grandfather and delivered it by hand to the editor. “I was really proud of him for writing the letter,” Sazama said. “He had some closure. He felt like he did something.”
Sazama also told ABC that he didn't blame the shelter for the mistake: "I had to explain to my son that several adults made mistakes here," he said. "The worker made a mistake, and I should have gone to the shelter sooner." Cache Humane Society Director Brenda Smith acknowledged the mistake to The Herald Journal: “I’ve just been sick about it, and so has [the worker]."