"Your missing pet might have been dumped at the tip."
One morning a few weeks ago, a local woman who we'll call Mrs E left her house. While she was out, her pet cat was hit by a car in front of her home.
The cat had been microchipped and registered as per the new cat laws. The cat cost $800, and was an exotic Persian.
When the lady got home that afternoon, a neighbour came over and asked if anyone had been in touch.
"No, no-one has called me," said Mrs E.
"Sorry to tell you your cat has been run over," the neighbour said.
Mrs E was obviously upset at the news. But what made it even sadder for her was what she discovered next.
Someone had already taken her pet away.
Someone had contacted the City of Greater Geraldton regarding the dead cat, and they sent someone to collect the body.
Mrs E said a friend of her's driving past stopped and begged the woman from the city not to take the dead cat, as it belonged to Mrs E.
But it was no use. The woman from the council said because it had been called in she "had to take it" according to Mrs E's friend.
So the pet cat was thrown into the car and the car drove off.
Once Mrs E heard what happened she set about retrieving her dead pet. She hadn't heard from whoever took the body, so she started ringing around.
She rang the council, who couldn't help. She spoke with the rangers. They couldn't help. She rang all the vets in Geraldton. None of them could help.
"No one knew anything," says Mrs E.
So the next morning Mrs E got a description of the woman and vehicle that took her pet away from her friend, and again tried to get some information from the City.
Then she waited for a call back.
Later that afternoon she received a call.
It wasn't good news.
The woman told Mrs E that she had "already picked up a bunch of other deceased dogs and cats that day and your cat has been taken to the tip."
Mrs E was told there was no way at all she could recover the body of her pet.
But what was more remarkable to Mrs E was that she wasn't even informed.
"My cat was desexed, microchipped, and registered with the council. I don't know why she wasn't scanned, and why I wasn't contacted."
Mrs E's biggest concern is for all the other people around town who have lost a pet, and can't find it anywhere. "Your missing pet might have been dumped at the tip," she says.
Everything Geraldton contacted the City of Greater Geraldton last week regarding the matter, and we have even followed them up again since, asking if taking people's pets to the tip without scanning them or informing the owners is common practice.
They have not responded.