A dog owner mourning the loss of her pet criticised a local vet for ‘holding the animal’s body ransom’ until she paid her bill. 

Kelly Anderton, 36, of Winnersh, had four police escort her out of Easipetcare in Woodley after arguing with the staff over the state of her dog Millie.

Thames Valley Police were called to the practice after staff called for help when an argument broke out. 

Kelly says she was left distraught by the way she was treated after her pet Millie, a Patterdale, was put to sleep back in November 2023.

“A receptionist walked into the room while Millie was being put to sleep with a card machine and asked me to make a payment,” Ms Anderton said.

“It was like they were trying to shove me out of there. It was an awful traumatic experience.”

At the time of Millie’s death, Ms Anderton said that she would like her dog to be cremated, but was shocked to find out how expensive that would be.

"I asked for her to be cremated with the other animals instead of an individual cremation, but they still charged me for one.

"They were charging me over £300 for Millie who was such a small dog. My Labrador was put down 18 months before and that cost half the price. I get that vet bills have gone up - but this is crazy."

Ms Anderton disputed the payment and then heard nothing from Easipetcare until this week Monday March 18.

She said that the vet called her up to ask what she wanted to do with Millie’s body which had been kept in a freezer for the past four months.

“Within that time, I just thought that she had been cremated and that the vet would just come back to me with the bill. I had tried three times to contact them, but they always told me someone would call me back.

“Not once did they say my dog would be kept in a freezer till I paid the bill. This is sick.”

Ms Anderson then liaised with a third-party cremation company and arranged for them to go with her to the vet to pick up Millie.

However, when she arrived at Easipetcare, the reception staff refused to give the body over until Ms Anderton paid the bill.

Ms Anderton then told the vet staff that she would go and get her dog herself from the freezer and staff subsequently called the police to remove her from the premises.

Ms Anderton went willingly and was told to wait around the back door where she was met with the private cremation service.

The vet then brought out Millie in a hard container with a thin black material covering it.

“They just brought her out like a piece of rubbish. Her paw was just hanging out and I could see her eyes through the gap in the material. She wasn’t even covered up.”

"It wasn't about the money. I paid £300 to have her privately cremated that day. It's about the shocking way in which they treated me and my beloved pet."

Easipetcare has said that they cannot comment publicly on individual cases but take any allegations of substandard delivery of care to animals or their owners extremely seriously and all complaints are investigated thoroughly.

“Our dedicated team at Easipetcare aims to provide a professional and caring service, and the most important thing to us is the welfare of pets in our care.

“We appreciate our clients showing courtesy and respect to our staff at all times. We have a zero tolerance policy of abuse, including verbal abuse or defamatory statements, towards our staff.

“Anyone who verbally or physically abuses our staff will be prohibited from using our services and will be reported to the police.”