IT MAY have been her cat dead on the side of the road, but Renee Jessen has no way of knowing.
Indy, Renee's five-year-old white and grey tabby, went missing late last year.
She's since been sighted around town, recognisable by a telltale white patch on her rear.
A cat matching that description was found dead on Dixon Dr, Telina, on Valentine's Day.
Renee was alerted when a passer-by posted a comment on the Facebook page Gladstone Classifieds.
The woman wrote that she'd driven past the cat, but was unable to stop with her two young children in the car.
She then called the council, who told her the contractor JJ Richards would dispose of the body.
Renee called the council herself, to see if the cat had been scanned for a microchip.
She was told that wasn't the case.
"I'm a little bit upset," she said.
"It's sad to think that a family pet could just be thrown away."
Renee can't understand why the cat wasn't scanned.
Indy was microchipped, as per local law, so she could be reunited with her family if she went missing.
"I was under the impression that if my animal got lost it could be returned to me dead or alive," Renee said.
Without that closure it's difficult for Renee to move on.
"I still have a little bit of hope since it hasn't been confirmed that the cat was Indy."
Her son Benjamin also seems to miss the "easy-going" tabby.
"Whenever he sees a cat it's, 'Indy, Indy'," Renee said.
"She was a really good cat."
Renee admitted her cat Indy had "dropped her collar".
The dead cat found on Dixon Dr didn't have a collar either.
Council's manager of waste services Charlie Sotiris said a cat without a collar was viewed as feral.
Feral cats picked up by council's contractor are not scanned for a microchip.
Council contracts JJ Richards to pick up such animals.
"Do you equip every vehicle with a microchip scanner?" Mr Sotiris said.
"What if the microchip is damaged?
"At the end of the day the community pays for it."
He added that the best way to ensure a missing pet was reunited with its family, dead or alive, was to fit it with a collar and registration tags.
"Council always endeavours to recover the owner's details," Mr Sotiris said.
"To give closure," he added.
Mr Sotiris said it was important to microchip dogs and cats.
"Microchipping is a positive approach to responsible animal management," he said.
Cats and dogs must be microchipped when:
Sold (seller responsibility)
Given away (responsibility on the person giving away the animal)
Before reaching the age of 12 weeks
The benefits of microchipping:
The barcode on the microchip is linked to your contact details and recorded on registry database
Your pet is permanently identified Australia-wide
Source: Gladstone Regional Council