Two members of staff have been dismissed from the Royal Oak hotel in Betws-y-Coed, North Wales, after a cat was killed on the hotel premises last week.
The three-AA-star, 27-bedroom hotel has come under fire after the news of the cat's death emerged this week. An RSPCA investigation is ongoing, and other members of staff have been subject to threats, according to the hotel.
A statement on the hotel's Facebook page, which has since been taken down, said the cat was feral and "humanely euthanised as lawfully provided for when dealing with any animal legally classified as vermin" in order to "protect the health and wellbeing of others".
An online petition, which has now been set up demanding the individuals responsible be prosecuted, has gained more than 23,000 signatures.
Glenn Evans, owner of the Royal Oak, said: "We are sorry for what has happened and embarrassed that we didn't deal with the situation as quickly as we should have. We didn't in any way condone what had occurred but were waiting for the RSPCA to get back to us and, in hindsight, we should have dealt with the two individuals concerned in the incident who have now been dismissed.
"The rest of the team, who work incredibly hard for the good of the business, the village, and their families, have themselves been subject to threats and have suffered emotionally despite the fact they had no knowledge or involvement in what happened. We have been deeply affected by the impact this has had on the village and the people who work and live here and can only apologise for the anxiety, frustration and hurt they must have felt.
"We are a family-run business who value the importance of community and pulling together and we are very aware that many local people rely on us and other hotels in the area to support their businesses and this incident has affected them as well. We know we have also failed them in not acting swiftly. We will now look to supporting our team and revisiting the structure of the training and support we provide.
He added: "We appreciate it will take a lot of hard work to regain the public's confidence in us but we are determined to do that because the Royal Oak isn't just important to us but also to our staff and to the local community for the jobs it brings and the people it helps attract to the area."
A hotel spokesperson declined to comment any further on the cat's death, which is still subject to investigation.
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