Pet-food recall: More numbers … and some help

March 22, 2007

I’m sad to say we’ve passed a milestone. We now have more than 1,000 pets reported as deceased into our database.

Again, we must put things in perspective. These are self-reported numbers. We have asked everyone if they checked the brand against the recall list, and have also asked them to provide a veterinary reference. We felt that this would give us a better chance of having numbers that reflect reality. Most people both named their veterinarian and named the brand.

We have said from the first that we put the database up because we believed based on all the anecdotal evidence we were seeing — in our e-mail boxes, and on forums and blogs — that the number of dead pets was far greater than what the government was, and is, reporting.

We still believe that to be the case, and today we finally started to see other experts agree with us, such as here and here. We believe there will be more news on this front, and that the “official” count will grow as well.

We also have from the first encouraged people to report their information to the FDA and to the companies and the manufacturer. You can find all those links here. In the meantime, we continue to keep our database open for entries.

Tomorrow, we’re going to try to get some perspective on all this. Where do we go from here?

In the meantime, if you haven’t checked your pet’s food — “wet” food only is listed — against the recall list, you must do so. If you even suspect your pet has eaten any of the recalled product — even if the animal seems fine — call your veterinarian about a diagnostic test of kidney function. It’s an investment in your peace of mind that may save your pet’s life. (Read our piece on kidney disease for more information.)

If you had been feeding a product that has been recalled and your pet is OK, ask your veterinarian for a recommendation of what’s right for your pet now.

And speaking of veterinarians, we’d like to note that if you’re a client of Banfield The Pet Hospital, here’s some news:

Banfield, The Pet Hospital is providing a 25 percent discount off the recommended medical treatment plans received at participating Banfield hospitals across the nation. Specialists and other experts have developed these specific treatment plans to screen for and treat kidney problems seen in patients who have eaten the tainted foods.

In addition, the Banfield Charitable Trust has created an emergency fund and donated the first $50,000 in funding to financially assist clients with Pet medical costs incurred at Banfield that are associated with the Menu Foods product contamination. Banfield Charitable Trust funds from this grant can be applied for at Banfield hospitals.

Here’s the link to the announcement.

We have heard there may be some news on the “what caused this?” front coming soon, maybe even tomorrow, and also that the FDA is working to make reporting easier. More on these angles when we know more.

In parting, we want to share one criticism we received, telling us we should report only information released from the government or trade associations.

I guess it comes down to whether you want the media to be lap dogs or watch dogs. Us? We’re going to keep barking, like watch dogs.

Hug your pets, and goodnight for now.

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Filed under: pets, connected,recalls,veterinary medicine — Gina Spadafori @ 9:10 pm


  1. The Menu Foods website which lists the brands recalled is out of date. It has not been kept current with the brands added to the recall since that list date….this is a terrible response by Menu Foods, so disrespectful.

    Comment by Vee — March 22, 2007 @ 9:21 pm

  2. I sent an email to the FDA asking them why they are still being quoted in all the news wires as saying 10-14 deaths from the recalled food. I *did* get a response about an hour later, but the person said the FDA wasn’t telling news services how many pets have died – the news services were just reporting what they knew from Menufoods press release.

    I gently recommended they grow a pair and at least release an estimated number of dead pets to the press so they would quite reporting this massive inaccuracy. I personally am quite a bit less than impressed with the government response.


    Comment by John Pierce — March 22, 2007 @ 9:42 pm

  3. Please keep barking like watchdogs. We are relying on you.

    Your pet food recall survey, however innacurate it may be due to being self-reporting, is still essential, and has to be a closer approximation of the truth than the Menu Foods reported number.

    The point needs to be made that many were harmed before there was any awareness at all of a recall.

    The point needs to be made that most normal people who feed commercial food do NOT save the containers that food came in. (Ick.)

    And while those of us who feed no commercial foods are heaving a huge sigh of relief, we are still heartbroken at what our fellow animal lovers are suffering.

    We want to see them vindicated and recompensed insofar as possible.

    When a pet dies or is ill, not much eases the heartbreak; not much assuages the guilt — that “I did this, and I could have done better” feeling.

    You are trying. And those of us attempting to help our friends without computers are relying on you for current information.

    I at least am not relying on the FDA or on Menu Foods. Or on the marketers of those foods — did they contact their veterinary clients with information about the recall and affected and unaffected products? If so, I’ve not heard of it.

    Yep;it’s up to PetConnection and a few others to inform; the information is being passed along. At least by me.


    Comment by Shari — March 22, 2007 @ 10:15 pm

  4. I wondered if we’d be getting something more substantial out of the FDA in the near future.

    ABC News is currently reporting on their site that both molds and heavy metals have been eliminated as suspects, and that investigators are now focusing on pesticides and chemicals.

    Comment by Gwen — March 22, 2007 @ 10:20 pm

  5. does anyone know how to make home made dog food? id rather make my dogs food and know its safe for her or find a dog food that is absolutly and positivly good for her if anyone can help me with this is would be greatly appreciated.

    Comment by Ryann — March 23, 2007 @ 12:18 am

  6. Ryann: I feed my dog a raw diet. It’s easy to do and does not require as much time as a homecooked diet does. Not to mention that it’s more species-appropriate for our dogs and cats than cooked food is.

    I have a page on my website with a short FAQ about raw feeding. The last FAQ also has links to many other resources that will be very helpful:

    Comment by Janine — March 23, 2007 @ 12:35 am

  7. thanks janine but my dog cant chew with her teeth cause her dental is bad thats why she was on wet food but i dont want her to remain on even this “heatlthy” wet food

    Comment by Ryann — March 23, 2007 @ 12:49 am

  8. Thank you for being the watch dog and telling us the truth. I’m tired of seeing the lie that 14 cats and dogs died. And how many became ill and didn’t die? I suspect the number is staggering yet Menu Foods doesn’t mention it. I will support you at this website and those who have animals who have been affected in any way I can. My dog, Freedom, became so sick with kidney failure, she lost part of her tongue! I’m also doing research into older tainted pet food cases to see how they approached it legally. PLEASE keep reporting your findings. You are the only one who really seems to care about what happened. And thank you so much for caring. To all suffering through this tragedy, I send you and your pets many prayers. We have to keep speaking for those who can’t speak for themselves.

    Comment by Ann Jackson — March 23, 2007 @ 4:47 am

  9. The criticism that you should report only information released from the government or trade associations is one that goes on throughout the blogosphere every day… but it has become the role of blogs like yours to be advocates for those who otherwise wouldn’t be.

    Trade associations have agendas to protect their members. The government wants to protect busineses who pay it taxes. It’s up to those of you who “bark” to stand up for the animals, because they aren’t a priority for the businesses.

    The numbers you are gathering are hearbreaking, but they are also very, very important. And the information you are providing is going to save lives.

    Comment by CatLady — March 23, 2007 @ 4:52 am

  10. I would like to thank all of you for the information that is being provided, it has been very difficult to find any news locally.

    Both of our cats are now in the hospital receiving an agressive push of IV fluids in hopes to save them. Both of them ate the IAMS food for a month after a previous vet recommended we put them on wet food, they had always been on dry prior to that. They are strictly indoor cats that never receive table food. So yes, I share the feelings of thinking that I was poisoning my family. I actually mixed it with the dry food when they started to refuse to eat it…

    I just want to remind everyone that they can appear to be fine and by the time you put the symptoms together in your head, it can be too late. Our 5 yr old male cat has already lost 75% of his kidney function and other than drinking alot of water and sleeping, we wouldn’t have thought he was sick.

    While visiting them last night, there was another gentleman there with his cat who was also in kidney failure, but she was so sick, she just lay there with the IV’s while he brushed her – my heart breaks thinking of how sick she is.

    My husband phoned IAMS ( luckily we had the pouches, receipts – everything ) and they assigned a case worker who returned our call within a couple of hours with a case number. Our vet faxed their records over and we shipped a couple of packages of the food UPS to IAMS last night (they are running tests on the food independently to try and find the cause).
    They also assured us that they will pay for the vet bill’s and reimburse us for expenses incurred so far. Although no amount of money can make this situation better, it is comforting knowing that IAMS is taking this seriously and doing what they can, we were never able to reach Menu Foods!

    I feel for the pets and their owners who can’t afford to put the thousands of dollars up front or do not have the packages to prove they had the bad lot numbers. I can’t help but wonder how many pets will die slowly and without medical care or a diagnosis because of the expenses involved.

    My prayers go out to all.

    Comment by Sandy — March 23, 2007 @ 5:40 am

  11. A preface to what I’m going to say — My heart is absolutely breaking while reading what’s posted here. And I am appalled at how dependent an industry has become on one supplier – this should never be allowed to happen again. Stronger legislation is needed. Animal food suppliers should come under the same level of scrutiny that human food suppliers do. Unfortunately, I also know that the likes of the USDA veterinary inspection corps are stretched to their limits — They simply don’t have the personnel….and even if they had the funds to hire — it’s a career choice few veterinarians make. This also needs to be changed.

    I also want to add some historical perspective… I pick up a book on cat care written in 1957 and read “..some who have been noted for their longevity have even exceeded 20 years but an extreme such as this must be regarded as exceptional. It is, however, not unusual for a cat to reach the age of 12 or 13…”

    Present horrific situation excepted, I believe most of us would agree that we no longer expect our animals to live to 12 or 13…but well beyond. A better understanding of nutrition has played a big role in that change in life expectancy.

    Elsewhere on the net I am seeing much talk about homemade pet foods etc — and seeing some highly questionable recipes being presented. For those who have no choice…cannot find decent alternatives to foods on the recall list…home cooking is a viable short-term precaution. However, longterm…unless one has a good understanding of nutrition, one can get in trouble in a hurry (metabolic bone disease, vitamin deficiencies..etc). There’s quite a bit of math involved in creating a balanced diet. So…proceed slowly and cautiously when making feeding decisions. Read, read read some more, and consider the sources of the information. Good places to look for feeding info/recipes would be Zoo Nutrition sources…and wildlife rehab sources.

    Comment by GingerTom — March 23, 2007 @ 6:08 am

  12. My cat needs the canned cat food to keep from becoming constipated and to take her medicine. After all of the scares, I’ve started using beef and chicken gravy made for humans over her dry food. She loves it. However, now I’m worried about the dry food as well. There has been a recall in S Africa of dry food due to ethylene glycol contamination. No connection to Menu Foods, but as we don’t know the source of the possible contamination, wheat gluten or other, and the symptoms are similar, makes me concerned that the dry foods will be the next topic of concern.

    Comment by Susan — March 23, 2007 @ 6:10 am

  13. I heard last night it could be that fertilizer somehow got into the wheat. Also that a woman’s dog at only dry OLE ROY and also died from the same symptoms. Leading me to believe no one should be giving their pets wet OR DRY of any of the recalled brands listed until it is 100% resolved!!

    Comment by Karen — March 23, 2007 @ 5:12 am

  14. There are 2 class action suits in Canada.

    and here are the lawyers handling the case in Canada. They have a US affiliate but I don’t know if anything has been filed by this firm in the US yet.

    My own kitty got sick with Felines Diabetes from eating MediCal, which is owned by Royal Canin. Preventative, Reducing, Weight control — she was on all of them.

    She was cured through Dr. Elizabeth Hodgkins’ site.

    Dr. H is also coming out with a book on the pet food industry in June:

    Your Cat: A revolutionary guide to feline health and happiness.

    I have preordered. You can get it through Amazon. She was an executive at Hills for 10 years and her book comes down heavy on the pet food industry.

    This stuff needs to be taken off the market. Period. It is killing our pets. These companies need to be sued big time. Pet food is a $15 billion dollar a year industry in North America.

    The vets are in on this. In Canada they are the ones responsible for pushing all these poisonous prescription diets like Hills and Royal Canin and MediCal. They must be brought to account too.

    Comment by Carol Auld — March 23, 2007 @ 6:13 am

  15. Please keep up this website for more information. The FDA cannot be trusted. The billionaire CEOs have the FDA in their back pockets. It’s the average person who must find the truth behind this huge fiasco. I’m very concerned about feeding my pets (dogs) the dry food even. Presently they are getting Nutro Lite dry, but why should I continue to support a company who has 4 moist foods that are part of this problem. How do I know that it won’t eventually carry over to the dry food. None of these companies have stepped up to the plate and on an individual basis commented. They all are sure silent. Like everyone else, I’ve been duped into believing I really did my homework and found the best product for my dogs. Would like to see this website give us information on what company(s) really do have the best or as far as can be ascertained, the safest food. We need to boycott all the companies listed and get them out of business. As a country of pet lovers, we need to show these big companies, the FDA and the government that we will not just sit meekly and let our pets be killed and everyone just ho-hums and goes on making money.

    Comment by Valarie — March 23, 2007 @ 6:42 am

  16. Every time I read of another illness or death from this belated recall, I want to cry.
    I feed Pedigree to my dogs and I just received the following email.

    “On March 16, Menu Foods, a manufacturer of pet foods, announced that it was recalling millions of cans and foil pouches of wet dog and cat food.

    This recent nationwide pet food recall does not include any Mars Petcare US pet food products. All of our brands, including PEDIGREE® food for dogs, CESAR® canine cuisine, THE GOODLIFE RECIPE™ food for cats and dogs, WHISKAS® and SHEBA® food for cats, are safe for pets to enjoy.

    The safety and nutritional quality of our pet food is our top priority because for many people, their pets are their top priorities.

    For details on the recall, contact Menu Foods at 1-866-895-2708 or visit the company’s web site at:

    Yours truly,

    Mars Petcare US”

    I have to believe that Mars wouldn’t have sent this out unless they were 100% sure their food was safe.

    Comment by Shirley — March 23, 2007 @ 7:09 am


    Comment by CINDY — March 23, 2007 @ 7:28 am

  18. I have added my cat to the database he died in december at age 2 he was fed Iams pouches as was my dog he is now going in to be tested.
    I was really mad last when I was watching action 4 news (kansas city Mo.)and the reporter went to PETCO and bought a whole bag full of the recalled pouches right off the shelf!!!!!!
    they reported that the store in Lee’s Summit and the store in Independence MO. were both selling the recalled pouches, the district manager for PETCO said we made a mistake and it won’t happen again and that’s fine because I won’t be a customer again either.
    The other answer I would like is who supplies Menufoods with thier ingredients?
    (Someone please publish a list of suppliers)
    if the wheat gluten is bad who sold it to menufoods in the first place?
    and how many other manufactures bought the bad ingredients?
    lets get to the root of the problem. now I’m seeing reports of pets that only eat dry food getting sick.
    I’m afraid to feed my pets store bought food.
    my wife always yelled at me for feeding the pets table scraps, last night I actually had to prepare home cooked meals for them.

    And IAMS (since it was your name on the food package)if your reading this you will soon receive my invioce for repayment of pet food that I purchased and for my VET bills for my cat and most importantly for the cremation cost of our beloved pet.
    John C
    Kansas city, Mo.

    Comment by John Carnal — March 23, 2007 @ 7:29 am

  19. After nearly losing our Lhasa Apso to kidney failure which, according to the vet, is most likely caused by eating the contaminated food, we’ve seen a remarkable recovery. We’re not 100% out of the woods yet, but the levels which were off the charts in Max’s blood test a week ago are now only “slightly elevated.” The only thing Max has eaten since coming home from the animal hospital 9 days ago is baked/grilled chicken – which he eats a lot of! He refuses everything else. The local grocery store where I bought the food – has offered to “help with the vet bills.” I didn’t ask them for anything – because it’s not their fault, but told them I’d accept it if they promised to go after Menu Foods. They have a bit more clout than I do. Looks like that will probably happen.
    I hope there are other stories of recovery out there. My heart goes out to everyone who is going through this with their pets.

    Comment by Tim — March 23, 2007 @ 9:08 am

  20. Our local news station just announced that they have found the cause, it is a Rat poison called “aminopterin” that is illegal to use in the United states, but was on the wheat that was imported from China and used by Menu Foods.
    You can watch the live news conference at 1pm (EST) on

    I don’t know how valid this is, but it’s worth checking out.

    Comment by Sandy — March 23, 2007 @ 10:27 am


    Comment by TONI — March 23, 2007 @ 11:40 am

  22. I cannot believe you advocate consulting your veterinarian for any advice involving nutrition. What a boon that will be for sales of Hill’s Science Diet, a food which won’t kill your dog right away but certainly won’t do him any favors over time.

    Are you aware that the average serious pet owner probably has more knowledge about pet nutrition that does the average vet?? There are no courses on nutrition offered in veterinary schools (if there were, so many of them wouldn’t be selling Hill’s products).

    What a vet learns is what they choose to learn; pretty much what the average owner does.

    If you want advice on a proper food to serve your pets, I would recommend a visit to your nearest holistic pet food store.

    Comment by Don James — March 23, 2007 @ 12:09 pm

  23. My dog passed from eating the contaminated food on March 3 while at the vet on an I.V. He died a day and a half after he became ill. His illness came on sudden as he hadn’t been sick and was in extremely good health. He was an inside dog and very pampered and spoiled. I do not have any of the pouches, cans or receipts as I didn’t have a way of knowing it would become an issue. I would never take any money from the companies, but I do wish them ill will and am hoping they are forced to shut down and I hope this will wake up the FDA as to what can happen in the future. Our pets are not property. He kept me from being lonely and he bossed me around. I suppose I was his property. Anyway, I do miss him and I am over-the-top with anger about the way he died.

    Comment by Leslie Serio — March 23, 2007 @ 12:20 pm

  24. So terrible Leslie. Our pets do own us don’t they. Breaks my heart. I’m so sorry for your loss.

    Comment by Linda — March 23, 2007 @ 12:27 pm

  25. My cat is one of the victims of this terrible thing. I purchased 8 cans of one of these foods. My cat ate 6 which we still had in the trash and we have two still unopened. I still have my store receipt as well.

    It took just 13 days from the first can I opened for his health to be noticeably different, I then ran him to the vets office because of the recall and behavior. I even brought in an unopened can with me to show the vet. He ran blood work and everything on it showed a very healthy cat……with the exception of his kidney’s. The numbers were all in the extreme red and high in the danger zone. He was in renal failure. I had to leave my cat and a 300.00 deposit and was told that it would cost about 200.00+ per day and he was staying about 3 days. They have him on fluids to flush out his kidney’s and they will be taking another blood test either this afternoon or tomorrow to look at his numbers once again. IF they go down, then he will life long kidney damage thus needing constant blood work to monitor and a special kidney diet for the rest of his life. He is only 15 months old, so this may help save him. IF they do not go down, I will have to have him put to sleep and my three kids are just devastated.

    My cat is an indoor cat. Very lively and loving. Very healthy and a very hearty appetite. With in those 13 days, he vomited 3/5 times, would eat ¼ of what he normally would and would drink constantly. He stopped playing, stopped sunning himself in the window and stopped his normal daily routine. He slept constantly.

    We are praying he will pull through. We are upset over the cost and maybe his long term health care and diet. He still had many many healthy long years ahead of him. If anything, I wan compensation for these high vet bills, current and in the future!!!!!

    Comment by Michelle — March 23, 2007 @ 12:33 pm

  26. Just a small note – if your pet is being treated please watch them carefully – I have had both of my cats in the hospital since 03-12- both came home on the 20th. Raz started having seizures on the 21st- it is the most horrific thing to see!!!! We ended up sending him to kitty heaven at 1am. The other one is being watched carefully. Not only am I saddened and hurt I am furious!!!!! I did hear from Nutro and they are sending me a packet with a case #. Of course, no response from Menu – just a ridiculous call center. Wonder if we will ever here from them?? My next step is to send letters to the Emporia, KS and Pennsauken, NJ plant. My heart goes out to everyone!!!!!

    Comment by Sandi Schreiber — March 23, 2007 @ 12:54 pm

  27. While my heart breaks for anyone suffering from the loss or illness of a pet due to the contaminiation I am not ready to hang Menu Foods out yet. I want to know the facts before I convict them. And yes my dog was eating a food on the contamination list(thankfully didnt get sick) so I have done extensive research on this topic. My vet gave me a list of foods to use to make my own food for my baby for the time being. It is a choice I have made until I know more about the actual cause.

    Menu does not make the wheat that apparantly is the cause, the company that sold the wheat to Menu is responsible. I also think that importing foods from a foreign country that does not necessarily regulate the pesticides etc. that is used is wrong and dangerous, but not illegal.

    Food contamination does happen, remember the spinich recall? I think what needs to happen is mandatory testing of foods for things such as ecoli, pesticides, rat poison. Yes this will significantly raise the price of foods (including pet foods)but its a trade off, safer food.

    Unfortunately in horrible situations such as this all types come out crying lawsuit. While there ARE legitimate cases I am seeing an abundance of people saying their animal was sickened by the foods not even on the list, not bought during the time when the “infected wheat” was being used or an 18 year old cat that had renal failure and she is suing. I am a skeptic by nature so I take all the reports with a grain of salt.. for now.

    Hopefully some good will come of this horrible situation but wait until you know the FACTS before you convict.

    Comment by Jennifer — March 23, 2007 @ 1:33 pm

  28. I’m in the same boat as Leslie – our long-time family dog died February 24 after a quick and severe illness resulting in coma and death within 2 days despite our vet’s efforts. As this was prior to the recall I blamed myself for perhaps not noticing signs of illness sooner. We did not search for other explanations and did not save the leftover food.

    We have no recourse since our dog died before the recall and we have no “proof”. Somebody should have to pay morally if not financially for killing the best dog in the world who was still happy and had time left to share with us.

    I was trying to be a good mom and give him premium canned food as a treat from a name company that I trusted. You saved some money buying imported grain contaminated with rat poison. Shame on you.

    Comment by Barbara Pearce — March 23, 2007 @ 2:10 pm

  29. I am caring for a dear friend’s Siamese cat while she is caring for her husband who has cancer. I had been feeding him IAMS wet cat food in the cans for at least 7-8 weeks. Suddenly, the cat became lethargic, vomited his food when he did eat, then just sat in the litterbox, straining to urinate. Nothing was happening! I called a local vet located in a major chain Pet Store, where they couldn’t see him for another 2 days, even though it was an emergency! I then called another vet who said to come right over, this is an emergency! No kidding! After examining the cat, lab tests were taken, and antibiotics given, I took him home. His tests came back in the normal range, but he was still back in the litterbox. I brought him back the next day for additional testing. His tests all came back normal! He had all the symptoms of urinary issues, but thankfully, was strong enough to survive.

    Aside from the vet bills, the emotional stress was devastating for all of us. My question is: How can we be sure that MenuFoods will clean their entire factory, machines, and pass the FDA rules and regs, before they are allowed to export more product to the US? Who will be responsible for the vet bills and all other costs caused by this lack of ethical communication to the public at large? How can we really trust companies who will import ingredients from foreign countries to not infect our lives? Who is the watchdog for our safety and well-being?

    Comment by Barb — March 23, 2007 @ 2:14 pm

  30. My daughter’s 5 month old kitten died moments after arrival to the vet clinic this am just as they were getting ready to start IV hydration. She saw her kitten become ill very fast. The vet didn’t charge us (which was kind) but now to deal with the broken heart of a five year old breaks mine.

    Comment by Melinda — March 23, 2007 @ 2:04 pm

  31. I don’t care if my email is shown, infact, I would like to hear from others that have had problems BEFORE the Dec.-Mar recall dates. My chihuahua puppy, Trixie Bella, fell ill in Sept. 2006. She exhibited all of the symptoms mentioned..and had every test under the sun, xrays, various ultrasounds, blood & urine, name it. She went from vets to hospitals to Internal specialists…and was treated with IV fluids, medications, antibiotics, kidney meds, subcutataneous fluids 2x daily, kidney support food, had to have an emergency spay…her uterus became 4x times it’s normal size and was filled with fluids (possibly infection) etc. She still isn’t out of the woods…her kidneys still aren’t functioning properly. The cost has been horrendous, but seeing her go through all of this, my precious puppy…has been the most horrifying and emotionally depleting experience ever. I would like to hear from others that have found this happening BEFORE Dec.


    Comment by Gina — March 23, 2007 @ 3:28 pm

  32. Sorry….my Trixie Bella fell ill Nov.7, 2006…not September. I’m still in fog with all of this.


    Comment by Gina — March 23, 2007 @ 3:48 pm

  33. a woman just emailed me stating that her dog was ill with the same symptoms back in November- interesting considering the company claims it wasn’t until December that this product was tainted.

    Comment by Karen — March 23, 2007 @ 4:24 pm

  34. A friend posted this on another board. I got her permission to post it here because I found it cmforting:

    “More are coming every day. We must be prepared to show them around, and explain why they’re here.” She said quietly.
    “You all know what to do. Allow them to see their loved ones if they request it. Show them to their places and, if they choose to, touch or caress their loved ones one more time. They will be confused and sad. That’s to be expected, under these circumstances. “

    “But,” said another, “they are many. Will we be able to take care of them like we’re supposed to? I would not bring them more hurt and pain…to be left standing and waiting. They’ve suffered enough.”

    “You forget the children, and the others who have volunteered. A lot of those coming will need the joy and innocence of the children to help them through this. Get ready, here they come,” she whispered.

    They all turned and watched the new arrivals..some looked confused, some tired and sad.

    “Oh, look at them,” another angel whispered. “We need to let them know they’re loved, and it will be okay. We need to tell them they’re people still love them. This is so sad. I wish this hadn’t happened. Their people will be so lost without them. I’d like to have some of the cats to love.”

    “I want a few of the dogs. You all know how much I love dogs,” said another.

    “And so you shall. They’re coming now. Everyone, bring the children and the others forward, so none stand alone too long.

    Hello little one, come with me. I’m your angel.”

    In memory of all those who have crossed the bridge before they were supposed to, and for those they left behind.

    God speed and safe journey, God’s newest angels.

    Comment by sweeney — March 23, 2007 @ 6:47 pm

  35. That is a wonderful post. We often think when people die they are reunited with other lost loved ones, with angels in peace. It is comforting to know that lost pets will be loved not only by their humans after they pass, but by angelic souls waiting.

    Comment by Amy Boda — March 24, 2007 @ 12:06 am

  36. I don’t want to alarm anyone, but I’m not sure Purina is in the clear. Like so many pet owners, Purina was the only brand of food that my pets would eat over the years. The vets were always pushing Iams and Science Diet and so many pet food nutritionists (and snobs alike) would push Eukanuba and other now recalled products, but none of my pets would touch the stuff. So, they got what they liked (mostly Purina One dry cat and dog food and Fancy Feast and Friskies as well as copious amounts of table scraps).

    Tuesday I went away for a short trip (38 hours) and left my cat an extra day’s food supply. When I came home she hadn’t eaten any of it. I thought perhaps that she was angry, but she greeted us in her normal eager and affectionate way, but continued to refuse to eat anything Wednesday evening, all day Thursday, and this morning. She had drunk all of her water (which I didn’t think she’d touch as cats normally drink very little) and slept all day when I expected her to have scratched up the furniture as she normally spends most of her time outside in the spring. Instead she was very lethargic, had no interest in going outside even after being cooped in the house for a couple of days and basically slept for 24 hours straight.

    This afternoon she started showing signs of feeling better she was more active and even went outside for a couple of hours in the evening. Her appetite had partially recovered, however she was only eating her dry food. She still wouldn’t touch her Fancy Feast (that I have now thrown out).

    This is only one report and her behavior could easily be a stress reaction to being left alone overnight or simply a non-food related illness. I do not care to take that chance and will be cooking for my girl for some time. But, I wonder if anyone else has had such an experience with a Purina product or other not yet recalled foods? Will the results of the database be made public? I would be very interested in seeing the specifics of others experiences.

    Comment by Kat — March 24, 2007 @ 1:57 am

  37. I lost my 6 year old cat Chuckles on January 6th, 10 days after buying a case of Pet Pride at a
    Kroger’s owned store. My two other cats wouldn’t touch that batch, but Chuckles was always a
    sweetheart who never cared about anything but loving and being loved. It was impossible to spoil her
    as she liked everything. The Pet Pride seemed to be her favorite so that’s what I usually bought. A
    few days later she didn’t seem to be as active as usual, but would sit with me and purr her heart out
    like always. Within a week, she’d lost at least several pounds, was vomiting, wasn’t eating, and was
    drinking water like crazy. I took her to a nearby vet, but he didn’t seem to know what was wrong with
    her, but gave me some antibiotics to give her. Two days later when she wasn’t getting any better,
    I took her to a different vet. He had me leave her there to run some tests and called me a few hours
    later. I was told she had lost over 90% of her kidney function and had no more than two days left.
    Maybe it’s absurd for a guy 6’3″ and 220 pounds to be dripping tears while going to pick up his little
    orange and white cat, so she can spend her last day with him, but there it is. She fell in love with
    me when she was a little ball of fluff weighing about a pound, and worshiped me to her last day. She
    was easily the best cat I’ve ever known as there was nothing more important in the world to her
    than that I found her pleasing. Getting scolded would crush her, but it was hardly ever necessary as
    she was just plain a really good cat. She spent her last night on her favorite spot, a foot and a half
    from my pillow, and every time I woke up, there she’d be purring and smiling – her little spirit
    refused to accept her body had betrayed her. The next day she was gone and my heart was broken into
    a million little pieces. At the time, I wondered if there could have been something wrong with the
    food, mainly because my other cats wouldn’t eat it and the onset of her problem was so sudden and
    so devastating. I began buying different brands for my other cats and didn’t put out the Pet Pride
    again. I was more or less beginning to accept her passing until Menu Foods admitted they had been
    distributing poisoned food for 4 months. Now I’m mad. These penny pinching scum bags are now saying,
    “Golly, how about if we pay the vet bills associated with murdering your beloved cat?” and, “Oh, yes,
    and by the way, make sure you provide us with enough evidence to support your claim in court.”. Well,
    I do happen to have a bunch of food left to test, and I sent some out today to be tested independently
    of the bought and paid for slobs at the FDA. The question now becomes, “What is the going rate for
    the privilege of murdering a stranger’s beloved pet?”. While I’m sure there are those who would sell
    out quite cheaply, I would have dropped kicked anyone who suggested such a thing into the next
    century. I’m not a big fan of making a bunch of attorneys rich, but I damn well believe I am entitled
    to something more than endless red tape, while ignoring any recognition of the loss I have suffered.
    A can of sliced CEO testicles in gravy would make a nice treat for my other two cats, but assuming
    that is not an option, I expect either more than a purely token amount of money, or I’ll settle for
    stock after the company has been restructured in bankruptcy. If nothing else, I’m sure a company owned
    exclusively by stockholders who have lost pets to poisoned food would do business a lot differently
    than the maggots on the current board of directors.

    Comment by Don — March 24, 2007 @ 1:57 am

  38. a tearful thank you sweeny- Brandy never had an official dx or cause of illness/death- the said Vestibular disease even though she was too young for that but due to the neurological damage, the vets were baffled and tried to build a case for her of what she actually had.
    Because this was back in February, we already did the majority of grieving- now to learn the actual cause of death was rat poisoning in her food- the wounds have all reopened for us once again. I believe our pets are united above, and that Brandy already sent me 2 signs that she was okay- actually 3- one was a strong scent of her one night- the other was footsteps and feeling the bed jolt on a Sunday morning which I didn’t think of it at the time but she always woke us early Sunday morning. And third was 2 lightbulbs went out in our house back to back, turned on one light, bulb blew, went into the other room, turned on the light and that bulb blew. It wouldn’t be so coincidental had it not been the very day (one month later exactly) from the day we put her to sleep. I realized it was her one month anniversay at Rainbow Bridge after those 2 bulbs blew out. Spirits do go through electrical, energies such as doorbells ringing, lights flicker or go out, phone ringing, etc.. sounds wacked but I have had experiences since childhood and have seen this all of my life.
    Thanks for the much needed comfort- even though I am a spiritual person (not religious or go to church)- I have lost a great deal of faith over the years and losing Brandy made me loose all that much more faith.

    Comment by Karen — March 24, 2007 @ 4:39 am

  39. My heart goes out to all of you who have lost your pets. I feed my cats Iams Dry food so when I saw this recall, I assumed we didn’t have to worry. I started reading different blogs and noticed a handful of young healthy dogs that had been eating dry Iams food getting sick. I called my vet and was told by the tech that I really don’t have to worry because Iams dry is not on the recall list. Even though my cats weren’t showing any symptons I asked for my own piece of mind to have blood test done. Again the vet checked them out said they looked good but if I was anxious she would do the blood test. I received a call later in the day that my smallest cat (7 Lbs) has a higher Creatinine level and that i needed to bring him back for an IV fluid treatment. I have to bring him back next week to have his level checked again.
    First, I can’t be certain that the food is bad but if they are willing to by cheap products from another country (to make a bigger profit). How do we know it is safe? It just seems too much of a coincidence that my 5 yr old healthy indoor cat all of a sudden has kidney problems. Since he is smaller than my other cats I feel he wasn’t able to flush out the toxins like the other cats.
    I don’t trust these companies anymore, I feel they waited to long to announce the recalls. According to ABC news(7:00am) they are now saying any wet food made by the companies in the recall should not be used. Instead of pulling everything off the shelves at one time they are slowly pulling off items. Whose to say they won’t make an announcement later on the dry products. It also makes me angry that they won’t accurately say how many pets are actually sick or dying. I will no longer use these products, I will only purchase natural pet products.

    Comment by Rose — March 24, 2007 @ 6:51 am


    Comment by SABRINA — March 24, 2007 @ 7:30 am

  41. I agree they shouldn’t buy raw materials from overseas that are abundantly available in the US.

    But part of the problem, I suspect, is farm subsidies. US farmers are heavily subsidized, which makes their products more expensive than overseas products.

    Companies are trying to make a profit. So the economic logic is that we need to either do something about the farm subsidies or decide we want to pay more for American products.

    Comment by Julie — March 24, 2007 @ 7:30 am


    Comment by SABRINA — March 24, 2007 @ 7:32 am


    Comment by AMY — March 24, 2007 @ 3:00 pm

  44. I, along w/ CNN’s Lou Dobbs, have long been a critic of the cheap Chinese imports. It is nearly impossible to find ANYTHING made in the USA. Now, after hearing about this Poison Chinese Wheat, I was beside myself. I am so angry I can’t react. I have never felt this way before in my life. I am dumbfounded that in an effort to save a little money, this giant corporation imported the POISONED Chinese wheat. There was no wheat in the U.S.? Of course, I’m sure they did not know it was poisoned, but wheat is cheap and plentiful in the U.S. But this corporation had to save a few pennies. And now countless dogs and cats are dead or seriously ill. I am also confused as to why, at this moment, the official count is still only 15 or 16??? Now I am sick to my stomach that I fed my dogs this food. I have never been so angry in my life. And you know what? Corporations will still choose to save money by importing everything from China. Go to a store and pick up as many items you can, and see what percentage is made in China. This is sick. It’s disgusting. All to save a few pennies. No amount of money or words can repair the damage, but they had better pay. And I would like to see more regulation. I fear I am being naive and too optimistic about any actions by Congress, seeing as how they are owned by the corporations. Just disgusting. I can’t even put it into words.

    Comment by Sue — March 24, 2007 @ 10:04 pm

  45. I lost three cats and my dog before this contamination was announced. While my cats were sick and not eating, I hand fed them Eukanuba packets and canned food so they would eat, I even force fed them. I gave them Eukanuba because I trusted this company and stupidly thought that by paying more for the food I was giving my babies better quality. My dog loved cat food and ate the packets too. The cats were in the hospital from weeks to a month with one being diagnosised as diabetic. I do not recall the kidney and liver levels anymore, but they were all on IV’s. They all lost so much weight from not eating that I could not bear to look at them. I agreed to putting them down at that point. I lost a cat about once a month. My diabetic cat was so fussy and he had to eat to have the insulin, again Eukanuba and I would force feed him. I cannot relate how guilty I feel for poisoning him. My little dog who was never sick a day in her life died before Christmas. She was lethargic one day and I planned to take her to the vets. She died sleeping next to me that same night. All coincidences, I think not, but I cannot prove anything. I did not keep the food packets as at the time, there was no reason. I am so sorry for the pain others here are feeling, I have been there. I am certain I will never get over this, I still cry when I think of my babies and what I did to them. This I am sure is the reason for the outrage and grief, others also see themselves as having poisoned their babies. I will never trust Eukanuba again and am hoping by changing to Wellness that my remaining cats are safe. I watch them constantly. One is in hospital tonight as I don’t want to chance anything.

    Comment by Patricia — March 25, 2007 @ 2:03 am

  46. My puppy just passed away. He was on IV fluid for 2 days. Symtoms: lethargy, slept a lot, stopped eating, drank a lot of water, peed a lot with yellowish urine, diarrhea, bloody stool. He deteriated very quickly.
    The only dog food that he ate was : Pedigree, dried puppy food, 18 lbs bag, chicken flavor, with kibles. I don’t know what kind of poison is in it, but all the symptoms points to either kidney/renal failure.
    Non of dried food has been reported, or on the recall list that I could find.
    I’ve reported this to FDA, but no hope that they would response to this.
    I just want to share this to see if someone out there has the same problem. Also, I hope that you would not trust “only wet/canned food affected” crap, and investigate first before buying this product.

    Comment by Danny — March 25, 2007 @ 3:53 am

  47. Has anyone had a pet treated with leucovorin for the aminopterin poisoning? If so how long after the initial episode was it administered? Effects and results?
    My cat’s renal values are good after IV therapy but blood count is way down (aminopterin affects blood count and leucovorin is an antidote)

    Comment by Mary Hackett — March 25, 2007 @ 8:47 am

  48. I need explaination- Rat poison is hard to detect in blood- this applies to both humans and animals- how would a blood test be beneficial as the only signs indicating something off with our dog was high ph in urine. Blood tests, x-rays etc came back clean- our dog was put down February 16th prior to any knowledge of the tainted food-recall.

    Comment by Karen — March 25, 2007 @ 8:31 am

  49. Also note, many of the other pets affected by this (illness/death) their blood tests also came back normal, x-rays normal etc…

    Comment by Karen — March 25, 2007 @ 8:44 am

  50. People…..DO NOT take the current pet food recall list as the “gospel”. 2 words…..COVER UP!!!! These pet food manufacturer’s already know they are in deep shit! Now it’s a game of “cover up” and “damage control”. I believe that ALL (wet and dry) of the pet food this company produced is POISON!!! And don’t let them tell you otherwise. I’ve seen it on the AOL message board concerning this story. Pet’s getting sick/dying from just eating dry food!!
    I am going to start buying Newman’s Own pet food. To find the site….Google it.
    My HEALTHY 12 year old baby (cat), Tigger, had to be put to sleep on 1/22/7. His story is too long and painfull to go into. But I have started an online petition for all of the victims. If you were/are effected by this MASS MURDERING/EPIDEMIC…..please sign.

    Comment by Dawn Pannozza — March 25, 2007 @ 10:04 am

  51. Dear Friends and Pet Lovers….

    My heart is ABSOLUTELY BROKEN at all the stories I have just read. I have two cats which are my “girls”. I now live in Chicago…but one of them came all the way from Hawaii, and the other from San Diego. I have had my first cat Poose for over 11 years now, and the other one Mitten for 6. Everyone who knows me knows how much my two girls mean to me. I purchased approximately $60 worth of cans and pouches of Nutro cat food before I left for vacation in early December. I just switched to a new brand…the gourmet California tuna and smaller max cat canned food, by nutro which my cats loved…all now on the recall list. Who in their “right” mind would save used cans or pouches after they have fed them to their pets? The serial numbers are of now use to most of us. I do however have a thought…I purchase my food from Petco in which I used my “Pet Pals” card. I do believe that they can recall what food you purchased and when in their computers?
    I do save all of my receipts from everything…period. (thank GOD now!)I am hoping that most of you that have lost your pets…can somehow have the stores help you out in getting those old receipts. I am OUTRAGED and WILL be personally involved in helping in any way I can to see that this DOES NOT happen again. I am currently feeding my cats dry meow mix and tuna…which i have always done on occasion. You can sure believe i am currently searching for recipes to make my own food…it was something that i have been wanting to do now for a long time…so..the research now begins. If and when I find the right recipe…for OPTIMAL can better believe that i will be back here posting it.
    Some of the food cats wouldn’t eat. My mother commented on how “spoiled” my cats were that they wouldnt eat the food. I never said a word…just threw it away. I think animals are smarter than humans sometimes in knowing when something in their food isn’t right. I will NEVER ever again get upset over anything that they will NOT eat! I know I am rambling…but just had to write!

    Comment by Diane — March 25, 2007 @ 2:30 pm

  52. Our cat died after eating dry Hill’s Prescription c/d. Please contact your state FDA office to have your pet’s food checked. Our state FDA is testing the remaining pet food that we have.

    Comment by Janice — March 25, 2007 @ 2:49 pm

  53. I believe your comment to be 100% accurate, as I do not have aol or have read any aol message boards, but on our local news website message board, I have had people email me not only about losing their pets to dry food as well, but also a few have told me that their pets became ill and/or died of similar symptoms as far back as September and they did infact give their pets one or more of the brands on the recall list. Thank you for this post, you might just save a life! Everyone should pass this along to their email list- not everyone has a pet, but everyone knows someone who has one- they need to know.

    Comment by Karen — March 25, 2007 @ 2:32 pm

  54. I would be very careful now about ANY foods, even if they are not on the recall list. I have read several anecdotal posts about pets dying even though they were fed only the dry food.
    I just ordered a lot of Newman’s Own Organic food, but I will not be giving it to my dogs until this whole business is cleared up. Although the Chinese wheat has been suspected, there still has not been any definite conclusions. Read any news article. Even Newman’s Own Organic pet food is manufactured by Menu Foods, according to, which is a petfood store. They are even warning customers about this. I e-mailed Newman’s Own to confirm this several days ago, but they did not respond. I take their non-response as an “affirmative,” that Menu Foods DOES indeed manufacture their food. I am disappointed that it seems they are being weasles about this fact. So, although Newman’s Own is NOT part of the recall as I write this, I am being cautious since there still is no resolution to this rat poison business.

    I am only feeding my dogs food that I myself would eat–chicken, rice, eggs, potatoes, some carrots, a little celery.

    Comment by Sue — March 28, 2007 @ 2:25 pm

  55. According to the FDA today, they suspect that some of the dry dog food may contain the tainted wheat. They have identified a new chemical (melamine) which is used to make plastics that has been found in the food. However, they are not naming the brand of the dry food that is also now implicated!! Maybe everyone should just stop feeding your pets petfood for now and feed them your leftovers or just cook them their own food until they get to the bottom of this?? I got my info from

    Comment by Sue — March 30, 2007 @ 9:14 am

  56. My cats have been vomiting, one is diabetic on PZI insulin for the past 3 years; all 3 cats eat Hill’s Prescription feline m/d dry cat food ($33/10 lbs.). I saw the recall and immediately took them off the food and put them on baked chicken. The vomiting stopped, but still the diabetic cat is going in for lab work. Of all the animals at very high risk for renal failure it is diabetics and this food was “Prescription” of which the manufacturer (Hill, division of Proctor-Gamble) should have been very, very careful with the ingredients. I cannot get in on the Hill’s 1-800- it constantly busy, and all you get is a recorded message when I finally got in on it today (Sunday), no personnel. I have written an email to Hill’s and received a form reply about the recall. My question had to do with the vet bills and care that my cats may require. No response! This is extremely irritating. Hill’s is acting irresponsibly. Just collecting the recalled food is not being accountable and responsible. I am open to suggestion on how to deal with this fiasco and these greedy companies.

    Comment by Paula Loftis — April 1, 2007 @ 1:01 pm

  57. Has anyone heard anything about “The Goodlife Recipe” mde by Mars, Inc, in Brentwood, Tn? I got a free coupon, but I don’t know whether to feed it or not. You can get either cat or dog.
    My cats have been on Hills Prescription ZD and Rd Feline for years, and show no signs of illness.
    Thanks, Eileen

    Comment by Eileen Caputo — April 2, 2007 @ 6:52 pm

  58. RIP Oola (female torti cat)

    We lost Oola 2 days ago. She was 11 yrs old. She died of kidney failure. She was playful and seemed normal on Tuesday. She played with her stuffed monkey. She vomited all day Wednesday. We took her to the vet that day. She was in kidney failure. The vets suspected poisoning from lilies, anti-freeze, or pet food recall. She died Thursday night. She was an indoor cat with no access to lillies or antifreeze. She ate Purina One for 10 yrs.

    I will let you come to your own conclusions. I believe with or without melamine or aminopterine present, most commercial pet foods are poisoning our animals. How natural is it for our pets to be eating COOKED food with corn? I believe now that raw food diets are really the best and most natural food for them. Read the labels. If the raw food diets seem more expensive just think of how much more expensive it is for the vet bills you will aquire from feeding your animals junk food their whole life.

    Comment by RLoftiss — June 16, 2007 @ 10:17 pm

  59. RLoftiss – I am so sorry for your kitty! What a sad and awful story.

    Many people have had similar experiences – their pet has eaten the same foods year-ater-year — then, the “next” bag or can is contaminated — causing illness or death.

    I don’t know if you’ve been reading this blog long, or have visited other sites, but there’s a new contaminate: acetaminophen &/or cyanuric acid being found in foods now. That makes the 5th contaminate found.

    Will Oola have an autopsy?

    Also, there are quite a few people having their pet foods tested. Since this is so recent, is it possible to go get several bags/cans of the food – batch?

    Also, would you mind disclosing which brand/variety of food/UPC/Batch number of the product?

    Itchmo has been helping with product testing. Here’s a link to one page with the acetaminophen info:

    Don Earl lost his cat to the acetaminophen toxin. Here’s his web site. Be sure to read the lab report information. There are 3 individuals reporting private lab results.

    Again, R – I am so sorry about your little kitty. Thank you for sharing your story.

    I hope you pursue the testing.

    Comment by Kat — June 17, 2007 @ 9:01 am

  60. So sorry about your cat RLoftess! So sorry it’s still going on.
    some of you on here are new. So, if you’ve lost a dog or a cat please get in touch with Me. I have a letter i’d like you to read.
    I’m so glad to be back on, yesterday, My computer kept going down off and on and i was going craxy.

    Comment by Trudy Jackson — June 17, 2007 @ 9:11 am

  61. Here’s the latest ConsumerAffairs article — it ain’t over —

    Menu Foods Samples Test Positive for Painkiller
    “When asked if she was surprised the lab didn’t detect melamine in the samples of Pet Pride it tested, she said: “We did find that (chemical) in other samples. I don’t have my paperwork in front of me to tell you how many samples, but I can tell you we did find melamine in some. We also found melamine and cyanuric acid in some samples.” …”

    Somewhere else I read that ExperTox keeps getting calls from the FDA. Can’t find the link.

    Comment by Kat — June 17, 2007 @ 9:42 am

  62. Trudy – sounds like you have a short in a wire if it’s going off & on.

    Comment by Kat — June 17, 2007 @ 9:44 am

  63. Hi Kat,

    Thank you for your concern. We are going to have the food tested at the local college. The pathologist that I spoke with said that they had been testing lots of animal foods for chemicals and only one had shown positive for melamine. It was a food already on the recall list. He said despite most of the tests showing negative for melamine or aminopterine, many people are loosing their pets in similar ways. He suggested not feeding our animals ANYTHING with wheat gluten in it.

    The food that Oola had been eating for many years was Purina One. I can’t say that Purina One poisoned Oola directly as she was an older and somewhat overweight cat, however, after much research, it seems that most commercial foods are extremely unhealthy to begin with which is why there are so many diseases in our animals.

    Thank you for the links to those articles. I will find out if the college can test for Acetaminophen or cyanuric acid in the food as well.

    I will try to find the bag and post what the UPC and batch numbers where later but unfortunately, i believe we threw the bag away and just kept the food.

    Comment by RLoftiss — June 18, 2007 @ 10:14 am

  64. I just had two of our 4 dogs sick yesterday after having Dingo bones. The constant throwing up, one with yellow vomit after all the bone came out. I also bought a TON of dingo bones 1/3 off on special at Walgreens and am ready to toss them all. Our dogs get 2 bones a day normally (only Dingos). Today our one dog won’t go near the bones (just barks at it) and he wasn’t even one who got sick. At 10.99 a bag on sale I guess I’ll see if Walgreens will take them back. The bags are specially marked by the manufacturer for the sale, not by Walgreens. The bone also smell like chemicals. I don’t know… just adding my story!

    Comment by Barbara — August 8, 2007 @ 2:24 pm

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