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Latest information on the pet food recall

This important Web site updates the pet food recall news as it happens
Fast-breaking developments regarding the pet food recall may cause additional concerns about keeping your companion animals safe and healthy.

The pet food recall story gets more and more complicated every day and it’s hard to keep up with what’s happening. It’s making my head spin just thinking about it, so I can only imagine what it’s doing to yours.

I’ve been monitoring as many Web sites as I can find on the subject, and so far The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, based in New York City, appears to be the most up-to-date in keeping us informed about this mess.

I’ll keep monitoring the situation and if I find somebody better (or you tell me about somebody better) you’ll hear about it here. But for now:

For the latest information on the pet food recall, including answers to your most frequently asked questions, visit the ASPCA’s Pet Food Recall Resource Center on-line at:
http://www.aspca.org/site/PageServer?pagename=recall

If anyone has other Web sites they’d also like to recommend, please let me know so I can list the links here. Thanks.

Posted on Friday, April 6th, 2007
Under: Pet food | 1 Comment »

ASPCA advises pet parents to pause before cooking up a storm

Homemade diets for pets need veterinary supervision
From the ASPCA. If you plan on making your own pet food you should read this:

NEW YORK — As investigations into several aspects of the recent pet food recall continue —including any link between melamine, the toxin identified in the contaminated foods, and renal failure in pets, especially cats — the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has received several inquiries from concerned pet parents regarding the safety of homemade diets for their pets.

While these questions are natural, the ASPCA’s expert toxicologists and veterinarians urge pet parents to fully research homemade diets for pets before pulling out the chef’s hat. …

To finish reading the complete press release from the ASPCA about making homemade pet foods, click on this link: http://www.aspca.org/site/PageServer?pagename=press_040407

The ASPCA’s newly-created “Pet Food Recall Resource Center” provides pet parents with useful and timely information related to the recall and their pets’ well-being, at www.aspca.org/recall

More information on pet care and nutrition tips are available at www.aspca.org .

Posted on Thursday, April 5th, 2007
Under: Pet food | 3 Comments »

What’s really in Pet Food

Pet food recalls spur consumer demand for information and alternatives
I received the information below from the Animal Protection Institute in Sacramento on Tuesday and used part of it in my Wednesday Times’ column to refer my readers to the “What’s Really in Pet Food” report. Because this is such an important and informative report, I’m also posting this information here in my blog today so as many pet owners as possible can access it.

You definitely need to read this report. I think you’ll find it very interesting.

“Sacramento, CA — In response to overwhelming demand, the Animal Protection Institute (API), a national non-profit animal advocacy organization, has made its newly updated and popular ‘What’s Really in Pet Food’ report available on its web site: http://www.api4animals.org/facts.php?p=359&more=1

“The report examines the commercial pet food industry, pet food labels, ingredients, marketing terms, industry standards and regulations, the manufacturing process, contaminants, alternatives to mass-market pet foods, and more. The report has been accessed by more than 35,000 people since the recall of Menu Foods brand pet foods in March.

“‘While it is unfortunate that this recall sickened and took the lives of so many animals, it has also brought to light some of the secrets of the mass market commercial pet food industry,’ says Nicole G. Paquette, Esq., Director of Legal & Government Affairs for API. ‘Like us, our companion animals are what they eat, and this report is meant to help people make informed, confident decisions about what they’re really feeding their animals.’

“API originally published the report in 2004 and to this day it remains the most complete report of its kind available to the public. Hundreds of thousands of people have used the report to familiarize themselves with pet food ingredients and it has proven to be a valuable tool when crises such as pet food recalls occur.

“‘This is a golden opportunity for consumers to educate themselves about what they are feeding their animals,’ says Dr. Jean Hofve, a veterinarian and author of API’s report. ‘People must use this knowledge and their purchasing power to demand change in this industry.’

“Sacramento-based API is a national non-profit animal advocacy organization working to end animal cruelty and exploitation through legislation, litigation, and public education. For more information, visit www.api4animals.org.”

Posted on Wednesday, April 4th, 2007
Under: Pet food | 2 Comments »

ASPCA Advises Caution As Pet Food Recall Crisis Grows

Other Contaminants May Be Involved in the Menu Foods Recall
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals reports that:

“Since Menu Foods announced its massive pet food recall on March 16, the ASPCA has been flooded with calls from concerned pet parents and animal welfare professionals alike. Call volume at the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) has increased significantly over the past 10 days — approximately 14 percent — and the ASPCA’s veterinary toxicologists have been carefully analyzing data from these calls.

“Today the ASPCA reports that, based on these data, clinical signs reported in cats affected by the contaminated foods are not fully consistent with the ingestion of rat poison containing aminopterin that, according to Menu Foods, is at the ‘root’ of the contamination issue.

“We’ve seen reports coming in from all around the country that animals that were eating the contaminated foods are definitely suffering from renal failure,” said Dr. Steven Hansen, veterinary toxicologist and senior vice president with the ASPCA, who manages the ASPCA’s Midwest Office, including the APCC. “But the data that we’ve been collecting do not conclusively prove this connection, which is why we strongly recommend that those involved in the investigation continue to search for additional contaminants.”

Read the rest of this story at: http://www.aspca.org/site/PageServer?pagename=press_032707_2

The ASPCA strongly recommends that you should have your pet examined by your veterinarian if any signs of illness occur following consumption of the recalled foods, including loss of appetite, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, changes in water consumption or changes in urination.

Adverse effects or deaths of pets conclusively linked to eating the contaminated foods should be reported to the FDA at http://www.fda.gov/opacom/backgrounders/complain.html

Additionally, the American Veterinary Medical Association has a tremendous amount of information on this subject at http://www.avma.org/aa/menufoodsrecall/default.asp

Posted on Wednesday, March 28th, 2007
Under: Pet food | No Comments »

Pet blogs and Web sites discuss the poisoned pet food recall

Some Web sites dedicated to pets and pet owners are listing many more sick and dead pets related to the pet foods contaminated with rat poison, than the Food and Drug Administration or Menu Foods have listed. This information has not yet been confirmed, but we should all be aware of it since many of these reports have been made by veterinarians who claim to have treated these animals.

I’ve checked out some of these Web sites and here are five that I think you should take a look at if you’re interested in finding out more about this mess:

** LBReport.com is a blog that discusses the pet food recall. It appears to have a lot of up-to-date information:
http://www.lbreport.com/news/mar07/sparky3.htm

** Veterinary Information Network is a web site for an organization of 30,000 veterinarians and vet students. It also has this separate Web site for non-members (that’s you and me), where you can read more information on the pet food recall problem:
http://www.veterinarypartner.com

** PetConnection.com is a pet information clearing house that hosts a popular blog. It says that large numbers of owners have reported dead pets. This is also one of the most up-to-date information sources on the pet food recall I’ve been able to find since it started:
http://www.PetConnection.com

** Dogster and Catster say they are Web sites for cat and dog “freaks.” They are blogs that contain lots of information on pets, ads, chat rooms, where cat/dog people can talk about things and lots of other stuff. The pet food recall mainly occupies their thoughts at the moment. You are required to register and get a password to browse these Web sites:
http://www.dogster.com
http://www.catster.com

If you know of any other Web sites that you think should be shared about the pet food recall, please pass them along. Thanks!

Posted on Tuesday, March 27th, 2007
Under: Pet food | 3 Comments »

Menus for preparing your own pet food

Do you make your own pet food? Does it provide the proper nutrition for your pet?

Do you have any good dog and cat food recipes you’ve been feeding to your own animals that you can share with other cat and dog owners who want to stop using commercial pet foods? Can you please recommend any good dog and cat recipe and nutrition books?

Please e-mail the above information to me at gbogue@cctimes.com. Be sure and include your name and city.

I’m getting a lot of correspondence from people who are very concerned about the recently recalled pet food. Even more so now that rat poison has been found in the recalled food.

Here are some typical e-mails:

Gary: This is the second dog food scare in the past year. I am ready to prepare my dogs’ meals not using commercial dog food. Are you aware of a dog nutrition book that would provide guidelines? My plan is to make my dogs’ food and supplement it with a daily vitamin. (Louise Massante, cyberspace)

Gary: Would you have a recipe handy for making homemade cat food until this recall scare is over? Would my cat be getting the nutrition she needs? Thanks! (Joy Berg, cyberspace)

Thanks for helping. I’ll make two lists — Dog and Cat Food Recipes and Pet Nutrition Books — and make this information available to anyone who wants it.

Posted on Monday, March 26th, 2007
Under: Pet food | 2 Comments »

Rat poison found in recalled pet food

So rat poison has been found in the recalled pet food blamed for the deaths of at least 16 cats and dogs (and probably more).

That raises all sorts of interesting questions, doesn’t it? At the top of my list is, “Where did the rat poison come from?”

It seems like the production of pet and human foods have become so centralized that it doesn’t take much to create a major disaster like this.

That’s kind of scary.

Posted on Friday, March 23rd, 2007
Under: Pet food | 6 Comments »

Natural and raw pet foods

The pet food recall has caused some pet owners to think about preparing their own pet food. If you’re interested, on Oct. 7, 2004, our own Joan Morris wrote an excellent and informative story about switching to natural and raw pet food. It’s still quite relevant: http://www.contracostatimes.com/mld/cctimes/16953611.htm

Posted on Thursday, March 22nd, 2007
Under: Pet food | No Comments »