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President Obama’s weekly address hit upon one of the more troubling aspects of our government right now: the total failure of the FDA to keep us, our children, and our pets safe in the knowledge that what is consumed will not harm any of us.  He has named a new Commissioner of the Food and Drug Agency, Dr. Margaret Hamburg (go ahead, giggle as I did at her last name being Hamburg(er)–I blame the cold meds I’m taking), and Dr. Joshua Sharfstein (nope, no food-related funny with his last name) as Principal Deputy Commissioner.  Obama is also creating a new Food Safety Working Group which ultimately sounds like it will be making sure that the left hand of government agencies involved with food safety know what the right hand is doing–what a concept!

And as an animal welfare advocate I am THRILLED with the short, but oh-so-important sentence President Obama stated, “As part of our commitment to public health, our Agriculture Department is closing a loophole in the system to ensure that diseased cows don’t find their way into the food supply.”  Please read Wayne Pacelle’s email sent out this afternoon in response to this fantastic decision.  Thank you President Obama, and thank you to everyone who helped put an end to the horribly abusive downer cattle issue!

Great news from President Obama on farm animals

March 14, 2009


Our investigation thrust a global spotlight on abuse of downed cows.

Dear ******,

It’s been a long fight, and today, we closed another chapter on it. Since the mid-1990s, The HSUS has been working hard to stop as a matter of public policy the abuse of downer cattle — animals too sick or injured to walk. And today, President Obama himself announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture was officially putting a stop to non-ambulatory cattle being mishandled in order to get them into slaughter plants. He made the announcement along with two top selections for the Food and Drug Administration and a series of other statements about food safety.

I invite you to read my blog post for today about the food safety crises and horrifying investigations that led up to today’s announcement.

The length of time we had to persist and what our investigations revealed are sad, but today I celebrate this news. And I hope that it is a harbinger of a far more serious attitude toward food safety and animal welfare from the new Administration. I am personally looking forward to working with Secretary Vilsack — a man of great integrity — on a wide range of issues. And I express my gratitude to him and his team today for his decisive action.

Many of you joined us in demanding change on this issue, so this is your victory as well as the animals’. Thank you for all you do.

Sincerely,

Wayne Pacelle
President & CEO
The Humane Society of the United States

P.S. Did you know you can easily subscribe to receive my blog daily by email or RSS? Look for the links to subscribe on the right side of my blog, www.waynepacelle.org. I write daily about pressing issues like farm animal abuse, so it’s a great way to stay in touch.

thanksgiving-with-the-turkeys-1

Deb, over on her great Invisible Voices blog, has posted recently about Poplar Springs Animal Sanctuary and their “Thanksgiving with the Turkeys” event, which I would LOVE to have been at. (Can you say ‘epitome of anti-Sarah Palin turkey slaughterhouse video event??) 

This will be a very quick post – it has been a long cold day, but an amazing one as well. Somewhere around 300 people came to Poplar Spring’s Thanksgiving With the Turkeys, despite a predicted high in the 30’s, and a bitter wind.

And the turkey’s had a hell of a time.

Deb’s pictures are always incredible and put you RIGHT in the middle of things, just as her writing does.  I’m totally lifting this picture above from the event (sorry, Deb…let me know if you’d like me to take it down :)) , but it truly is one of my favorite photos of all time and wanted to share it with more people.  PLEASE take a quick trip over to Invisible Voices to enjoy the many other heartwarming photos Deb took.

Thank you for sharing your passion with us, Deb, and for all you do for the animals.  Happy Thanksgiving to you, my vegan blogger friend, and even to all of you meat-eaters our there.  (I’ll give you all some time to come around to our vegetarian/vegan way of thinking and living. :))

michael-vick-and-dogfighting

I thought I had previously reached the highest level of disgust with Michael Vick’s animal cruelty that I could (my previous posts), but after reading an AP story and one on ESPN, detailing portions of a 17-page USDA report released on Friday under the Freedom of Information Act, I’m even more disgusted and sickened than I ever imagined possible.  And that’s saying a lot.

Here are some extremely disturbing details:

  • A person identified as confidential witness No. 1 said Vick placed pets in the ring against pit bulls owned by “Bad Newz Kennels” at least twice and watched as the pit bulls “caused major injuries.”
  • The witness said Vick and co-defendants Purnell Peace and Quanis Phillips “thought it was funny to watch the pit bull dogs belonging to Bad Newz Kennels injure or kill the other dogs.”
  • Vick was administered a polygraph test by the FBI in October 2007 and denied taking part in the killing of dogs in mid-April. When told he had failed that part of the test, Vick recanted his story and admitted to helping hang six to eight underperforming dogs.
  • The dogs were killed by shooting, hanging, electrocution and drowning, and in at least one instance, according to one of the witnesses, when Vick and Phillips killed a red pit bull by “slamming it to the ground several times before it died, breaking the dog’s back or neck.”
  • According to the report, the three men hung the dogs “by placing a nylon cord over a 2 X 4 that was nailed to two trees located next to the big shed. They also drowned approximately three dogs by putting the dogs’ heads in a five gallon bucket of water.”

You need help, Michael Vick, serious help.  I only wish all you were ever allowed to lay your hands on again are the pots and pans you’re washing in jail for 12 cents an hour, and never, ever again on any innocent animals.  Sick and twisted, you are, mentally sick and twisted.

Looks like it’s time for a pet food/treat recall–AGAIN!  My personal experience with practically ANY Hartz product has been horrific (and I work at an animal hospital!), so keep that tucked away in the back of your mind when shopping.  And get this, when I searched online for the Hartz website so I could post the link for you, they STILL have the recalled product listed and for sale!  Here is the information I got in an email alert from the FDA

Recall — Firm Press Release

FDA posts press releases and other notices of recalls and market withdrawals from the firms involved as a service to consumers, the media, and other interested parties. FDA does not endorse either the product or the company.

The Hartz Mountain Corporation Voluntarily Recalls One Specific Lot of Nationwide Chicken-Basted Rawhide Chips Because of Possible Health Risk

Contact:
John Mullane
(914) 712 9150

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — October 20, 2008 — The Hartz Mountain Corporation, Secaucus, NJ is voluntarily recalling one specific lot of Hartz Chicken-Basted Rawhide Chips due to concerns that one or more bags within the lot are potentially contaminated with Salmonella. Hartz is fully cooperating with the US Food and Drug Administration in this voluntary recall.

Salmonella can cause serious infections in dogs, and, if there is cross-contamination caused by handling of the rawhide chips, in people as well, especially children, the aged, and people with compromised immune systems. Healthy people Read the rest of this entry »

We could ALL stand to learn a lesson or two from the incredibly cool, incredibly gifted, and incredibly charitable Paul Newman, who passed away last night at the age of 83.  Please take the time to watch the following four-minute video and take away some impression or thought that you’ll then turn around and use in your life–TODAY! 

RIP, Paul Newman, and thank you for ALL you have given us via your acting, but most especially through the various charitable acts and organization, Newman’s Own, which has benefited countless individuals AND animals.

“What could be better than to hold your hand out to people who are less fortunate than you?  That’s simply how I look at it.”  ~Paul Newman

From the Newman’s Own web site:

  • About Newman’s Own, Inc.
    Newman’s Own®, Inc., founded on a lark by Paul Newman and his buddy A.E. Hotchner in 1982, is now (to our own surprise!), a leading (and growing) premium food company that offers more than 150 varieties of delicious all-natural food and beverage products. Based in Westport, CT, the charitable mission of Newman’s Own is expressed in its Company motto: “Shameless exploitation in pursuit of the Common Good.” Paul Newman and the Newman’s Own Foundation donate all profits and royalties after taxes for educational and charitable purposes. Paul Newman and the Newman’s Own Foundation have given more than $250 million to thousands of charities worldwide.

Say it ain’t so, folks–ANOTHER pet food recall?!?!  Hopefully this one is contained and resolved quickly, and nothing close to the hell far too many pet owners went through with the intial Menu Foods, China-related chaos 18 months ago, which blossomed into a full-blown disaster.  Appears to  be several pet foods involved (products and UPCs listed below) made by Mars Petcare US at their Everson, PA facility, and is salmonella-related. (Added: Salmonella recalls seem to be a recurring theme with Mars Petcare.  I posted this recall for the same thing in August of 2007…sigh.)   Do heed this recall notice precautionary warning for humans: Salmonella can cause serious infections in dogs and cats, and, if there is cross contamination caused by handling of the pet food, in people as well, especially children, the aged, and people with compromised immune systems. Read the rest of this entry »

Are the same sheep that blindly followed the flock and voted GWB in for 8 years the same ones that are clueless enough to be voting for Mitt Romney?!?!  The more I see of this guy (the hits just keep on coming after finding out about his putting his dog on his car roof for a 12 hour drive) the more I’m amazed that folks actually only pay enough attention to notice the semi-good looks and not enough attention to listen to the words that come out of his mouth.  Scary stuff, folks, scary stuff.

Apparently the story of Mitt Romney making a conscious choice back in 1983 to take a 12-hour car trip with his Irish Setter, Seamus (photo below), in a dog carrier attached to the roof of the Romney station wagon was first made public last summer as part of a Boston Globe article, and honestly I can’t believe I didn’t hear about it then. I was recently made aware of the unbelievable, yet true, story while reading “The Presidential Files: Evaluating the Elephants” on the Humane Society Legislative Fund blog. I have to assume there are others who are as blissfully ignorant about the situation as I was, so I feel a strong need to post links to the story for them below.

  • Journeys of a Shared Life-Boston Globe
    • Before beginning the drive, Mitt Romney put Seamus, the family’s hulking Irish setter, in a dog carrier and attached it to the station wagon’s roof rack. He’d built a windshield for the carrier, to make the ride more comfortable for the dog.
  • Dog on Roof? What Was It Like for Romney’s Pooch?-ABC News
    • “It would be one thing if someone put it down or forgot and then drove 50 feet and realized what they did,” said Kaplan. “I don’t know anyone who would purposefully do that to a dog.”
  • Romney’s Cruel Canine Vacation-Time
    • The incident: dog excrement found on the roof and windows of the Romney station wagon. How it got there: Romney strapped a dog carrier — with the family dog Seamus, an Irish Setter, in it — to the roof of the family station wagon for a twelve hour drive from Boston to Ontario, which the family apparently completed, despite Seamus’s rather visceral protest.
  • Romney-vs-PETA-Archy blog
    • “He scrambled up there every time we went on trips,” Romney said at a campaign stop in Pittsburgh Thursday. “He got it all by himself and enjoyed it.”

After reading the various articles on the situation I have to seriously wonder what kind of moron straps his dog carrier on the roof of his car WITH THE DOG INSIDE, then proceeds to drive off on a twelve-hour family vacation road trip?!?! What on EARTH was this man thinking (see video below to see him ‘try’ to make sense of what he did…stupid is as stupid does…argh!) and what kind of example was he setting for his children inside the car, let alone the danger he put Seamus in on that long, miserable drive?!?! And why didn’t anyone who witnessed this abusive activity report it to someone? Come on folks, let’s take a little responsibility for not only ourselves but others (animals included) with whom we share this planet. Sheesh.

I say we strap Romney to the roof of a car for 12 hours, drive about 75 mph, and see how HE feels. And if he loses control of his bowels, as poor Seamus did, let’s do as Romney did and pull over to a gas station to hose him down, then hit the road again like nothing out of the ordinary is taking place. Now that I think about it, if we strapped Romney to the roof and started driving at a high speed I’m sure his plastered down and “perfect” hair would probably change the aerodynamics and send the car into some flying pattern. Hey, might that get Homeland Security a tad confused by this “UFO” and have them take some trigger-finger action? Hmmmm…. (And speaking of security, for the record, no, I do not buy the whole “Iranian boats antagonizing the US Navy” scenario; something fishy going on there, but we all know Georgie Boy wants to get us into war with Iran before he leaves office, so…)

  • Introducing Seamus Romney, ‘Mr. Personality’-Political Intelligence/Boston Globe
    • She says he was such a social dog that he often left Mitt Romney’s Belmont home to visit his “dog friends” around town. “He kept ending up at the pound,” she says. “They were worried about him getting hit crossing the street.”
Not that I ever had any intention of even thinking of voting for Mitt Romney, but something as horrible as what he did would surely have given me pause for thought. I hope it does just that for anyone out there that might still believe this is the type of individual we want running our country. As much as I can’t stand George Bush, I cannot imagine even him doing something as cruel as what Mitt Romney did to Seamus. Shame on you, Mitt, shame on you!

Unfortunately I only heard about “A Day Without a Bag(links below for free giveaway locations) just now on the KTLA news. (And no, “A Day Without a Bag” does NOT mean a day without ME! ;)) While advance notice for readers in the Los Angeles area (where today’s event is taking place) would have been ideal, I figured it’s better to get some information out a bit late and possibly reach at least a few folks, rather than not promote this exciting and important event at all. If nothing else this late posting will hopefully raise awareness of the growing movement toward abolishing disposable plastic bags, and of the harmful effects created by them on marine life, our resources, and our environment. Perhaps it might also persuade some of you to not only go a day without disposable bags in your own life, but to also consider creating a similar day community-wide in YOUR neck-of-the-woods…just a thought (hint-hint).

I bought reusable bags at Albertsons (grocery chain) about a year ago for about $1 each, and I have to say they are some of the strongest, sturdiest bags I have ever come across. Not only do I feel like I’m doing my part in cutting down on the waste plastic bags create, but I also get a small rebate each time I shop and use them (something like a nickel). My local Costco also offered appropriately “Costco size” (and we all know how big Costco size items are! ;)) bags in a bunch of either four or six, but sorry to say I don’t remember the cost since I didn’t purchase them at that time. IKEA is also selling their very large bags, too.

I think the only hard part about using reusable bags is actually remembering to take them into the store! Countless times I’ve left them at home after emptying them of their grocery store visit contents, so I have now taken to forcing myself to return them to the car the minute I’ve put the groceries in the fridge or cupboards. Proud to say that it usually works. 😉

Here’s some information about “A Day Without a Bag” on the Heal the Bay web site:

Our holiday gift to the environment! Join thousands of shoppers in L.A. County in giving up disposable bags in favor of reusable totes for 24 hours.

Read Heal the Bay’s Op Ed, “Paper or plastic — better yet, neither“, from last Friday’s L.A.Times

Los Angeles County residents use 6 billion plastic bags each year and recycle only 5% of that total. Instead, they become part of the plastic-dominated litter stream, putting added pressure on scarce landfill, fouling our public spaces, degrading already weakened watersheds and threatening marine life.

Help reduce plastic bag usage this holiday season — and year-round — with the A Day Without a Bag campaign!

1. BYOB
Show your support for A Day Without a Bag by shopping exclusively with reusable totes. Join us on Thursday, December 20th at a bag giveaway location or a participating retailer (see “In-Store Promotions“) to receive a free reusable bag.

If you miss the free giveaway, you can purchase reusable bags online (see “Buy Reusable Bags“). Then, make it a habit to BYOB (Bring Your Own Bag) when shopping anywhere, anytime!

2. Get Informed
Discover why we should make every day A Day Without a Bag. Come to one of our bag giveaway sites and find out how to reduce plastic bag consumption and adopt sustainable practices year-round, or learn more now (see “Learn More” sidebar at right).

While this video is geared toward a particular area of Australia, the first two minutes hold some very powerful universal images and statistics showing the damaging effects of plastic bags on our environment and wildlife. Please take a couple of minutes to watch it…thanks!

From ASPCA MySpace bulletin:

MUST-SEE TV: CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION, “LYING DOWN WITH DOGS”
Don’t miss this very special episode of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. Focusing on the brutal and illegal world of dog fighting, the episode was created in close consultation with two ASPCA experts considered leaders in their field—Dr. Randall Lockwood, Senior Vice President, ASPCA Anti-Cruelty Initiatives, and Dr. Melinda Merck, ASPCA Forensic Veterinarian and the country’s only “animal CSI.” The pair has assisted in the prosecution of several high-profile dog fighting and animal cruelty cases, including the recent Michael Vick case.

The episode will air tonight, December 13, from 9:00 P.M. to 10:00 PM, EST/PST on CBS. For more information on dog fighting, please visit ASPCA.org.

Those of us in SoCal are in dire need of a little humor, so I’ll leave my update to the end of this blog posting and instead start off with a picture that is hilarious, yet dead-on with its portrayal of FEMA. Leave it to Pinky to find it!

(I always try to give credit to anything I use on this site, but couldn’t find a direct link to the picture on the icanhascheezburger.com site. If you’re the creator of this funny picture, just let me know so I can give you due credit.)

In case you’ve been living under a rock and have no clue what this “fake FEMA press conference stuff” is all regarding, here are a few links for you.

And here is Keith Olbermann’s take on it all.

As for the latest on the fires locally, we’ve still got the Poomacha fire south of us going on (60-70% contained), and the Santiago fire (80% contained per OCFA report 11/29/07) northwest of us. Unfortunately the Santa Ana winds are due to kick in again in a few days, but fortunately they aren’t anticipated to be as strong as the 90mph gusts we got last week.

Have to say it’s a tad disconcerting to read some articles that lead one to believe that those affected by the fires are all made of money; not the case folks! Please don’t jump to the conclusion that just because a lot of the homes shown are in pricier areas of SoCal (Malibu, Rancho Bernardo, etc.), there aren’t many folks in other fire-ravaged areas in need of our positive thoughts, our financial assistance, and help from our government; many who do NOT have the money to easily start over again. And as for all this talk about not rebuilding in “high risk” areas, where in the heck SHOULD folks be living? Most areas of our country have their “seasonal” issues, and also keep in mind that more than one of these fires was due to arson. Sorry, but I’m just a tad annoyed by some of the talk I’m hearing and reading.

For those of you who can see past all the BS and see the pain and suffering so many people and animals (here’s a Humane Society of the United States slideshow of rescue efforts) have gone through, and will be going through regardless of their socioeconomic standing, I thank you and ask that you continue to keep them in your thoughts. If you’d like to help, or are in need of help, here is a listing from the North County Times which might assist you. Best of luck!

Two worthwhile events are coming up in a couple of days: BlogCatalog’s “Blogging Against Abuse” on Thursday, September 27th, and PETA2’s “Hug a Vegetarian” Day on Friday, September 28th. Here is more information about each event. Hope you’ll take part. And if you’re not a vegetarian yet, here’s a link to a post I did that just might help you. Btw, this vegetarian will be expecting tons of hugs on Friday! 🙂

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

“Blogging Against Abuse” on 9/27/07

On September 27th, join 1,000s of bloggers around the world in BlogCatalog’s Blogging for a Great Cause Challenge.

This Blogging Challenge will be:

Bloggers Against Abuse
September 27th, 2007

The Outcome we are after is to be part of the largest group of bloggers to ever blog about an important cause, all on the same day.

So how do you participate?

On Sept. 27th, blog about putting an end to some sort of Abuse (you decide what kind of abuse to blog about).

In the meantime though,

* Spread the word among all the bloggers you know. Perhaps even give them a link to this Discussion.

* If you are a graphic’s designer, perhaps you can come up with some small badges announcing the event, that we can then place on our blogs. To share the badge, place it on this thread.

* List any organizations, on this thread, who are involved in putting an end to abuse.

What do you get?

You will receive a link to your Blog Post from the Blogcatalog blog when we list everyone who participated.

You get to use your blog for an important cause.

You get to create blogging history.

 

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

PETA2’s “Hug a Vegetarian” Day on 9/28/07

Last year was the first-ever “Hug a Vegetarian” Day, and it was a smashing success, with tens of thousands of people taking part. Check out some photos here.

This year promises to be even bigger and better, so we have some brand-new Web banners for you to use to spread the word on your MySpace page or wherever else online. Plus, we have these amazing new signs for you to use at school, band practice, home, or pretty much anywhere you go on Hug a Vegetarian Day!

Get out there and hug your vegetarian (and vegan) buddies—and make sure your friends and family hug it up with you! Snap a picture and we’ll post your photo to peta2’s Flickr page for everyone to see. You’ll even get 2,000 Street Team points! Remember to submit your photo here.

I’m beginning to think that in addition to my Must See/Must Read/Must Listen categories, I need to add a “WTF” category after the other day’s Senate resolution to, yet again, nix our free speech rights (by way of their condemnation of the MoveOn.org Petraeus ad), and now with the absurdity of the grand jury for the State of Virginia passing on animal cruelty charges against Michael Vick and the three other co-defendants. How on EARTH can they bypass what is at the bottom of all of this mess: the cruelty inflicted upon countless dogs?!?! The CNN story says a charge of one count of killing dogs WAS brought against Michael Vick, but according to the AP story there could have been 8 counts of animal cruelty leveled. A little confusing for this layperson, especially since MANY more dogs than that were killed as part of his heinous dogfighting ring. The story is just breaking as of 11AM PST, so perhaps it will become a bit clearer over the course of the day. (***UPDATE 9/26/07: Vick tests positive for marijuana***)

Oh, and a little PS for those who sadly insisted on bringing race into this whole disaster, per CNN the composition of the State of Virginia grand jury that handed down today’s indictment: 2 black males, 2 black females, 2 white females.

  • Vick indicted on state dogfighting charges-AP via Fox Sports
    • “The grand jury passed on indicting the Atlanta Falcons quarterback and two co-defendants on eight counts of animal cruelty, which would have exposed them to as many as 40 years in prison if convicted.Any animal cruelty charge in Virginia is punishable by up to five years in prison. And in a written plea for the federal case, Vick admitted helping kill six to eight dogs at the Surry County property. Similarly, the three co-defendants in the case have admitted their involvement and detailed what they claim was Vick’s role.”
  • Vick indicted by state grand jury on dogfighting charges-CNN
    • “The grand jury brought two charges against Vick: one count of killing dogs and one of promoting dogfights. In a plea agreement on federal charges, the quarterback has admitted to bankrolling a dogfighting operation from his home in Surry County, Virginia.”
  • Surry grand jury hits Vick with 2 new charges-DailyPress.com
    • “Commonwealth’s Attorney Gerald Poindexter had maintained that he wanted to prosecute Vick in Surry County, but said earlier that charges might not come this month because he did not have access to evidence that federal prosecutors had taken to pursue their case, including some witnesses. Today, however, he said that while federal investigators still had a great deal of the evidence in the case, he now had on hand the witnesses he needed to move forward.”

Put this one in the “karma will get you Vick” category:

  • Bank sues Vick for more than $2M-DailyPress.com
    • “The contract has a clause that says if Vick experiences an employment change that might affect his ability to repay the loan, that constitutes a default. Vick still owes the bank $2.3 million, plus $499 of interest per day, according to the complaint. The bank is also asking District Judge Henry C. Morgan Jr. to order Vick to pay the bank’s legal fees.”

Take action HERE by sending a note to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, asking the NFL to add all forms of animal cruelty to its personal conduct policy. Thanks!

Yesterday I received information (copied below) on quite possibly ANOTHER harmful product manufactured in China. When I tried to verify the information I found no solid news stories on the subject. That would normally keep me from posting something in this public venue, but as we’ve all seen over the past seven months of pet-related recalls, there have been several times when vital recall information has been withheld from the public (Wal-Mart pulls chicken jerky dog treats produced in China) which has ultimately resulted in the sickness and/or death of beloved pets. If there is ANY chance that Smokehouse Chicken Breast Tenders Treats ARE causing health issues for our pets, then the information needs to get out ASAP. We can’t wait for big business and governments to take their own sweet time testing products first if there is ANY evidence out there that problems might exist.

As I said, I have not found any conclusive information as to the validity of this bulletin, other than seeing the same information posted around the internet on various animal-related sites. Ultimately it’s up to each pet owner to decide what is valid and what is not, faced with as much information as possible. Truth be told, if I was faced with the same situation as Bella’s owner, where my pet suddenly became ill after ingesting a product from a country with as many health/safety issues as we have been seeing from China, I would be doing the same thing and trying as hard as I could to plaster the information in as many venues as possible.

There IS always a chance this story is not true, but honestly I can’t imagine why anyone (other than someone with an ax to grind with Smokehouse) would go to such lengths. If the story proves to be false, I would much rather have erred on the side of any pet’s safety than to withold information just because the mainstream media and/or our government or big business has not relayed the facts to us. Hopefully we will soon hear from some legitimate agency, or from the company that owns Smokehouse Chicken Breast Tenders Treats, as to the validity of the claims against the product. In the meantime, buyer beware–again! (***Added 9/13/07 at 1PM PST: Blog reader, Buck, posted a comment below which includes an AVMA press release [release was updated by AVMA on 9/14/07] which would lead one to believe the Smokehouse issue is valid–thanks, Buck!***)

Here is the body of the bulletin I received yesterday, minus the city in New York of the PetSmart location mentioned:

PLEASE READ AND SHARE THIS WITH ANYONE WHO HAS DOGS, ESPECIALLY SMALL DOGS

New York:

Bella, 3 years old, 4 pounds

Product – Smoke House Chicken Breast Tenders Treats

Bella became suddenly ill ,and now hospitalized with her life threatened due to Smoke House Chicken Tenders. I recently purchased at Pet Smart.

It doesn’t matter where you purchase them, just don’t purchase them.

This was the first time I bought the Smoke House treats. Having read the label, it was listed as all natural, no additives, dyes etc. The treats were purchased on or about August 17. She loved them and I was happy because she typically only likes one treat. By August 23 she vomited bile, and again on August 24. Her personality began to change becoming lethargic, wanting to stay in her bed, loss of appetite. excessive drinking, urinating frequently in excessive amounts. urine became orange like in color. By August 28 she was severely dehydrated and lost one of her three pounds.

Sugar was found in her urine which would typically indicate diabetes. Bella was put on IV and given an antibiotic to take while tests were being done over Labor Day weekend.

Test results showed “irregularity in the lower part of her kidney. Possibly a hole in the kidney because of the malfunction.

By today Sept 7, she was no better and very low on energy and interest in being around anyone. I brought the package of Smoke House Chicken Tenders with me to the vet because it was the only thing that was different in her diet.

My wonderful vet, a graduate of Cornell University searched the Cornell Veterinarian site where veterinarians report unusual cases which are tracked. The search was done by symptoms. A second search by chicken treats.

There were numerous cases on the Cornell University Veterinarian web site, all with the same symptoms, test results and yes, related to chicken tender treats made in China. Never did it cross my mind that this product was made in China. When Dr. didn’t find complete listing of ingredients on the package he called the number listed on the back of the package identifying himself and asked for ingredients to help understand what was happening to my pet. The only thing the person on the phone with a strong Chinese accent was “all natural, all natural”. Sure enough looking at the small print on the bottom back of the package is “product of China”, the same source of other products that have been killing our pets. I sat beside my vet and read along with him.

Following are primary repeated findings;

-severe damage to the kidney often resulting in complete renal failure and death -numerous reports in the past four to five weeks, a larger number on the East Coast

– chicken and beef treats promoted as all natural -it does not matter what the label is, if it is a product of China -if caught early enough, hospitalized on IV hydrating and flushing the kidney over days with nutrients may help the kidney heal itself and the pet could then live with the damaged kidney -if not caught early complete renal failure is expected -most cases reported are related to small dogs -initial symptoms indicate diabetes -mold is often found when flushing the kidney (found in Bella)

I have been in touch with Pet Smart requesting them to help get the ingredients. Time is lost analyzing the food. Today a vet at Cornell purchased a bag after reading the report my Vet posted on Bella. He then contacted my vet to say the bag he bought had mold in it despite an expiration date one year from now. I was asked to look closely at whatever was left in my bag, but saw none.

After Bella was admitted to the vet I went directly to Pet Smart in ****** NY, told the Manager what happened and asked her to assist getting the ingredients identified. I was met with a hostile attitude. She was only interested in getting my name because she felt I was going to file a complaint. The person at PS headquarters responsible for knowing food ingredients at Pet Smart headquarters is trying to help.

The information available to vets on the Cornell web site is not public information. No one seems to be aware of this. Dogs are misdiagnosed

PLEASE SEND THIS ON TO YOUR PET LOVING FRIENDS AND SAVE A PET AND LOTS OF HEARTACHE.

PLEASE POST THIS INFORMATION ON ANY WEB SITE YOU CAN CONCERNING PETS.

I’ve always admired Keith Olbermann’s ability to put into words many of the thoughts I am unable to eloquently express. He has outdone himself with this video showcasing the outright lies, hypocrisy, immorality and lunacy of George W. Bush. (Here is the text for this video from 9/4/07).

While the entire video is incredible, it’s the last thirty seconds which especially touch upon the outrage I, and countless other Americans, feel toward this entire Iraq situation; Keith gives a voice to our concerns–our demands. It’s in this last half-minute of time that I can’t help but be reminded of a definite “must see” movie I didn’t think I’d like at all, but found myself loving, “V for Vendetta.” I can see legions of citizens fed up with GWB and his regime’s status quo, figuratively standing alongside Keith Olbermann during this video, as were the thousands of masked citizens in the final scenes of “V for Vendetta” fed up with the fascist “Norsefire” party. Could someone please hand me a Guy Hawkes Keith Olbermann mask, please?

Keith Olbermann Special Comment from 9/4/07

Here we go again: another pet food-related issue (this time treats) traced back to China. Seems this one is just breaking and has yet to be classified as an official recall, but as we’ve all learned over the past months with anything China-related “better safe than sorry” is the way to go, so if you have these products STOP giving them to your pet ASAP!

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. quietly stopped selling two brands of dog treats in July, after customers voiced concerns that the Chinese products may have caused their pets to fall ill, but no recall has been announced, a company spokeswoman confirmed.

The world’s largest retailer started pulling Chicken Jerky Strips from Import-Pingyang Pet Product Co. and Chicken Jerky from Shanghai Bestro Trading on July 26, spokeswoman Deisha Galberth said late Monday.

washingtonpost.com

Here are other related areas: My Pet Food Recall Updates post, blog search results for “China”, and a page I composed with information and link to many Pet Product Recalls.

Good luck and CHECK YOUR LABELS!

***UPDATE 8/21/07 PM***: A blog reader, Julie, posted the link to a press release by ADI Pet, Inc. regarding their chicken jerky dog treats, on Pet Product Recalls, but I thought I’d post it here as well. One thing I noticed is that it was not mentioned anywhere whether ADI Pet, Inc. manufactures any of their products in China. Buyer beware is all I have to say.***

***8/22/07 SALMONELLA-related dog food recall:Pet food recall: Mars Petcare, Inc. recalls Krasdale AND Red Flannel dog food due to possible SALMONELLA contamination***

***Added 9/13/07:Possibly another “made in China” tainted dog treat: Smokehouse Chicken Breast Tenders Treats***

Looks like Michael Vick will be pleading guilty to a felony conspiracy charge at 10:30 a.m. next Monday, August 27th. This will apparently keep him from facing more serious charges, but I am hope, hope, HOPING that the judge (who has the final say on sentencing terms, despite plea agreements) surprises the heck out of Vick and throws more than just a one-year prison sentence at him, along with some serious financial penalties. I’ll definitely have more to say on the matter once the actual sentence is handed down, but until then here is the first online source (Virginia Pilot) to break the story, and here are previous posts on the subject.

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UPDATE: To read the latest from the Humane Society of the United States, CLICK HERE.  Please take the time to add your name to their thank you card for the U.S. Attorneys who prosecuted the Michael Vick dogfighting case.

Just home for a quick lunch break and had to post a couple of links with more information which points to what most of us already believed: Vick was/is guilty as charged. Let’s see if he “suddenly” opts to accept the plea bargain offered to him earlier this week.

vick-cartoon-dog-years.jpg

Joel Pett ~ MICHAEL-VICK-DOG-YEARS-HYDRANT-BAR-CAI-072307

Here’s hoping Tony Taylor’s guilty plea might be the nail in the coffin needed to put Vick away. Hey, a gal can dream, right? Of course the flip side would be if his other co-defendants follow suit and plead guilty, somehow hoping this might make it look like Vick had no awareness of what was taking place on his property. I think we’ve all seen such deviousness take place in the legal system before, so who really knows how it will turn out. Here’s hoping the truth prevails and there is some (belated) justice for the innocent dogs involved in all of this disgusting mess.

And how disappointing to read about the Southern Christian Leadership Conference’s stance on the issue.

SCLC President Charles Steele Jr. said his organization prefers to focus on Vick’s redemption and plans to honor him for his community contributions at its convention next month in Atlanta. “We need to support him no matter what the evidence reveals,” Steele said.

I have had nothing but respect for the work the SCLC has done on the civil rights front over the past decades, and respect the right of folks to support the good that Vick has done in the past, but to give so little regard to the possible outcome of the dogfighting charges is something I don’t get, never mind it sends a message to others who condone dogfighting that it’s okay to do so. Yes, people make mistakes in life and should be given a second chance, but be honest about what you’ve done. When Vick admits his wrongdoing and makes redemption, then we’ll talk about support. (***8/7/07 UPDATE: SCLC backtracks regarding “support” of Vick.***)

And this train of thought just blows me away:

“We Support Vick a Human Being Over Dogs,” was the message of one placard to honking passing cars on Northside Drive.”

Say what?!?! You mean to tell me folks will ACTUALLY blindly support someone involved in dog fighting just because that person is a “human being” (a term I’d use very loosely for dog fighters), and TOTALLY disregard the actions of that “human being” because the victims are dogs?? Then again, these are the same folks in the article who think the NFL should be supporting Vick and attacking PETA and the HSUS. Ah, the mentality of some folks is such a continuous disappointment.

As I’ve said before, if Vick is shown to be innocent of the vile crimes the federal grand jury indictment states he took part in, then I will admit to being wrong. But until that time I am going with the evidence put forth, and the common sense notion (especially in light of Tony Taylor’s guilty plea) that there is virtually no way possible that Vick had NO CLUE, let alone no voluntary action in, the barbaric treatment of animals on his property. Guess we’ll have to wait for the trial on November 26th to find out, unless Vick and his cohorts decided to come clean and tell the truth before then–won’t hold my breath.

Your voices are being heard regarding Michael Vick, fellow animal lovers, and NIKE and Reebok have most definitely taken notice, as has trading card company, Donruss. (Previous related posts.)

From PETA:

Following PETA protests outside Niketown stores and countless calls and emails to the company asking that they cut ties with Michael Vick in light of horrific allegations of his involvement with dogfighting rings, Nike has released the following statement:

“Nike has suspended Michael Vick’s contract without pay, and will not sell any more Michael Vick product at Nike-owned retail at this time.”

As a result, we have called off our planned protests outside Nike stores around the country. Thanks to everyone who wrote to the company about this issue or attended the demonstrations, and thanks to Nike for doing the right thing by ending its association with someone accused of torture.

Reebok has also made the decision to stop sales of Michael Vick apparel, stating:

“While we respect the legal process we find the allegations against Mr. Vick too disturbing to ignore, therefore, we have decided to immediately suspend selling Vick NFL product, both at retail and online through the Reebok website.”

This is great news for anyone who is concerned about cruelty to animals, and we hope that it sends a strong message to the NFL that they need to do the same thing and suspend Michael Vick immediately, pending the outcome of this case. To send a message to the NFL asking them to get on with that, please click here.

Thank you for all you do for animals,

Lindsey Twombly, Outreach Programs Supervisor
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
LindseyT@peta.org

Sniffin’ out the info

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