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15 December 2008


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Gina Spadafori

I agree: This doesn't have anything to do with "just pets." It's a system out of control, and we're all at risk from these imports.

We're not sharing the reader's name out of respect for her privacy, but I know I speak for us all in writing that we're so sorry.

I just hope change will come from all this sadness and loss.

Carol V

Gina and Christie...and to the friend who knew of Smudge's passing.thank you for mentioning Smudge's passing..this loss will not be in vain if I can help it...I have and still will spend hours a day emailing, writing and calling people to make them aware of this horrific tragedy with the food supply. I never thought of it as only a pet food problem from day one...I remember saying to my local NBC reporter, Mario Hilario, "where else is this going to show up?" and this was on Sunday March 18, 2007 when repeated attempts to call Menu Foods were unsuccessful and after the FDA said this was not their problem...So I knew that this was about more than pet food...To lose a beloved companion simply by feeding them is completely unacceptable...I will continue to make waves for all the Smudge's and Jessica's that are lucky enough to be with us today ...

Rescue Mom


Just wanted to pass along my deepest condolences for your loss. May your beloved boy's death not be in vain: glad to hear that you will continue to raise awareness and I will pass Smudge's story on to others as well. So very sorry, RIP Smudge.


This is disturbing, but I'm afraid it's going to be the general attitude from the brands going forward:

'The manufacturer of the food refused to pay a claim for damages because it could not be proved conclusively that the cat’s [kidney] failure was related to the contaminated food that it had eaten about one year earlier.'

And not just the pet food brands.

I was so sorry to hear the kitty went to the bridge. It just breaks my heart. I was so hoping he would rally on :(

And I'm also mad as hell again. The lack of action on food safety is criminal, imo. The only thing they seem to really accomplish is establishing 'safe levels'. Just makes me want to scream.


My heartfelt condolences to the reader whose kitty has gone to the bridge.

Lindsey had a $3,000 operation in August that (fingers still crossed) seems to have reversed the digestive tract damage he suffered from the contaminated Iams cat food. Of course, no one is offering me any compensation for the vet bills I've racked up since that time -- let alone this fairly rare operation on a cat!

I used to think with Christie that we were being ignored because it was "just pets." However, after the death of all those Chinese babies and the continuing FDA notices of melamine in all sorts of kid-marketed food,I think it's just plain greed on the part of manufactuers -- it's just cheaper to do business as usual and if people and pets die, well, that's just "collateral damage." We saw it in the environmental movement and now we're seeing it in food -- profits are more important than life -- *ANY* life.

It rots. It all just rots, rots, rots.


I'm hoping we will. After all, could it be much worse? So far it looks like Obama's picking people who at least know something about the areas they are heading and the don't appear to be industry shills.

Sara Jo

I am so sorry.

Our beloved cat ate a recalled brand of food, and about a month ago he was diagnosed with kidney failure. He is 10 years old, which seems so young to me. He hasn't yet shown symptoms; his kidney failure showed up on incidental blood work that was done prior to a dental cleaning. I have been wondering if his kidneys could have possibly been damaged from contaminated food, but I don't suppose I'll ever know for sure.

Sharon H


My deepest condolences for the loss of Smudge. I sat where you are sitting now this past March when I lost Dude to kidney failure. I lost Cleo in July 2007. Yes, both of them were old kitties but they didn't deserve to die the sad way that they did - exposed to toxic food.

Their sister Maui is still with me. She was the first to show symptoms, the first to hit the IV at the vet. But I know one day, I'll struggle through the painful last days with her too - the leaking urine, the glazed eyes, and the heartwrenching decision that can be made only by me to end her pain.

I blamed the pet food then and I'll blame it when I lose Maui. There's no way the exposure could be that high and not cause permanent damage. It's just shameful.

Right now, Maui is treated like the queen she is. All natural, high dollar kitty food, fed to her as many times a day as she wants. She's a slim lady who only gets a tablespoon or so at a time. I spoil her rotten and I adore every moment of it.

It still crushes me to think of what happened to my beloved old kitties. I am so very very sorry for your loss.


Gina Spadafori

Makes me wonder….you guys know I own a pet supply store; I see a hundred or so people a day and talk to them about their pets. Since the 2007 recalls, I’ve noticed a huge increase in cats with ongoing urinary/bladder/kidney issues and…(well, I kind of thought I was over-thinking it but…) I thought this was probably a result of just more awareness about the issues. But I know some of these cats had eaten recalled food but survived and now I wonder if maybe some are still sick?

Comment by Joy — December 15, 2008

I wonder, too. I was hanging out at a friend's store over the weekend (busy, lots of customers) when TWO customers came in asking about a good food for cats with kidney problems. Mind you, they could well have been older cats with pre-recall existing illness. But still ...


FDA head to resign when Obama takes office:

I wonder if we can get someone in there who'll take this stuff more seriously?


I'm so sorry.


I too want to offer my condolences to the family of little Smudge and to say bless them for all they continue to do to make waves and raise awareness.

I'm shocked to realize that I honestly was not aware that pets who had eaten toxic food in 2007 were still at risk even after they survived the initial poisoning.

Makes me guys know I own a pet supply store; I see a hundred or so people a day and talk to them about their pets. Since the 2007 recalls, I've noticed a huge increase in cats with ongoing urinary/bladder/kidney issues and...(well, I kind of thought I was over-thinking it but...) I thought this was probably a result of just more awareness about the issues. But I know some of these cats had eaten recalled food but survived and now I wonder if maybe some are still sick?


I'm so sorry to hear about Smudge. He must have been a brave fighter to last so long.

What's really galling is that we'll never know just how many pets have had their precious lives shortened by greed and stupidity. And the pet food manufacturers that are responsible couldn't care less.

I wonder if anyone knows what happened to the folks at the chemical company in the US that were supplying the additive?


Carol, my deepest sympathy over your loss of Smudge. You were so right on with your "where else is this going to show up?" When will this nightmare end and how long is it going to take for the very agencies that we pay to protect the food supplies to awaken and do the right thing? No level of melamine is acceptable. This needless suffering that Smudge endured is not acceptable, either. We will all act together to be certain it was not in vain.

Tyson's Mom

Carol- I'm so sorry to hear of Smudge's passing.

I live in the area, and had been following reports about Smudge and Jessica online. (One of my boys was poisoned by the same product... I purchased a few pouches as a 'treat' two days before the recall.) I was so hopeful that she would pull through, especially after the loss of Jessica.

According to my vet (we had this discussion last week when Tyson went in for yet another follow-up panel), as of yet, the other pets she's treating who recovered are still doing well.. though one cat (whose owners were unable to give fluids at home) was left with permanently elevated renal values. Still, it scares me. T's numbers have gone up slightly since last year (creatinine is still WNL, BUN is slightly elevated), and while it could be nothing, I do worry about the possibility of lasting subclinical damage that may rear its head as he ages. (He's only five.)


My condolences on the loss of your sweet kitty.

The "cold shoulder" that we have gotten from some of the pet food companies is completely unacceptable. They have turned their backs on us, their consumers, and the very animals that they pretend to care about.

It happened to me last year, when I contacted them about my sick kitty, which I soon lost to the tainted pet food. They couldn't even give the courtesy to pretend that they cared. All they could do was to deny any responsibility.

Well, what they succeeded in doing was to alienate me from buying their products ever again.


It's sad to think that our pets food is no safer today then it was in 2007, when our beloved Whiskers was poisoned by his catfood. It's also chilling to realize the human food supply including baby formula isn't safe either.

Karen Fraser

The ongoing suffering of pets and their guardians haunts me. As an entrepreneur I am fighting back with what I have- my business skills. Just after the first recall I helped to launch The comments of people from around the world came down to a discussion of a broken trust. With a friend,a personal chef, I have launched Trust Pet Cuisine a personal chef meal service for dogs and cats. We are not THE BEST we are the best we can be for today and researching constantly to be better tomorrow. We have caring clients but I am startled that so many people believe that the pet food problem was "fixed' last year. They still discuss what they feed their dog by giving me the cost of the bag. They can't remember the name let alone the contents listed on the label.

For me action is better than despair and it works- most days.

Sandi K

I want to thank Pet Connection for this very kind article regarding Carol's Smudgie as well as the other affected pets. For me, Smudge was a symbol of all the pets affected that fought to stay with us and their families. It was very hard to lose Smudge even though she didnt live in my house, she was still a symbol of those that managed to survive, that Menu and the PFC's werent able to totally destroy. We lost our kitty in March 2007, 5 days before the recalls began. Even though Smudge has passed, I realize even more if thats possible that we have to continue to fight for these animals for a simple thing (or what should be a simple thing) called safe pet food. I know that those who have moved on to the rainbow bridge will be right along beside us helping to fight. Godspeed dear Smudge.


So very sad to hear of your loss, I read so many posts on pet websites of more of the survivors losing the battle, I think maybe more have died in the last year than in the first few months.

Seems it never ends.

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