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16 March 2010


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Sandi K

Amen to that.

Carol V

Thanks for remembering today..I know this date is embedded into those of us who were wondering what the "heck" was happening in their homes...And when the news broke---the pieces fell into place..my cats had not gotten into my golden's chemo waste--they had not gotten into something my husband or I left out..It was the food. It is ironic that I had spent hours and lots of money on keeping my fur family safe--when my littermate pups were adopted I made sure to buy them break-away collars so they would be safe if left unattended--I made sure the kitties had escapes from the pups if I wasn't around to save them..I kept my pups on a leash and was treating one of them for cancer when what I never ever would have expected happened---my cats might die because of their food---I was not engaging in risky behavior--I was feeding them AAFCO approved cat food..I was naive..but I am no longer..I have tried to keep myself educated about the food supply and am vocal as to my findings--that its safety sucks! I too hope that on the 4 year anniversary we all can say--well we lost our friends..but look what their loss has done for the safety of others...the canaries in the coal mine can now be silent...

Gina Spadafori

Wow. I remember posting some silly little thing about Irish breeds, and then getting on the phone with Christie and the dead silence when we realized what the hell had REALLY happened.

And what we had to do about it.


Since the selling of poison in pet food and the dying of the pets has not stopped, at least the pets have Vindication.

For all the pets , even the one who will die tomorrow or next week. Until the dying stops.


Sandi K

Well said Carol V. After our kitty died, we actually donated her leftover food to a local shelter, not knowing it was tainted until 5 days later. We were waiting at the shelter practically beating down the door the day we found out. Thank god they hadnt fed any of the food, it was still sitting on shelves in the back.

It was hard enough as it was, I dont know what I would have done without Pet Connection & Itchmo & PetSitUSA to turn to.


Gina and Christie, as a pet owner I am so indebted to you both for starting this blog so I could get the latest info about the recalls. I feel so many others agree with me.

Sure, my two cats got poisoned because they ate the Nutro cans that were recalled. They did survive somehow. And by paying attention to your website, I did not switch them over to some other recalled food that could have continued poisoned them.

And, too, so many other pet owners shared there stories about the poisoning that I could get a since of what to be wary of.

If pets could give out medals, you two would be the first to get one each!

Carol V

I regret that I forgot to thank PC for the info they provided to all of us..and still do..I was such a newbie to a computer back then that it was a miracle I could find websites like this and others--I wanted to check each one every day before I fed my surviving cats and my two pups--I could not understand how the recalls kept "rolling"--food that was safe one day was not the next...

so I say..a huge Thanks to this site--although I do believe they know I am one of their hugest fans!

Carol V

Timing is everything in life isn't it?

I just read this on Twitter--although I don't know if MF released this today..but if they did I say poor timing..


Sandi K

Comment by Carol V — March 16, 2010 @ 1:12 pm

Wow is this for real Carol? Did they really release this today of all days?! Grrrrr

Sandi K

Wow Carol, I found this, it does look like its today they released the info via Marketwire. I am at a loss for words and what words I can find cant be typed here or anywhere for that matter.


Gina Spadafori

"killed at least 350 pets ..."

Well, I guess a couple thousand dead is at least 350, and of course you have to overlook the ones who've died since and the tens of thousands made ill.

Of course, Menu never had a problem ignoring any of that.


Dear God, will they never learn?


Thank you all. This website and the others mentioned help keep me sane through the recalls, and I credit that info for a few extra months with my old and fragile Lionel. That might not sound like much, but he was a part of my heart.

Menu's original release was this morning, and it was in dense business slurvian with no mention of the pets killed. The subsequent articles that mention our pets, I think that must be the folks working at the papers, and though the numbers are wrong, I do thank them for remembering.

Gina Spadafori

Menu's execs always seemed to think THEY were the victims.


The brand I used never was recalled, but I'd bet a handsome sum that it was in fact tainted. My dogs weren't sick, but they were just not quite right, either. As if they were vaguely uncomfortable somehow. On the Itchmo forums I saw that others had their suspicions about the food as well, so I immediately stopped feeding it and switched to home cooked. Within 24 hours I could see the difference in both dogs. I wept; sobbed, really, thinking that I could have unknowingly poisoned them, and that the world could be populated with individuals and corporations so lacking in ethics and plain old decency.

Thank goodness for Gina, Christie, Itchmo and all of you who shared what you knew in the comments and forums. I'm certain I still have my dogs with me today because of you.


Oops! My post above should have started with this:

I came across both this site and Itchmo during the recall, while I was frantically trying to determine if the dog food I was feeding was safe. I certainly didn't trust mainstream media or the manufacturer for honest, timely information.

Anne T.

I don't remember how I got here on the 16th of March 2007. It was a link posted somewhere that led me to PC and Itchmo. Although my dogs have always eaten raw, my cats eat kibble, and I was in a sweat! Although their food wasn't listed, I learned what to look for in a label and on a website, and dumped the food right away because there were too many signs indicating danger for me to tolerate. I am so grateful to you and Christie, Gina, and to Ben for keeping us informed and up to date. You will go down in my annals as heroes for your coverage!


I learned not to wait for the recall. If I have any doubts whatsoever about a product, I discontinue use immediately. I no longer have any illusions that the food we eat is safe and that a company will recall if there is a problem.


It's scary. I have found import alerts as recent as 4 and 6 months ago with pet food and treats contaminated with Melamine.

Also, I predict the next (additional)pet food ingredients we really need to worry about are "bakery product" and "dried milk product".

These raw ingredients are used extensively in the pet food industry (generally they are listed on the ingredient label) and are being found to be contaminated with Melamine in things like chocolate, candies, formula and drink mixes. If these raw ingredient are contaminating human food products, they'll be found in pet food as well.


It seems the pets will not be forgotten and that is good news.


Gina Spadafori

Believe me, I am NOT defending the FDA behavior during the recall.

But I have talked to a great many in the agency and researched a whole lot more. This is an agency with a strong tradition of saving lives going back to the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906, and that culture is still in there, battered nearly to death by the "gov't is bad/drown it in a bathtub" attitude the big corporations have been able to sell since Reagan told his "I'm from the government, I'm here to help" joke.

The man knew how to deliver a line, true, but I gotta tell you that I believe the FDA's problems would be fixed in large part with some enforcement powers. Right now, they can't force a company to recall anything except infant formula, which is why we see this "voluntary recall" crap. They're ALL voluntary, because the FDA can't legally act in the public interest.

You want to see how far we've come and how bad it was WITHOUT government protection, I have a great read for you -- entertaining and eye-opening as hell. Get a copy of "The Poisoner's Handbook" by my friend Deborah Blum, a Pulitzer prize-winning science writer who's now a professor of journalism at the U of Wisc.

Every chapter tells a story about people who died because of corporate malfeasance, including young immigrant women who painted watch faces with radium. Until public health agencies were given the power to say, "NO!" employers swatted these workers aside and wouldn't even pay for their burials. And other companies sold poison, and knew it.

So yeah, the FDA needs to reclaim its legacy. But the fault is in almost 30 years of the systematic dismantling of government watchdogs by corporations who don't give a damn about anything but the bottom line.

Make the FDA whole and then let it do its work.

There will ALWAYS be a need for watchdogs like us. But there's also a need for government to draw a line that companies cannot cross, profit or no.

David S. Greene

Christie wrote:

Will Congress finally pass serious food safety legislation? Will the rumblings of change at the FDA turn into full-fledged reform?

Let’s hope that when we check in a year from now the answer to both of those questions is “yes.”


I just don't see it. The FDA has been a largely impotent, inattentive agency for decades. They act when they're clubbed over the head, and threatened with being de-funded into oblivion. Additionally, Congress won't lift a finger until some massive industry crisis (involving more than one isolated, bad corporate actor) forces their hand. Even then, we all know the food industry forces (whether people or pet-related) will fight reform hammer and tong, just as insurance agencies are fighting health care reform today.

It's going to take a Menu recall on steroids. For change to take place, the media and gov't will have to see many people sickened (or, sadly, buried). Big change doesn't happen without crisis.

In the meantime, WE are the ones who will make the difference. We who care, who research, who watch carefully, who speak up, who fight, and who don't take no for an answer.

In other words, Christie, Gina, and everyone who has heard the alarm since.


Don’t buy *any* commercial dog food and it will send the food companies a loud and clear message ....

No, it won't.

Shelters still need pet food. So do rescues. So do people who lack the funds, the time, the energy, or the ability to make their own pet food - none of whom deserve, any more than you or I, to have their pets sicken or die because of commercial food.

Karen Friesecke

Since I make my own dog food, I totally dodged that bullet! You know how you make a change? Vote with your dollars! Don't buy *any* commercial dog food and it will send the food companies a loud and clear message to get proper testing for pet food.


It's so heartbreaking to think about all the pets that lost their lives over this and will continue to do so. Thank God for this blog and the many others that continue to cover this issue and put pressure on the pet food industry.


Can't remember how I came across this blog either but thank everyone every day. Couldn't get through the day without checking in several times. The dog food I was using, dry Nutro, wasn't recalled but I changed anyway because of the Nutro products that were recalled. A huge hug of gratitude to Gina and Christie and all the bloggers for keeping us up to date -- then, now and every day.

K9 Coach

I'm amazed on a daily basis... my work is with dogs and their people. So many people have no idea still about the pet food companies... the industry that has been created and the big business that allows profits not ingredients or safety for our pets to be the motivating factor.

Thank you to blogs like you (and me) who are getting the word out. Keep putting the reality out there, create our news network that reaches as many pet owners as possible.

Wag more and expect each next moment to be great... just like my two dogs! :)



The way I read your article Ben Huh is still connected to the itchmoforums and blog, but I heard that he had sold it to some of the forum members last summer. If you can shed any light on this, I'd appreciate it. I think its good to know who is financing websites that pet lovers might see as sources of pet food safety and quality information.

(That is why I appreciate the transparency of Pet Connection.)


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