Archive for the ‘News for Cats, Dogs & Owners’ Category

Menu Foods Reaches Settlement Agreement

Tuesday, April 1st, 2008

Menu Foods

Here is a press release dated April 1 on Menu Foods website:

Menu Foods Income Fund (TSX: MEW.UN) announced that the parties to the Pet Food Multi-District Litigation (including Menu Foods) today advised the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey that their mediation has produced a comprehensive, cross-border agreement in principle between the parties, addressing all major terms of settlement.

The settlement in principle is subject to several conditions, including the approval of certain other parties, the execution of a definitive settlement agreement and review and approval of the U.S. District Court and the Canadian courts. The parties advised the court that they are confident that a definitive settlement agreement can be reached.

The definitive terms of settlement, together with a motion for preliminary approval thereof, are scheduled to be filed with the U.S. District Court on May 1, 2008, with the hearing scheduled to occur at 11:00 a.m. on May 14, 2008. The scheduling for Canadian court approval has not yet been determined, but is expected to occur in a similar time frame.

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Help for Low-Income Pets

Tuesday, March 25th, 2008

heathcliff.jpg

Last week I was half-watching TV while surfing the net, and saw a commercial promoting a charitable venture in Rhode Island that helps lower-income people pay vet’s bills. I was a little surprised because let’s face it, that’s not the sort of thing you see on TV very often. I jotted down the name of the organization and looked them up on the net. Sure enough, there it was: The RIVMA Companion Animal Foundation. Launched in 2004, the Foundation’s mission is to provide funds to the state’s participating veterinary practitioners for compassionate care of pets whose owners are unable to pay. I looked around the web site for awhile, thinking about what a great idea this is, and wondering what other resources are available to folks who love their pets but can’t afford to care for them when they are injured or sick.

Now, I’ve heard all the arguments about why the poor should not own pets, but whether you think this is so or not, the reality is that poor people do own pets. Saying that they shouldn’t doesn’t help those pets one little bit. This article is about finding the means to service animals in crisis, and not about whether their owners deserve to be helped. For me, it isn’t even a debatable question. I decided to do some research to find out just how extensive a safety net is available to low-income pets.

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8-Year-Old Girl Raises Money For Dog’s Operation

Monday, March 17th, 2008

TannerIt was love at first sight. When Katherine Hawkins, an eight-year-old girl from Atlanta, first saw Rocky’s picture on the Internet, she just fell in love with this golden retriever who was looking for a new home.

But Rocky needed surgery because he had been hit by a car and his previous owners had never treated his broken leg.

Without ever meeting Rocky, Katherine started to raise money to pay for Rocky’s surgery. She first gave up her allowance and then started selling cookies.

Katherine’s mother said, “You cannot resist a little 8-year-old girl holding this envelope saying would you please give money to help this dog that’s been run over.”

This motivated young girl raised over $1,000 dollars which was about half of what Rocky’s surgery would cost.

Adopt-A-Golden, where Rocky was staying, was so impressed with Katherine’s efforts that they knew that she would make a loving and caring owner for Rocky.

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Animal Activists Sued By University Of California Regents For Threatening University Reseachers

Monday, March 17th, 2008

In 2006, according to court documents, animal rights activists harassed UCLA professor Dario Ringach and other scientists who conduct research with laboratory animals.

Documents stated that they hurled firecrackers at his house and planted Molotov-cocktail-like explosives at the homes of other faculty members and threatened to burn down their houses.

Ringach was afraid for his family and their safety and wrote an email to the animal activists begging to be left alone: “Effectively immediately, I am no longer doing animal research. Please don’t bother my family anymore.”

In response to the threats by the activists, the University of California regents are suing UCLA Primate Freedom, the Animal Liberation Brigade, the Animal Liberation Front and five people allegedly affiliated with this group.

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In Memory Of…

Sunday, March 16th, 2008

As today marks the one year anniversary of the pet food recalls, this is an open thread for anyone to speak their mind, share their thoughts, express their loss or simply encourage and support each other.

From the Itchmo Forums, JustMe made a memorial for the victims of the pet food recalls:

Member: 3Catkidneyfailure

Doozie: A 10-year-old Cat.
Suffered kidney failure from poisoned cat food.
Euthanized: February 10, 2007.

IQ: A 16-year-old Cat.
Suffered kidney failure from poisoned pet food,
January, 2007.
A survivor, under treatment.

SMORGI: A 15-year-old Cat.
Suffered kidney failure from poisoned pet food.
A survivor, under treatment.

*

Member: Arlo

Shelter
Orphans:

BART: A 5-year-old Spaniel Dog.
Poisoned by pet food. Renal Failure.
Euthanized May, 2007.

ELLIE MAY: A black and white, Domestic Short Hair cat.
Poisoned by pet food. Acute Renal Failure.
A survivor who sustained chronic renal failure.

JETHRO BODINE: A black and white tuxedo, Domestic Short Hair Cat.
Poisoned by pet food. Acute Renal Failure.
Euthanized April, 2007.

*

Member: Carol

JESSICA: A 16-year-old Cat.
Diagnosed with Acute Renal Failure due to poisoned cat food,
February 17, 2007.
Euthanized December 26, 2007.

SMUDGE: A 14-year-old Cat.
Diagnosed with Acute Renal Failure due to poisoned cat food,
March 12, 2007.
A survivor, currently under treatment for Chronic Renal Failure.

*

Member: Catbird

PHANTOM: A 12-year-old Domestic Short Hair Cat.
Sickened by poisoned cat food.
A survivor.

ISIS: A 10-year-old, Burmese mix Cat.
Ate poisoned cat food, sustained heart disease.
A survior.

*

Member: SusanP/MrsP

LADYCAT: An approximately 13-year-old Cat.
Poisoned by pet food.
Euthanized July 10, 2007.

MUNCHKIN: An approximately 7-year-old Cat.
Poisoned by pet food.
A survivor.

TEENYCAT: A 4-year-old Cat.
Poisoned by pet food.
A survivor.

*

Member: Catmom5

CJ: A 12-year-old, Catgirl.
Suffered acute renal failure in November, 2006,
from posioned cat food.
A survivor with multiple serious health issues.

*

Member: Dyginge

DYLAN: An approximately 11-year-old Cat.
Acute renal failure from poisoned cat food.
Euthanized February 23, 2007.

*

Member: Kittylyda

PEANUT: Between 17-20 years old Cat.
Poisoned by cat food, diagnosed with renal insuffiency.
A Survivor, under treatment.

TIG: A 12-year-old Cat.
Poisoned by cat food.
A survivor, under treatment.

*

Member: Trudy

NUTMEG: Cinnamon Bengal Girl Cat.
Kidney Failure, 2006

BECAUSE: Tortoiseshell Manx Cat.
Oral cancer, 2007

SUNSHINE: Yellow Rescue Girl Cat
Cat food, 2007

BOB: Big Boy Rescue, Part Maine Coon Cat
Cancer, 2007

GREY THING: Little Grey Manx Rescue Cat
Cat food, 2007.

INKY: Black and White Manx Rescue Cat.
Pancreas, 2008

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Ohio Vet Board Has No Authority To Suspend Vets Suspected Of Mistreating Animals In Care

Saturday, March 15th, 2008

The Ohio Veterinary Board may not have as much power as it seems to have to discipline veterinarians that have mistreated animals while in their care.

Colleen Keszer brought in Duke, her chocolate Labrador, to veterinarian Lisa Hart. Keszer said that Hart “came outside and she grabbed him by his collar and he looked so scared.”

Keszer complained to the Ohio Veterinary Board last October, when she first brought her dog in. She said that Hart didn’t find anything wrong with Duke and released him to go home.

But Keszer said that four days later, Duke had to go back to the vet because he was extremely sick. He died within a week and Keszer blamed Hart for her dog’s death and filed a complaint.

Last November, when a news team was investigating Hart, they found out the Ohio vet was already on probation when another dog was burned by a heating pad.

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Remembering The Recall: A Reading List

Friday, March 14th, 2008

Kisses

The pet food recall in March 2007 did more than change everything I believed about the “right” way to feed pets. We lost our cat, Kisses. Sometimes grief competes with happy memories when I think about her, a sad trend which seems to slowly improve over time.

As this unpleasant anniversary approaches, a friend suggested I focus on the season as a new beginning –- appropriate advice for spring. Kisses will always have a special place in our hearts, and the two cats who joined our family after her death are unique, irreplaceable gifts. Her legacy includes the information I gathered while working with our wonderful vet to prolong her life.

After Kisses was gone, I sent friends the titles of all the books I discovered during her illness, and I share my bookshelf inventory with Itchmo readers now to honor her memory. I also dedicate this entry to thousands of other grieving pet parents.

Note: Books containing recipes for cats have one asterisk* and those with recipes for dogs and cats have two asterisks.** If you’d like to pick up a few toys along with your books, consider pet supply shops like Only Natural Pet Store (see the Hard Goods category) or Robbins Pet Care. Used booksellers such as Biblio.com are a great way to locate out-of-print books. Older titles may recommend certain commercial foods that have changed ingredients and/or ownership over the years. Use caution.

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Man Clinging To Boat Asks To Have Dog Saved First

Friday, March 14th, 2008

Randy Earl just wanted to make sure his dog, Lacy, would be safe.

When Earl and his black spaniel mix were fishing, the small boat capsized. When the boat flipped over, Earl put Lacy on top of the boat to make sure she stayed safe. He stayed in the water wearing his life jacket.

Earl continued to hold on the boat’s hull while waiting for rescuers. The water temperature was about 50 degrees.

Another fisherman, who watched as a state trooper paddled out to Earl and Lacy, said that Earl asked the state trooper to take the dog first.

Earl said that Lacy is like a child to him and his wife and has meant a lot to him especially since they lost both of their children in a car accident 15 years ago.

Source: Yahoo News

(Thanks Nancy)

Iowa Mayor Puts $5 Bounty On Stray Cats

Thursday, March 13th, 2008

CatsThe mayor of Randolph, Iowa is taking drastic measures to curb the feral cats in the area.

Since March 1, Mayor Vance Trively’s plan of putting a bounty on all stray cats has been in effect. If a resident can lure a cat and catch it, the person will get five dollars.

If a cat or dog does not have a tag or collar on, the animal will kept “for a time for people to claim them”. If they are not claimed, they will be euthanized.

Randolph City Councliman Allen Wendland said, “Either people keep their cats in or like dogs, if they keep ‘em under control we shouldn’t have a problem, it’s just the stray ones and cats propagate quite frequently.”

Several residents, including Chasidy Wederquist, said the bounty plan is ridiculous and that killing the animals is not the right way to deal with the stray cats.

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Feral Cats To Be Trapped And Most Likely Euthanized In Chantilly, Virginia

Thursday, March 13th, 2008

catAn estimated 200 feral cats at a trailer park in Chantilly, VA will be trapped and most likely euthanized starting next week, according to a local animal control officer.

Trailer park residents have been working since 2002 with Alley Cat Allies to control the stray cat population in humane ways. Volunteers have set out food and have been trapping animals to vaccinate and spray or neuter them.

But other residents have been frustrated with the cats and have complained about the damage they have done to their gardens and the mess that they have left.

The Meadows of Chantilly hired a company that will begin trapping the feral cats and taking them to a local animal shelter, where they will probably be put down.

Sgt. Andrew Sanderson of the county police department’s animal services division said that the plan is “definitely moving forward. There is nothing legally holding them back. They have every legal right to trap on their property.”

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Pathologists Determine Contaminated Pet Food Outbreak In Asia In 2004 Similar To 2007 Recalls

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008

In 2004, an outbreak of contaminated pet foods made more than 6,000 dogs and a number of cats ill across Asia.

Kidney failure in the animals was connected to Pedigree dog food and Whiskas cat food that had been manufactured in Thailand by Mars Inc. Asian newspapers reported that thousands of pets died from the contaminated pet food.

The problems with the pet food were blamed on fungal toxins, which was also one of the first suspicions when the pet food recalls in the US broke out last year.

During the 2007 pet food recalls, a Korean graduate student told Cathy Brown, a specialist in renal pathology at Georgia’s Athens Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, that massive pet food recalls had happened before. Brown was able to track down tissue samples from pets that died in 2004.

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FDA Orders Shutdown Of Castleberry Food Plant

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008

Castleberry

The Food and Drug Administration has shut down Castleberry’s food plant in Augusta, Georgia. In July 2007, Castleberry went through a massive recall of canned chili linked to botulism poisoning.

Castleberry Foods produces Natural Balance Eatables for Dogs. (Natural Balance also recalled cans of Natural Balance Eatables for Dogs for possible botulism risk during the canned chili recall.)

The suspension of its operating permit and shutdown was ordered on Friday, and a FDA spokesperson said that part of the processing lines used to make food were not being operated properly and this could result in underprocessed cans of food.

Here is the FDA press release:

In July 2007, over 80 types of canned food products and 4 types of dog food produced by Castleberry Foods were recalled due to possible contamination with Clostridium botulinum.

FDA issued an ‘Order of Need for Emergency Permit’ to the firm at that time. This means that the firm was not able to ship its products in interstate commerce until it received a permit from FDA. The agency issues an ‘Order of Need for Emergency Permit’ if it determines that a firm does not meet requirements of the regulations pertaining to the manufacture of thermally processed low-acid foods or acidified foods, such that the safety of the food is in question.

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Attorneys Say Pet Food Lawsuits Near Settlement

Tuesday, March 11th, 2008

Michael Ferrara Jr. of Ferrara Law Firm in New Jersey, along with co-counsel in Chicago and San Francisco are representing a dozen plaintiffs in their suits charging that tainted food caused death or injury to pets.

Ferrara said that the cases are likely to be resolved soon, and Menu Foods’ lawyer said that the parties have made substantial progress during mediation.

Both sides said a settlement could be a few weeks away.

On Feb. 19, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation consolidated suits from around the nation, finding they involve questions of fact common to 31 cases already assigned to U.S. District Judge Noel Hillman, who sits in Camden.

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Reports Of China Sending Cats To “Death Camps”

Tuesday, March 11th, 2008

Cats China

Warning: This story may disturb some readers.

The Daily Mail is reporting that China has started an aggressive plan to clean up Beijing before the Olympics by rounding up cats and putting them in “death camps” on the edges of the city.

The government has been warning citizens of the diseases that cats carry and have been ordering residents to help remove the cats from the street.

Owners have been dumping their cats in the streets because of the warnings, and the hundreds of abandoned cats are then picked up by special collection teams.

The cats are kept in small cages at the death camps. Disease spreads quickly among the cats, and the government simply waits for the cats to die.

Animal welfare groups are protesting the rounding up of cats and bringing them to the death camps, but they are afraid what authorities will do to them.

Qi Yan, the founder of a cat lovers’ group, negotiated the release of 30 cats from one of the compounds, but the cats were in such horrible conditions that half of them died after being released.

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Idaho Woman Has Found Homes For Over 1500 Stray Cats

Monday, March 10th, 2008

CatBobbette Carlson, an Idaho woman, describes herself as the crazy cat lady.

She is crazy over finding homes for cats in need. Currently, Carlson has 32 cats, and at one point, she had 46 cats in her house and garage.

Five years ago, Carlson found out that many cats were being euthanized at a local animal shelter. She wanted to make a difference and give these cats a second chance and a new home.

During these five years, she has found homes for over 1500 homeless cats.

Her only criteria for someone that wants to adopt a cat from her is that the cat must live indoors. She also spays, neuters, and vaccinates all of her cats.

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