Pet Owners Still Wait To Be Reimbursed For Claims With Menu Foods

Menu Foods seems to like taking their sweet old time. Not only did they delay in telling pet owners about their tainted food, but they continue to take their time processing claims from pet owners.

One pet owner, Nellie McDermott, is still waiting to be reimbursed by Menu Foods for the death of her three-year-old cat, Midnight. She had been feeding Midnight Special Kitty cat food when the cat became ill.

After hearing about the pet food recalls, McDermott brought Midnight to the animal hospital, but the black cat soon died afterwards. Midnight’s doctors sent her remains to the University of Wisconsin to be tested. It was concluded that the tainted Special Kitty cat food killed her.

McDermott decided against filing a lawsuit or joining a class action suit against Menu Foods because an attorney said it wouldn’t be worthwhile to take legal action.

Instead she filled out a claim form from Menu Foods for the reimbursement of her vet bills and said that Crawford and Company, the insurance company for Menu Foods, is “taking care of everything.”

She said she has still yet to hear a response from Menu Foods in regards to her claim, but she is hopeful that she will hear something soon.

McDermott added, “I’m just going to hang tight and see what happens. I might try to contact Crawford again. You just never know.”

After the loss of Midnight, McDermott got a Jack Russell terrier named Josie. And Josie’s diet is Menu Foods free.

Source: The Times Plus

(Thanks menusux)

71 Responses to “Pet Owners Still Wait To Be Reimbursed For Claims With Menu Foods”

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  1. Sophie says:

    Cathy, I know how you feel, I was yelling along with you and the rest and no one wanted to hear us after the initial hub-bub died down. Im wondering if you have any of your pet food left that killed your dog, if so, perhaps you can e:mail Don Earl at his group to see if they can get it tested? I just sent links to Carol’s story to Anderson Cooper, 60 Minutes and Countdown and am working on sending it to a few more. Carol’s right, this may be new territory that will catch their attention again.

  2. Cathy says:

    Sophie, Unfortunately, no. I gave the rest of the bag of food to my vet. I didn’t think it was the food since it wasn’t recalled. He’s got alot of dogs and I thought he could use it. The dog he gave it to got sick. He just gave me the label back and threw the food away. If’s there’s anything I can help with, let me know - I’m there.

  3. Carol says:

    Cathy—I think the story here is that if acetaminophen was the culprit–there is alot of food that sickened pets that was not recalled–like yours did, this is newsworthy!! Let’s not give up–stay vigil—get the word out to whoever will listen! There’s a quote from Margaret Meade that is under all my posts at the Forums—I believe it!

  4. anonymous says:

    Yes, it has been like a nightmare, a long, long nightmare. I have to fight the urge to shake people.

    File a small claims action, file as many as you can, your vet did you wrong? there is a lot of that going around. Sue the prick, file complaints with the vet liscencing board in your state. Sue the store that sold you the food.
    Sue the trucking company that transported poison without a permit.

    Radio talk shows. Call in and talk about this. Talk about the cover up, the lack of news media, the betrayals.

    Register for every internet survey place that you find and give them brutally honest opinions when asked about various pet foods.

    If you see any news coverage of Menu Foods then go after the reporters and the news media that covered that story.

    MrsP has been on NPR radio and the phones exploded with requests for more info, use her success to promote getting your story on the air.
    MrsP no longer posts on itchmo, she is getting the work done in the real world. Many are doing the same.

    File FCC complaints about tv stations. Someone else posted the link a long time ago, it can be done online.
    Talk to the local churches, the Elks lodge, the Masons, the state agencies that regulate advertising. Tell your story.
    Put flyers for Don Earls site at pet groomers, libraries. Never leave your house without a handful of those flyers.
    Write to every person you have ever heard of who supports animal causes.

    Go to every site on the web that you can find where people talk about youtube and ask for advice and help on how to do a video on the pet food poisoning. People will help more often than you might think.

    Make a video and put it on youtube.

    Can you write a play? Write a gut wrenching play about the dying and betrayals and send it around the world to tell your story to audiences.

    Can you sew? Sew something as a memorial, a quilt or something and enter it into your county or state fair. Have it displayed at a mall, ask others to sew quilt blocks for it, take what you do, what you are and use that.

    Then take a deep breath and write your story. Write about all the betrayals.
    Telling the simple truth while sobbing really gets peoples attention.
    Offer to read parts of the story about how unrecalled pet food kills.

    Ask Don Earl how you can help.

    Other methods might occur to you or be suggested , a lot of them will not be posted here, for obvious reasons.

    There is no wrong way to tell the truth.

    At this time maybe every pet parent should write and email Erin Brockovich, let her know that there is another group of poisoners with really deep pockets that she needs to go after

    I would love to see that!

  5. catmom5 says:

    Okay, here’s a question I have. We all know there were silent recalls where food was quietly taken off the shelves and replaced with different food. Where are all the companies, employees, drivers, stockers, warehouse workers, etc who were involved with those recalls and have said nothing? Surely sneaking old food out and new food in in the middle of the night is not business as usual. Was no one suspicious? Did no one question what was going on? ISN’T THERE ANYONE OUT THERE WHO KNOWS, AND IS WILLING TO DO THE RIGHT THING?
    I am sorry for all of you who have suffered because of this tragedy. Unfortunately, one of my cats was on the front end of this recall ~ late November so we have no recourse whatsoever. She did survive, but with horrendous medical issues and thousands of dollars in medical bills that continue. And for all that, I consider myself one of the lucky ones.
    We can’t let this fade away, as the pfi would like us to.

  6. Sam says:

    I may be posting this in the wrong place… if i am maybe someone could direct me to the best place to post my question.
    I found this dog food recently at the pet store I go to, it’s called natural planet organics. The food ingredients sound great and every thing else but I think it’s a new company as I’ve never heard of them before. The website doesn’t say anything about who the company is. I would like to try this food for my dogs but am looking for any others who may have used this brand or know anything about it. The website is below.


  7. anonymous says:

    Just like the people who had pets die and did not know why, the people who have pets that died today, or are paying for expensive care for renal damaged pets, maybe from unrecalled pet food, the people in the real world who can help are NOT reading this. The people and pets who need the help are probably not here reading this.

    The silent ones who are here and reading are the people who killed the pets, made a sh!tload of money from doing it and then insulted the victims , both human and animal, daily for damned near a year, do you expect help from them?

    I really think someone like brockovich could help, or know someone who could help, look at all the expensive TV ads the pet food companys are blowing big bucks on, they have enough money to be worth going after, as do the walmarts, petsmarts, grocery stores, etc.
    It was never just Menu .

    Did a group of morons like Menu have the pull to do secret recalls, of non Menu pet food? Nah.
    Did Menu have the pull to pocket the FDA? Nah.
    Does Menu own the media?

    It was never just Menu.

    There is more.
    There is something worse they are hiding.

  8. Sharon says:

    Dear anon, sorrry if I sound to political for you but I blame our government and specifically the Bush Administration for the decimation of the FDA and every other government designed to protect the people of the United States. Do you have any children? Are they suffering from the effects of lead poisoning? We are all going to die either sooner or later because our government has sold us out for the almighty dollar.

  9. anonymous says:

    Everyone dies sooner or later and that is a fact that existed long before politics. The FDA was corrupt long before Bush, though he certainly did not improve the situation.

    Just like a very callous FDA employee said about a drug that was killing dogs it was supposed to treat “When enough dogs die, the drug will be pulled.” the same thing applies here “When enough people get tired of being treated like slaves they will do something about it.”

    The fact that 2 year old children carry a body burden of toxins and chemicals that is higher than a 90 year old persons does not thrill me. It seems to be quite acceptable to most people, they certainly are not doing anything about it.

    The black plague killed a third of the world and those that survived were more valuable, had more say, got treated better, things changed for the better. Perhaps another plague, or a comet hitting the planet hard enough to kill off half this time will do the same again.

    Maybe that callous FDA employee was right , when enough dogs die something will get done.

    There just hasn’t been enough dying yet.

  10. Dennis says:

    There are as many opinions as there are attorneys. The attorney involved probably felt (s)he could not make any real money off the suit and didn’t want to handle it. Compare a small case versus something large like the circular accutane reference which points back to this page. Getting representation means selecting the right attorney. Sometimes a suit is filed just to make the point to the other party - to teach them a lesson - that their actions were improper and costly to them. My uncle did that once over a moving company who falsely told us that they had insurance covering his grand piano that they moved. They had insurance all right - it covered any damage to anything else if they dropped the piano, not the piano itself. They dropped and broke the piano causing a huge crack the length of the piano side. It wasn’t repairable. The movers refused to cover the loss and said, so sue me. So he did. The piano was worth over $7,500. The case was filed in associate circuit court for $5,000, the limit. There was only a judge. The mover lost 20 seconds after he rested his case. The award was $5,000. That covered just about the cost of my uncle traveling here repeatedly, and the attorney fees, and the time away from work for him. It didn’t cover our time away from work as witnesses. And it didn’t cover the piano. But the mover was taught a couple lessons in life. The multiple lies cost him. Had he offered, my uncle who was a fair man would have split the damages.

  11. Guthrie says:

    Hey Carol, I think my cat Ribble died of acetaminophen poisoning. Yeah, she had kidney failure, but the biggie is the swollen paws and face. People die of liver failure from Tylenol. That doesn’t mean cats do. Kidney failure with the swelling is a classic for cats. In November she had perfect lab results. In March she got sick and in June she died.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Guthrie, What were you feeding Ribble?

  13. Carol says:

    I forgot to sign on—the above post was me but not the ones prior!!

  14. Don Earl says:


    Let’s say Jane Doe regularly buys Brand-X cat food, a private label marketed by XYZ Grocery, Inc..

    Let’s say that under the product liability laws in Jane’s state, the seller of Brand-X cat food is held to the same level of liability as a manufacturer by using its private label on the product.

    Let’s also say that because XYZ Grocery, Inc. operates a local retail outlet, it is subject to local jurisdiction and venue and has to register an agent with the Secretary of State to accept a summons and complaint.

    Now, suppose Jane’s pets become ill from eating adulterated Brand-X pet food, but after some expensive emergency veterinary care, the pets fully recover.

    Let’s imagine Jane can file a small claim for $25, the total vet bills are under the limit for small claims, and the matter may be resolved in about a month.

    Under those circumstances, would Jane be better off spending 15 hours on hold, listening to Hip Hop remakes of old Led Zeppelin tunes, while waiting to talk to an insurance adjuster who has been trained to say no? Or would Jane’s interests be better served by filing a small claim against XYZ Grocery, Inc. and sending notice of the small claim to XYZ Grocery, Inc.’s registered agent?

  15. 5CatMom says:

    I’ve found a great way to relieve frustration with pet food companies, the FDA, PFI, attorneys, etc., is to make my own food.

    After an hour or so in the kitchen with a pile of raw chicken, a 3 lb meat cleaver, a really cool meat grinder, and an excellent bottle of cheap red wine, life seems to be under control, once again.

    Best of all, the kitties are grinnin’ and I don’t have to buy cat food next week.

  16. mittens says:

    for the 5 millionth time- it’s the CONGRESS( democratically controlled now) that oks the money for the FDA. the FDA HAS NEVER been granted the authority that would have allowed them to storm into Menu foods and do anything about what happened because there are no laws that let them do has been like that sonce roughly the beginning of the entity known as the FDA circa 1930. it has been like that through every administration since- democratic or republican. if youre horrified by what they cant do to pet food poisoners you’d never pop a pill in your mouth again if you knew how the FDA ok’s drugs for human use. if you enforce laws that dont exist it’s called fascism. there were no laws protecting your pets from what happened. there’s nothing any adminstration could have done because the laws of the land were in point not violated.

    blaming the bush administration is oh so au currant however it assures that the real problem will be ignored on through the next administration. it reflects the ignorance of the populous who is amused by the dog and pony show of meaningless sound bites and factless bear baiting that passes for a democracy today. we need to blame the actual perperators in the pet food industry and demand of our elected congress people that they pass legislation overhauling the FDA- only the congress can do that- they make these laws and the president enforces them. there were no laws against what menu foods et al did- what exactly was the executive branch suppose to do- come up with it’s own laws without the approval of congress and enforce them? dont the teach american government or problems of democracy in high school any more? it was required when i grew up.

    i suppose ranting that someone like bush is to blame is easier then learning the facts about the operation of the FDA and doing something concrete about ensuring it will never happen again. the most successful democracy in the recorded history of the world wherein people have more political power than ever before and it’s squandered on ranty hissy fits with no basis in fact- accusations for political expediency not actual solving of grave problems that harm the functioning of a society.

  17. Louie W. says:

    The FDA has a perfectly good rule that was finalized on May 27, 2004.

    May 27, 2004
    FDA Finalizes Rule on Administrative Detention of Suspect Food

    This rule could have been used, but it wasn’t.

  18. Dennis says:

    Apparently the Consumer Affairs group generally believes in using small claims court too… Here they advocate it:

    I think home cooking is a good idea for those who can spend the time doing so. At some point, we all may have to consider that option.

    In Don’s $25 hypothetical case, I’d not sue. I’d eat the $25 but I’d file a BBB complaint against the company and it would cost them a customer. At some point of damages between $25 and $5,000 and when enough principle is involved, the amount becomes sufficient to warrant going after the other party.

    I recall that Sears once said the basis of their Satisfaction Guaranteed or your money back policy was that they felt that one dissatisfied customer would spend the effort to tell at least 10 people and those 10 would tell 10 more such that at least 100 people would know of the bad event from one customer’s perspective. They preferred to eat the one loss than to loose potentially 100 customers to the bad word of mouth. These blogs and forums make that word of mouth available to way more than 100 people, and they in turn tell a lot more than 100 people…

  19. Don Earl says:


    The $25 reference wasn’t to damages, but to the filing fee for a small claim. If you win your case, you get that back along with the damages claimed. So for example, if 3 days of emergency care came to $1200, the pets quickly and fully recovered with treatment, my view is a small claim makes sense in that situation.

    For those of us who lost pets, or whose pets were premantly disabled, a small claim won’t make it right. We lost a LOT more than vet bills.


    I’d encourage you to read the Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act. The authority you claim the FDA does not have is explicitly delegated to the FDA under the Act.

    What is missing is Congressional oversight. You can’t turn $60,000 a year inspectors loose to inspect multi billion dollar companies without watching them to keep them honest.

  20. Dennis says:

    Absolutely correct, Don. Thanks. The point to the small claims isn’t so much reimbursement for the losses as much as it is to get the companies to have some “skin” in the game.

    That means they need to loose some money from the taints they sold and thus not profit as much as they think they did. It should make them think twice about what they are selling and whether it is safe.

  21. Anonymous says:

    again, thanks to Don Earle for all his work.

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