Category Archives: National Dog, Cat & Pet Info

FDA Orders Shutdown Of Castleberry Food Plant


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

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”

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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Nature’s Variety Releases Statement About Instinct Chicken Meal Formula

InstinctOn February 27, Nature’s Variety released this statement about their Instinct Chicken Meal Formula due to customer complaints about dogs having loose stools and occasional vomiting:

Recently, some of our customers who are feeding Instinct™ Chicken Meal Formula grain-free kibble for dogs have experienced loose stools and occasional vomiting. If your dog has experienced this and your bag of Instinct Chicken Meal Formula displays a “best if used by” date of 1/3/09 or 1/10/09, you may return it to your retail store for a replacement or refund. The “best if used by” dates are located on the back of the package.

Please be assured, Nature’s Variety has not changed the formulation of Instinct Chicken Meal Formula grain-free kibble for dogs. However, recent changes in production facilities caused these two code dates of product to differ enough from our previous product to cause some digestive upset in some dogs.

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NEW RECALL: Hartz Recalls Vitamin Care For Cats Because Of Possible Health Risk

Here is a recall involving Hartz Vitamin Care for Cats:

The Hartz Mountain Corporation is voluntarily recalling a second specific lot of Hartz Vitamin Care for Cats due to concerns that bottles within the lot may have been potentially contaminated with Salmonella. Hartz is fully cooperating with the US Food and Drug Administration in this voluntary recall. Hartz recalled a specific lot code of Hartz Vitamin Care for Cats last November due to similar concerns. Both lot codes were manufactured for Hartz by UFAC (USA) Inc. in 2007, and were removed from distribution last November. However, bottles from the second lot had been shipped to customers prior to their having been removed from distribution.

Salmonella is an organism which can cause serious infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems, all of whom are at particular risk from exposure and should avoid handling these products.

Salmonella symptoms may include fever, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and nausea in both cats and humans. Anyone experiencing the symptoms of Salmonella infection should seek immediate medical attention. Owners of cats exhibiting these symptoms should also seek veterinary assistance.

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Idaho Woman Has Found Homes For Over 1500 Stray Cats

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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Residents Donate Pet Food To Animal Shelter After Mars Stop Donations

South Carolina residents have chipped in to donate hundreds of bags of pet food to the Anderson County animal shelter. Mars, Inc., maker of Pedigree pet food, told the shelter it was ending gifts of pet food to their shelter.

Mars, Inc. was the shelter’s main primary food supplier, and around 300 pets have been affected by this stop in donations.

The shelter was running low on pet food and asked the community for help. Numerous people brought in bags of pet food, and some even braved bad weather to bring in their donations.

The shelter manager said she is uncertain why Mars, Inc. decided to stop donating pet food, and unless the shelter can find another corporate sponsor, the shelter will need to rely on the community for help. She was also told that the decision to cut back on the food donation program was company wide and other shelters were affected.

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German Police Dogs Wearing Shoes To Protect Paws

Dog shoesPolice dogs need protection too. And the police dogs in Duesseldorf, Germany are getting some extra protection for their paws.

The dogs now patrol with protective shoes on because too many glass shards left by people drinking were harming the police dogs.

“We wondered how can we protect our dogs’ feet against glass,” said Andre Hartwich, a police spokesman. “We looked on the Internet and found these shoes.”

The police handlers paid $89 for the shoes which are the same types of shoes that dogs who walk on ice in Alaska wear.

The police dogs take about a month of training to get used to wearing the shoes.

Source: CNN

Alabama Veterinary Malpractice Lawsuit Dismissed After Lawyers Back Out Of Case

Joan and Gary Smith had filed a lawsuit against Theodore Veterinary Hospital and veterinarian Carl D. Myers in March 2007. They claimed negligence in the death of their 3½-year-old French mastiff and show dog named Razz.

The couple stated that they were entitled to a large amount of money because Razz was a rare breed and was in demand.

Earlier last month, Mobile County Circuit Judge Michael Youngpeter ruled in favor of Myers and said that the Smiths had not presented any evidence that Myers’ conduct fell below the standard level of care provided by the veterinary profession.

Defense attorney Marshall Gardner said, “It’s been our contention from Day 1 that the lawsuit was meritless. We’re very pleased for Dr. Myers. He got some bad publicity out of this when it wasn’t warranted.”

The Smiths’ ran into some problems when their attorneys backed out of the case, and they filed no response to the judge’s motion for a judgment.

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Indian Kashmir To Poison 100,000 Stray Dogs To Control Rabies

IndiaHundreds of dogs have already been poisoned by Indian-Kashmire officials. Their mission is to kill all of the city’s 100,000 stray dogs to control the rabies problem and the risk to humans.

India, with the world’s rabies fatality rate, has struggled to control the millions of stray dogs.

Animal rights activists protested against the slaughter and said the killing of the dogs is illegal and cruel, and that the problem should be handled in other ways.

But city officials are continuing on with the poisonings. Dr. Riyaz Ahmad, who is organizing the poisonings, said, “These dogs have become a big nuisance and they are threatening humans.”

Ahmad added,”We have placed orders for the poison and then we will launch a large-scale drive. For the time being we are doing it with stocks we have.”

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Paraglider And Chihuahua Rescued From Tree In Australia


An Australian paraglider and Emma, his four-year-old chihuahua were rescued from a tree more than 100 feet above the ground when they became entangled in a tree.

Paul Hansen strapped Emma to his chest with a cloth sling and launched the paraglider, but the pair became stuck in a tree right after taking off.

Hansen was able to send text messages with his cell phone to friends and his friends called the police.

Police, firefighters and volunteers searched through thick bushes before finding the two stuck in the branches of a tree.

Authorities climbed the tree and put a harness around Hansen and lowered him to safety.

Hansen said, “I was pretty worried. I was very cold and I didn’t have any pain medication. I’ve been fighting cancer for the past seven years and I was starting to go into withdrawals because I’m on a fairly high dose of morphine for the tumor pain.”

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