Latest Developments in the Pet Food Recall

Updates on this post are appearing here.

There have been a couple of developments in the pet food recall I’ve been posting about for the last week or so. First, Menu Foods, the manufacturer of the food sold under a large number of brand names by many retailers, has announced that it will compensate owners for their vet bills. From Menu Foods’s FAQ page:

If Menu Foods product is the cause of sickness or death, Menu Foods will take responsibility. Menu has engaged a professional firm to manage your concerns and is currently contacting concerned pet owners who have reached our call center. Specific direction will be received from these individuals. Please keep copies of all your vet records and receipts for pet food purchases as well as vet bills.

Another development is that Banfield’s, the largest private owner and operator of veterinary hospitals, has reported that over the last three months they’ve seen 200-250 cats with kidney failure more than they would have expected over the period:

There is no national reporting system for animal injury or death, so official numbers are impossible to come by. However, data from the nation’s largest chain of pet hospitals, Banfield, suggests it is as high as hundreds a week.

Over the three months the food was on the market, the more than 600 Banfield hospitals in 43 states saw 200 to 250 cases of kidney failure in cats above the usual number that would have been expected, says Hugh Lewis, president of Data Savant, Banfield’s data collection arm.

During that period the Banfield vets saw 100,000 cats. Extrapolating to the entire cat population of the USA, that could mean “we’re probably talking several hundred cats a week across the country being affected,” Lewis said.

Another possible indicator is a database being compiled by the website Pet Connection. As of 2 p.m. on Friday, owners had reported 1,201deceased pets, 741 cats and 460 dogs, said one of the sites writers Gina Spadafori.

She cautioned that those figures were self-reported by pet owners and had not been confirmed by veterinarians. But those posting to the database were asked to check that their pet had indeed been eating one of the recalled foods and to also give contact information for the veterinarian, so the numbers are likely somewhat accurate, says Spadafori.

The web site for Pet Connection is here.

My previous posts on the pet food recall:

More on the Pet Food Recall: It’s Rat Poison
Implications of Pet Food Recall Continue to Unfold
Dogfood Recall

16 comments… add one
  • Michelle Ventresca

    where is this wheat gluten coming from? I heard China…….thank you free trade agreement

  • Jayne

    As I was reading this article for the 10th time, I also wondered if the Wheat gluten was coming from India or some other third world country. Do we know?

  • Menu Foods, the manufacturer, has said that they don’t use Asian suppliers (China is the low cost supplier in the wheat gluten market with prices roughly 20% below U. S. prices).

  • Larry Olsen

    In the 70s and 80s the pet food companys were putting Ethoxyquin in pet food as a perserative for fats. Ethoxyquin is a very deadly product for perserving rubber tires. It is not safe for human use yet they put it in pet food. Now they are using low cost products like wheat gluten from china.
    Wheat gluten is not a healthy thing to be feeding pets, even worse when it has poison in it. Buy the way Mars is still using ethoxyquin in Whiskas.

  • I am so sorry for those that have lost their loved ones,

    I also am very confused as to why the reports about how many animals have died from this is reported inaccurately. According the Pet Connection there are nearly 3,000 pets that have died. It is time that the truth be revealed to the public….as accurately as possible. From reading forums and blogs, I know that the record that Pet Connection is showing is relating the truth and seriousness of this recall. I am so worried about even the dry food now. We all love our animals so much. This added stress and pain involved in this situation–from not being clearly informed, losing our animals, the medical bills, and grieving process..deserves more respectable and urgent handling of this matter. The animals are only considered property-so it is not considered a family loss, but in reality it is…because our animals are part of our family.
    I hope that we will be more conscience to not assume that everything presented to us via the grocery store or advertising is necessarily good for us –and or our animals.

    For the human population, I represent products that are pure, tested, and safe. I encourage everyone to try to do the same with their pets. I am now making homemade food for them, but hope to find a brand of food that is safe and pure for my animals.


  • Joan, this story is still developing and I’m updating it every day. As of today, April 2, this post is more than ten days old. Every day the estimated numbers of pets killed changes.

    I think the honest truth is that nobody really knows—we’re all working with estimates. Today the FDA said that this recall has received more consumer complaints than any other in its history. I take that to mean that 3,000 is just the tip of the iceberg.

  • patricia

    I agree with Joan. We should all start cooking for our pets. If later, you
    feel confident about a good pet food company then buy it. I would do some serious investigating first though before you give it to your pet. Everyone sounds all confused now as to what brands to buy. Don’t buy anything untill your
    100% sure. These are our family members and you may try a brand that ends
    up on the next recall- then its too late!

  • d

    What is the big deal about a few cats demise. I have ran over more than that and continue to do so at every opportunity. Keep them in your house or on a chain


  • Jody Pierce

    Hi, I know everyone is looking for pet foods that are not on “the list.” I am a long time feline owner and as we all know urinary trouble is often a problem for them. Because of this, my vet recommended a pet food call Life’s Abundance to me a few years back. It is “human quality” with no by-products or fillers and it is not on the “the list!” I purchase it through My cats always get a clean bill of health, hope this helps.
    And a note to “d” since you seem so proud of beliefs, I’m glad you felt you could share your name with all of us!

  • Hello fellow pet owners…I found Life’s Abundance, an organic pet food, a few weeks ago when the pet food scare really came to the forefront. I have been feeding this organic food to my 3 year old Yorkie…he loves it and I have even noticed improvements in his coat. We have decided to carry it in our store after we handed out samples of Life Abundance to our neighbors and friends. When they came back to us asking us how to get more we knew we had found something that all pet owners would want to know about. We are offering free samples of both the dog and cat food so you can check it out and see if your Precious Pet will like it.

  • A

    You kinda stepped on Jody didn’t you Pam?

  • A I don’t think I stepped on her…I just wanted everyone to know that there are free samples available. We all like to try something before we buy it…I was thinking of the pet owners. There are plenty of pet owners out there for the Life’s Abundance market…

  • brieg

    “d” is a lowlife.i would like to see him alone with a bengal tiger for a few minutes of feline therapy.

  • Hi everyone,

    I had my top author compile the answers to everyone’s questions on this dog food recall & we just posted it online:

    Don’t worry, there’s nothing to buy here. It’s pure information, not a hidden sales pitch for “safe” dog food.

    Hope it helps!

  • Gene Reed

    My name is Donna, and Gene and I just lost our 9 year old female Akita Meiko. She was murdered. Murdered by Wal-Mart who continued to sell the Bestro Chicken Jerky even though they knew it was tainted with Melamine. She became ill June 15, 2007. She began vomiting everything we fed her. The vet came to the house to draw blood and take urine to see if he could determine what was causing her illness. She was in renal failure. Her creatine had gone from 3 to 14. We started an IV on her. We had IV poles and pumps on every floor in our home. We ran 54 liters of ringers through her in 72 hours. They retested her blood and her creatine had gone back down to 3, but her kidneys were permanently damaged and she would be on an expensive K-D diet the rest of her life. But we were still at a loss as to how Meiko came down with acute Kidney Failure. Within a couple of days of bringing her back to some level of normality a chief executive from Tyson Foods who spends a great deal of time at our home called to see if we were still feeding our pets chicken jerky from Wal-Mart. We said yes it is their favorite treat. He said to stop immediately that it was tainted with melamine and that was what was killing her. We thought we had her on the mend when she began vomiting again in September. The vet once again came and drew blood and took a urine sample. Her creatine was 15 this time. The damage that was done from continuing to feed her the chicken jerky was too great, we were not able to save her life, but we are still desperately trying to save the lives of our other 2 pets Yoshi and Chopper because they all ate the same damn jerky and the other two are both peeing whole blood. Had they pulled the jerky from the shelves and made a public recall, Meiko would still be alive today.

    Our beautiful baby daughter is buried in our garden. Beware of what Wal-Mart sells and what they import and the country it is imported from. They do not care about you or your pets, they only care about the almighty dollar and their bottom line. When we contacted Wal-Mart about Meiko, they sent us a letter stating that “Claims Management, Inc. manages claims on behalf of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. and that they were very sorry to hear of the incident which involved chicken jerky. At this time we would like to share some information with you regarding the claims handling process. Upon reviewing your claim, CMI tendered the claim to the product supplier; Shanghai Bestro Trading. If you do not hear from the supplier in the next 10 days, please feel from to contact them directly 011-86-21-5848-6661. This is an overseas phone number.

    This is your great Wal-Mart at its best, they don’t want to take responsibility for what they imported and sold at their stores. It may cost us more, but we no longer shop at Wal-Mart or any of its subsidiaries.

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