Dog Food Brands Recalled Over Concerns About Euthanasia Drug

FINALLY!

SAN FRANCISCO — The J.M. Smucker Co. is withdrawing some shipments of dog food amid reports that it could be tainted with traces of a drug used to euthanize animals.

The company said Thursday it is pulling back shipments of several varieties of wet canned Gravy Train, Kibbles ‘N Bits, Skippy and Ol’ Roy brands. It said it is investigating how the euthanasia drug pentobarbital got into its supply chain and is focusing on a single supplier of a minor ingredient used at one manufacturing facility.

The recalls come after WJLA-TV in Washington, DC, said it tested 15 cans of Gravy Train. It found nine cans, or 60 percent of the sample, tested positive for pentobarbital

Smucker cited experts noting that the low levels of the drug cited in the report do not pose a threat to pets.

“However, the presence of this substance at any level is not acceptable to us and not up to our quality standards,” said the company, which is based in Orrville, Ohio. It said it does not use meat from euthanized animals in its pet food.

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FDA to investigate after ABC7 exposes euthanasia drug in dog food

by Lisa Fletcher/ABC7

New Year’s Eve 2016 was no celebration for Nikki Mael and her family.

“Nobody should have to go through what we went through,” said Mael. “Nobody. Not fair. I mean, I would give anything to see Talula again.”

Within minutes of sharing a can of Evanger’s pet food among her five dogs, she was racing the lifeless animals to the emergency vet.

“They were falling over. They were running into the walls. They were convulsing,” said Mael.

The vets told her they weren’t sure what was going on, but that things didn’t look good. Hours later, devastating news.

“They said Talula wasn’t going to make it,” said Mael, choking back tears.

Desperate for answers, the family sent the remainder of the food to a specialized lab and drove Talulah’s lifeless body to a veterinary pathologist for a postmortem examination.

“Poisoning from the dog food. That’s what killed her,” said Mael.

But it wasn’t just any poison.

It was pentobarbital: A lethal drug, most commonly used to euthanize dogs, cats and some horses. The deadly toxin is never permitted to kill animals that are part of the food supply and would violate federal law if it was.

“Pet food violates federal law, is openly allowed by the FDA to violate federal law, billion dollar a year companies are making profit selling illegal adulterated products to unknowing consumers in the US every day,” said Susan Thixton, a pet food consumer advocate who’s been studying and writing about the pet food industry for decades.

“Consumers have no information, “ said Thixton. “A consumer has to become a private detective to learn what’s really in their food.”

So we decided to find out.

We partnered with Ellipse Analytics, a lab that specializes in testing food for contaminants.

“I think you have a duty to understand what you’re selling to human beings and pets, and I think that the obligation is on you to understand what is, and is not, in your product,” said lab founder, Kevin Hicks.

We tested 62 samples of wet dog food, across more than two-dozen brands for the euthanasia drug pentobarbital.

After months of tests and re-tests, one brand repeatedly came back positive for pentobarbital.

In total, we tested 15 cans of Gravy Train. Nine cans — 60-percent of the sample — were positive for pentobarbital. And while the levels detected were not lethal, under federal law they are also not permitted at any concentration.

Gravy Train is made by Big Heart Pet Foods and owned by Smucker’s. According to Neilsen data, it accounts for more than $40 million of the company’s annual revenue.

Big Heart Brands is also the maker of Meow Mix, Milk Bone, Kibbles’n Bits, 9 Lives, Natural Balance, Pup-Peroni, Gravy Train, Nature’s Recipe, Canine Carry Outs, Milo’s Kitchen, Alley Cat, Jerky Treats, Meaty Bone, Pounce and Snausages.

The Big Heart website touts “high-quality food” that meets “rigorous evaluation and testing requirements.”

So how is pentobarbital, a drug not allowed to be used on animals intended for food, getting into the food?

“It comes from euthanasia of animals using that euthanasia drug,” said Dr. Nicholas Dodman, chief scientific officer for The Center for Canine Behavior Studies and former director of the Animal Behavior Program at Tufts University. “So, these animals could be dogs, they could be cats, they could be horses – but how is it getting into the pet food? If they say it doesn’t come from dogs, cats and horses where does it come from? It doesn’t come from outer space.”

Dodman says the level of pentobarbital in the food is really beside the point.

“Whether it’s doing something or nothing, what’s it doing there? Where did it come from? If they don’t like the explanation that it’s coming from animals that have been euthanized, what is their explanation as to how it gets in?” asked Dodman.

We asked that question of both the FDA and Smucker’s as part of a request for an on-camera interview. Neither answered.

Smucker’s declined our request for an on-camera interview and declined to answer any of our questions we provided to them, but gave us a statement which in part, says “We launched and are conducting a thorough investigation, including working closely with our suppliers, to determine the accuracy of these results and the methodology used.”

The FDA, just a short distance from the WJLA studios, also declined repeated requests for an on-camera interview. Instead of speaking to us, and answering our questions, they suggested we contact the Pet Food Institute, which is the trade organization that represents 98 percent of the pet food industry. We asked them to reconsider that response to which they replied that it “will investigate the matter and take appropriate enforcement action.”

One possibility as to how pentobarbital is getting into food? Experts tell us animals that have been euthanized are picked up by renderers who process the carcasses – which may be blended into pet food.

In a 2004 report to Congress, sources for rendered materials were identified as, among other things, “dead animals from farms, animal shelters and other facilities.”

Under federal law, these are adulterated ingredients.

Adulterated ingredients, which are defined partly as: “an animal which has died otherwise than by slaughter,” are illegal in all food for humans and animals.

Yet in its own compliance policy, the FDA acknowledges it is violating the law and states: “pet food consisting of material from diseased animals or animals which have died otherwise than by slaughter, which is in violation of 402(a)(5) …will be considered fit for animal consumption.”

“The FDA tells industry ‘Yeah, it’s a violation of law, but go ahead, we’re not going to do anything,’” said Thixton.

In a written request, we asked the FDA to explain its policy that is allowing adulterated ingredients into pet food.

They did not provide an answer.

As for Nikki Mael and her family, she says their confidence as consumers has been irreparably damaged. “I don’t trust any dog food companies anymore. And reading that the law’s not enforced and it’s just kind of, ‘they do their own thing,’ I need to make sure that they’re eating human grade food.”

Since Talula’s death, Nikki’s been making pet food at home, so she knows exactly what’s in it. She’s also the lead on a class action lawsuit against Evanger’s, the company that made the food the FDA attributes to Talula’s death. We tested several cans of Evanger’s for our report and those cans came back negative.

“I miss Talula a lot. Not fair. But I hope that other animals can be saved by this,” said Mael.

If you want to contact the FDA, Smucker’s or Big Heart Brands regarding this issue:

  • FDA: 888-463-6332
  • Smucker’s: 888-550-9555
  • Big Heart Brands: 415-247-3000

Two Dogs Dead, 1 Injured After Grooming at New Jersey PetSmart

By: Happy Walk Happy Dog

Two dogs have died and a third was seriously injured following separate grooming appointments at a New Jersey PetSmart store in December.

Between December 22 and 29 of last year, three separate dog owners dropped their dogs off at the Flemington, New Jersey PetSmart store for three separate grooming appointments. That week, two dogs died following their appointments and a third suffered serious injuries.

Danielle DiNapoli dropped off her healthy, 8-year old English Bulldog, Scruffles, at the Flemington PetSmart store at approximately 9:45am on December 29.

DiNapoli got a phone call less than an hour later at 10:35am informing her that Scruffles was at Flemington Veterinary Hospital. She raced to the hospital to find her dog dead. Scruffles, the veterinarian said, was dead upon arrival.

What’s more, after dropping Scruffles’ body at the vet, the PetSmart employees simply left before DiNapoli arrived, leaving no explanation of what happened. When they contacted PetSmart

for information, the family were told that the matter is under investigation. They have been unable to speak to the groomer to understand what happened to Scruffles.

Erin Gray, PetSmart senior corporate communications manager, said upon the dog’s death, PetSmart immediately conducted a comprehensive internal investigation, which found the associates involved followed “all policies and procedures.”

DiNapoli posted the story to Facebook:

Scruffles’ body is currently undergoing a necropsy in hopes of determining a cause of death.

Just days before Scruffles’ death, Tara Fiet brought her happy, healthy dog, Ranger, to the same Flemington PetSmart for a grooming appointment before Christmas. When he came home, Fiet said Ranger was lethargic, but she assumed he was just tired from all the holiday excitement and the grooming.

Ranger unexpectedly died 2 days later on Christmas Eve. After learning of Scruffles’ death, Tara Fiet realized, too late, that Ranger’s grooming appointment may have somehow contributed to his death.

And, on December 22, David Bolduc took his 8-year old Shih Tzu, George, to the same Flemington PetSmart store to be groomed. Shortly after dropping him off, the store called Bolduc and told him that George had tried to bite the groomer and needed to be picked up.

Bolduc said that biting was out of character for the normally friendly Shih Tzu, who regularly gets groomed elsewhere.

When he picked George up, Bolduc said he was obviously in severe pain, arching his back to keep from putting any weight on his back legs. George was immediately taken to his veterinarian where it was discovered he’d suffered a serious spine injury. George was administered heavy pain and anti-inflammatory medication and ordered to remain caged for the next 10 days.

When Bolduc called PetSmart for answers, he was told that nothing had happened. Following news media coverage, Bolduc says PetSmart’s corporate office reached out and offered to pay George’s medical expenses.

“We are saddened to learn of these concerns and have reached out to the pet parents to express our sympathy,” PetSmart said in a statement. “We take the health and safety of pets in our care very seriously, and we are working to fully understand the circumstances related to the issues raised by these pet parents.”

PetSmart grooming salons around the country are no strangers to injury and death of dogs in their care. Last year, a Chihuahua died following a simple nail trim procedure at a California store, a Dachshund was strangled to deathonly minutes after arriving to be groomed, and a Newfoundland died of heat stroke following a grooming at an Ohio store.

Pets Honoring The Veterans November 11, 2017

Being an American means everyday is an opportunity to honor our veterans. Americans are not the only beings that want to honor the men and women have protected us and our rights. Our pets love to participate as well. And some of our pets have taken on the responsibility of becoming vets as well. They have their own day. So today is Americans and American Pets want to do activities that show their appreciation not just today but everyday. Here are a few suggestions for enriching the lives of our military veterans and their families any day of the year:

Visit sick, injured and elderly veterans: many veterans in hospitals, nursing or retirement homes struggle with loneliness and depression, and would welcome someone coming by for a visit. While you can ask the staff beforehand if personal care items or home-baked goods are permitted, the greatest gifts are your time, companionship ( from you and your pet ) and willingness to listen.

Hire a veteran: veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan face higher rates of unemployment than veterans and civilians in general, with the greatest percentage of unemployed among 18-25 year-old veterans. Even if you aren’t in a position to hire, you can recommend a veteran for a job at your place of work, help a newly returned service member write a resume, sponsor a veteran at a professional networking event, or help a veteran acquire skills to land a new or better job.

Help Veterans with PTSD: New research finds that “man’s best friend” could be lifesavers for veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.Researchers are accumulating evidence that bonding with dogs has biological effects, such as elevated levels of the hormone oxytocin. “Oxytocin improves trust, the ability to interpret facial expressions, the overcoming of paranoia and other pro-social effects—the opposite of PTSD symptoms,” says Meg Daley Olmert of Baltimore, who works for a program called Warrior Canine Connection.About 300 vets have participated in these programs, and some graduates who Yount worried “wouldn’t make it” report impressive strides. Congress has commissioned a study, underway in Florida, to assess the effectiveness of canine-caretaking on PTSD.

Train Dogs to become Service Dogs: The relationship between a service dog and a veteran is akin to a team walking a tightrope. To succeed, they must focus on each other, intently. Distract one, and both can stumble. When they are in sync, the intricate teamwork going on can appear effortless to the outside world.

People with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have been helped tremendously by service dogs. The dogs are trained to respond to five specific demands from their partner:

  • Block: the dog will stand in front of their partner forming a barrier and space between other people.
  • Behind: the dog will position itself behind its partner.
  • Lights: the dog will enter a room ahead of their partner and turn on the lights so their partner does not have to enter a darkened room.
  • Sweep: the dog will enter a house or room and sweep it for people or intruders, alerting their partner by barking.
  • Bring: the dog will retrieve an item such as car keys and bring it to their partner.

Adopt a military family or veteran: the spouses, children and parents of military members serve as well; they sacrifice the comfort and companionship of their loved ones during deployments, change of duty stations and other realities of military life. In addition, 40% of veterans are 65 or older, including many who live alone or far from their loved ones. Offer to help with minor home repairs, local errands or simply ask if they want to talk. Check in from time to time since they may be hesitant to ask for help. Consider inviting a local military family or veteran to your holiday dinners or weekend cookouts, knowing that they may be without a mother, father, spouse or child.

Support veterans causes: the scope, variety and urgency of veterans’ needs is vast and growing, especially as more men and women return from conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Find a veterans service organization that inspires you and give as often and generously as you can. If you’re unable to contribute financially, consider volunteering or spreading the word about their good work.

Say “thank you.” As you go about your daily life, thank veterans where ever you may see them. It may be a veteran in uniform, or one wearing a commemorative military cap or jacket. Step forward, extend your hand and say, “Thank you for your service.”

First Aid Tips for Cat Guardians that could save a Kittie’s Life this Summer by Blue Cross -by Katzenworld

Source: First Aid Tips for Cat Guardians that could save a Kittie’s Life this Summer by Blue Cross – Katzenworld

Fourth Of July Pet Safety Tips🇺🇸

First, I apologize to All potential clients that I did not have a chance to call back or book appointments. We have been BOOKED. Also, in the midst of making many changes . Once everything is settled, I will be back with an Announcement. I DO appreciate all the referrals. I want to at least leave everyone some GREAT tips for the Fourth Of July Weekend 🐾🐶🇺🇸

Safety during July 4th celebrations:


Leave your pets at home when you go to parties, fireworks displays, parades and other gatherings. Loud fireworks, unfamiliar places and crowds can all be very frightening to pets, and there’s great risk of pets becoming spooked and running away.
Consider putting your pets in a safe, escape-proof room or crate during parties and fireworks.

If you’re hosting guests, ask them to help keep an eye on your pets to make sure they don’t escape. Placing notes on exit doors and gates can help both you and your guests remain vigilant.

Keep your pets inside if you or your neighbors are setting off fireworks.

Keep sparklers, glow sticks, fireworks, charcoal and kabob skewers away from curious pets.

Don’t Use Fireworks Near Dogs. While lit fireworks can pose a danger to curious dogs and potentially result in severe burns and/or trauma to the face and paws, even unused fireworks can be hazardous. Some fireworks contain potentially toxic substances such as arsenic, potassium nitrate, and other heavy metals.

Don’t let pets get near your barbecue grill while it is in use or still hot.

Avoid the urge to feed your pets table scraps or other foods intended for people. 

Alcoholic Drinks & Weed Poison Pets. If your pet drinks alcohol, they can become dangerously intoxicated, go into a coma, or in severe cases, die from respiratory failure. Yes, even beer is toxic; fermented hops and ethanol are poisonous to dogs and cats. 

Have your pet properly identified. If your pet manages to break loose and become lost, without proper identification it will be that much harder to get them back. Consider fitting your pet with microchip identification, ID tags with their name and your phone number, or both. It is also a good idea to have a recent picture of your pets in case you have to put up signs.

Remember that too much sun and heat (and humidity!) can be dangerous to pets. Keep them inside when it’s extremely hot/humid; make sure they have access to shady spots and plenty of water when outdoors; don’t leave them outside for extended periods in hot weather.

Never leave your pet in your car when it’s warm outside. Vehicle interiors heat up much faster than the air around them, and even a short time in a locked car can be dangerous to pets.

After the celebrations: 


Check your yard for fireworks debris before allowing pets outside to play or relax. Even if you didn’t set off fireworks yourself, debris can make its way into your yard, where curious animals may pick it up to play with or eat.
If you hosted guests, check both your yard and home for food scraps or other debris that might be dangerous to pets, such as food skewers.
                                    

                               🇺🇸We wish you and your family a happy and safe Fourth of July!🇺🇸

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PATATAS AL HORNO ESTILO PIZZA

This gallery contains 3 photos.

Originally posted on cocinaitaly:
Buenas tarde a todos el mundo ,hoy voy a proponer un plato hecho y inventado  de mi mujer,muy bueno y facil da hacer,con un coste bajo un tiempo de preparacion bastante rapido como esta espectacular patatas…

How Was Your Father’s Day?!

I made reservations for a dinner and a brunch for My Dad today. He didn’t want to go, he’s really tired. And He’s tired because he’s been helping me with some changes these past 2 months. He’s the best Dad EVER! So I love showing my appreciation to him. So since dinner was called off,  I decided to cook and bake. Ok I’m not a chef. So I decided to bake. His favorite dessert is banana pudding. I found a great recipe with a twist. It’s a Banana Pudding Ice Cream Cake. Well here is what it is SUPPOSED to look like. 

And Here is What My Banana Pudding Ice Cream Cake turned out to be….


Well I never claimed to be a Chef 👨‍🍳 
Happy Fathers Day Dad. Love You 😘 

Why Father’s Day Is An Important Day

Father’s Day festival is considered extremely important as it help acknowledge the contribution of fathers to individual families and to societies as large. Besides observance of Father’s Day provide children an opportunity to express love and respect for their fathers. The sentiment goes a long way in strengthening father-child relationship and consequently in the emotional development of a child.


  
History of Father’s Day

The idea of celebrating Father’s Day Festival was given by Ms Sonora Dodd, a loving daughter from Spokane. Her father Henry Jackson Smart single-handedly raised Sonora and five of her siblings after the death of her mother during childbirth. When Sonora attended a Mother’s Day Sermon in 1909, she thought that if there is the day to honor mother then there should also be a corresponding day to honor fathers. Sonora worked relentlessly for years to ensure that the idea of Father’s Day becomes a reality. In 1924 President Calvin Coolidge first recognized Father’s Day. In view of the massive popularity of the festival, in 1972, President Richard Nixon established a permanent national observance of Father’s Day to be held on the third Sunday of June.

Over the years, the concept of celebrating Father’s Day spread beyond geographical boundaries. Today, millions of children across the world express gratitude for their dads as they celebrate Father’s Day festival.

Significance of Father in our Lives

Many people laughed at Sonora Dodd when she gave the concept of having a Father’s Day, as traditionally, only mother is regarded as the sole nurturer of a child. The role of father is often relegated to a secondary status as compared to a mother. But all of us know that father is just as important for a child as the mother is. If mothers are the heroes of child rearing, significance of father in the development and emotional well being of a child is no less. Children depend on their father for their spiritual, emotional, physical, financial and social well being. For daughters, father is the ideal man in the world and also the first man they adore, while for sons, father is an idol and the strongest man they aspire to emulate.

Though traditionally father is seen more as a provider and guide for children, the scenario appears significantly changed in nuclear family culture of today. With most husband and wife working, fathers in present times are as involved in child rearing job as the mothers are. Today, most fathers do not shy away from changing nappy or taking the difficult task for putting the baby to sleep. This cultural change is helping in strengthening father-child relationship and consequently in emotional development of a child and building of stronger family bonds.

Significance of Father’s Day Festival

Father’s Day festival give us the opportunity to express thanks to our Daddy for all their unconditional love and affection. Observance of Father’s Day makes fathers feel that their contributions are acknowledged in the society and also by their children. They feel proud of themselves ! Besides by celebrating Father’s Day, children come closer to their father. For, most often children take love of their parents for granted. Celebration of Father’s Day makes them ponder for a while on the important role their father play in their life. This helps them appreciate the selfless care and protection provided by their father and hence they come emotionally closer to their dad.

Children must therefore take full opportunity of the day and express their gratitude for fathers with all their heart. The best way to do so is to do small things that daddy appreciates and by saying “I love you, Papa” with a gift of beautiful flower.

The Flight of the Baby Birds

rachelmankowitz

So where did we leave off with the baby birds, in the rhododendron bush in the backyard?

015 They really were in there.

First they were pink and a bit fluffy, and then they started the hard work of growing feathers, which meant they needed a lot of sleep, with short breaks for eating and nuzzling with Mom.

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The four babies slept in an undifferentiated pile, in a nest that became progressively smaller and smaller, or at least that’s how it seemed.

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One day, the oldest of the babies saw me coming with my camera and flew out of the nest. The next day, they all saw me coming and flew off in different directions. But not too far.

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And the following day, they were gone.

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A week or so later, I saw one of the baby birds, a teenager now, standing on top of Mom’s temporary greenhouse in the backyard…

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