Dog Food Recall Haunts Owners
Feeding habits change, nerves jangle as a result of massive dog food recall.
Maureen Kochan |
Posted: April 5, 2007, 5 a.m. EST
Frances Tifft had just switched on the TV when a familiar image on the screen caught her eye.
“I thought, oh my goodness, that’s the dog food I give Bailey,” Tifft says.
The segment was about the nationwide pet food recall by Menu Foods. Bailey’s dog food, along with dozens of other brands made by the Canada-based pet food manufacturer, was being recalled due to possible links to kidney failure in dogs and cats. (The recall has since been expanded to include two other dog food makers, Nestlé Purina PetCare and Del Monte Pet Products. Visit www.fda.gov for more information on all recalled pet foods.)
Tifft immediately phoned Nutro, the marketer of Bailey’s dog food, but was unable to speak to a representative due to a flood of calls from concerned pet owners to the company. “I was so frustrated,” she says. “And I knew it was serious.”
Tifft cooked chicken and plain rice for the Schnauzer until she could get in to see the dog’s veterinarian. When Tifft did get through to another dog food company on the recall list, she says, “no one could give me an assurance that nothing would go wrong.”
Tifft wasn’t alone in her worry. At the Helen Woodward Animal Center in Calif., Cheryll Anders was fielding phone calls from concerned clients in the nonprofit animal shelter’s AniMeals program, which works with Meals on Wheels and other charities to deliver free pet food to homebound and low-income elderly and disabled people in the area.
“They were very concerned, and still are,” says Anders, the program supervisor.
When the recall was first announced on March 6, HWAC workers pulled nine cases of recalled pet foods from warehouse shelves. Volunteers still sort through donated pet foods – which come to the AniMeals program via donation bins in pet stores and other locations – to check for recalled products, Anders says.
So far Bailey and the HWAC AniMeals dogs have shown no symptoms of kidney damage, which include lethargy, loss of appetite, and vomiting. Bailey has been examined by a veterinarian, who gave Tifft a list of dog foods not involved in the recall. But that doesn’t stop her from worrying.
“I lost my husband,” Tifft says, “and I can’t lose Bailey, too.”
For the latest updates about the dog food recall, visit www.dogchannel.com/dog-news/dog-food-recall-updates.aspx.
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