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A Concerning Pet Industry Monopoly?

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  1. Anthony Hepton.

    This acquisition feeds directly into advise so frequently given when concerns are raised regarding pet foods and illnesses, “Don’t believe anything you read on line or on social media, just follow the directions of your vet” They have closed the loop and the vets follow the directives of the pet food manufacturer.

  2. Leanne S.

    I think a person should ask for a few minutes, or another appointment before action is decided upon. Go home, or use your phone, and google, and decide for yourself how best to proceed. Pretty pathetic that pet owners have to act as their own vet, cannot trust their vet’s advice, or be ripped off. In Canadian cities, vet care has gotten so expensive, that it’s pretty much a $400 minimum if you go to the vet with any kind of problem. A large american company bought our local emergency vet hospital, and the prices have gone through the roof. They take you into a separate room to deliver the three quotes for service that will save your pets life, and you have to pay the middle quote before they will begin to treat your sick pet. They take you into that separate room so those in the waiting room don’t witness your outrage and shock, and hear how much they charge and beat it before their turn comes.

  3. tascha

    This article is so scary, it shakes me to my core. I went on to read the Bloomberg report link and what is happening, is a nightmare. There is even a section in there, that talks about how they use dogs as their personal guinea pigs, by putting them in Gas Chambers and spraying aerosols up their little snouts, after they’ve been vaccinated, to try to reinfect them. Since they weren’t being reinfected, (because in their own words, they said one round of vaccines was good enough for a lifetime of immunity), they decided to cut the vaccination recommendation from seven years to 3 and a half! That was the compromise, they made, on a one-size-fits-all program, of vaccinations for animals, whether they’re 125 pounds or 4 pounds. This is just one small section, of the overall horror, of what is really happening. Mainstream America does not have a clue, their eyes are open, yet they do not see or want to face it.This reminds me of the old movie “Soylent Green”.The government and how they sell you ideas, to make you believe, that what you are doing for your pet, yourself, your family, everything feels right, or has the appearance there of, is just to reel you in, so they can control, at every cost and angle, your decisions or lack of, to make money. Many people don’t see the big picture. They think we are being overprotective of our pets. This is more than our pets, it affects our lives, our freedom, our future, our thoughts, our choices and the younger generation to come. This is what a New/One World Order looks like. This is a conglomerate, not a democracy. The only way to hurt them is in their pocketbooks. Stop buying their products and going to their clinics, hospitals and veterinarians. I know some of your friends will think you’re nuts when/if you decide to share the link. Just maybe/hopefully, someone will pass it forward and get it.

    1. Cheryl Mallon-Bond

      This is such a horror! The fact that Vet’s cannot think for themselves anymore is just a crime! PetSmart, where the Banfield Clinics are, also have adoption center’s for cats. I am sure there is major incentive for the people that adopt from there to continue veterinary care there. They probably give an initial discount, but ultimately, you won’t save anything just get ripped off, once your kitten or cat gets sick off of all Mars’ crappy Petfood! & of course the cause of the illness’s will never be addressed, just given more & more toxins by way of a ton of med’s that will only address the symptom’s & NOT the cause!

      We all need to do whatever we can to expose this info about all these corporate run vet hospitals) I already have enough distrust from independent vet’s (for good reason’s) but now this a nightmare! With it being corporate owned/run/manipulated.

      I can only hope that we can spread this info & get enough people to boycott them. If they can’t make enough money, maybe they’ll all go out of business eventually! One can dream, right

      1. Peter

        We can’t “boycott” them, VCA, for example, owns most of the “emergency” clinics in many areas, there is no choice. The costs are so high, that no diagnostics or work is undertaken until a signed agreement is completed and a deposit based on that is paid. The costs lead to a disproportionate number of animals being euthanized, owing to “cost.”

        1. Cheryl Mallon-Bond

          I meant boycott Banfield Clinics as a start.

          I wish honest, fair-minded Vet’s would band 2gether & form a chain of Emergency clinic(s)

          One of my Vet’s (Setauket, Long Island, NY) has late hrs 5 days a wk till 11pm plus pager 911 Emergencies after hrs, & is NOT a dishonest, money-sucking, scum-,bag! I am thankful 4 them!

          Ppl need to educate themselves as best as they can on animal medical issues to be able to say, “NO!!!! UR RIPPING ME OFF!…I’m NOT! Paying for the insane, over-inflated estimate Ur Companies “protocol” that is preditating me!

          Stare them right in the eyes! & tell them to “do what they would do” for their own beloved pet!

          I am SO SICK! of these schiester’s games! Praying on our emotion’s & vulnerability’s!

          I bet REAL animal lover’s , truly concerned abt the welfare of our pet’s could come 2gether & invest in a chain of ER Clinic’s! There are many many wealthy animal advocates out there! Question is… How can we reach them? How can we make this happen?!!!!

          1. Reader

            Cheryl,

            Those hours you reference are a real good indicator of accessibility (equals Customer Service!) Not too mention having the Pager!! To your point about “Responsible Vet Care” …. maybe we should put together a sheet called “Standard of Care” (or how to find the best health care possible for your pet). Many of us here, have enough experiences to figure out which ones to avoid and which ones to embrace!

            One reason I always recommend our Vet is because of hours (opened till 10:00pm and SEVEN days a week, also opens early to accommodate people who are working!! Also, the Owner (my vet) employs a full Practice, so someone is always available. hey offer phone triage, and will take a “walk-in” in almost every case. In fact, that’s what drew me to them in the first place. Nobody was ever turned away. Yes, you had to wait a LONG time to be seen, but hey, well worth it, if your pet was in distress. And I never minded waiting for routine care, so that others could be helped!

            Also my Vet doesn’t put out any commercial products in the lobby (except for teeth cleaning and pill pockets). You have to have a full discussion about Prescription Food, it has to be in your file, and then needs to be brought out from the back room. Once they get to know you, there is never another “push” about vaccinations! The only thing he wouldn’t do was board without a current Rabies on file (but explained that it had to do with employee insurance!).

            EVERY time I left a VM my Vet called me back the SAME day (about anything)!! No service was EVER pushed on me. And once he got to know me, would look for ways to help economize on treatment costs!! He won’t test for everything at once, but selectively rules out situations, works upwards. He actually loves the pets too! His demeanor is very calm and soothing, and gives the feeling of being totally focused on the Client and Patient during the Office Visit. One thing that helps, is having an Office Manager who takes care of all “business” so he can be a Vet when they’re opened!!

            All little things maybe, …… but over time, the benefits really add up. (Oh, and he has the lowest cost Office Visit around, even though his Clinic is State of the Art!). Another way he pulls people in☺! They’re booked for Boarding half a year out for Holiday and Vacation seasons.

      2. Rita

        I do adoptions at a Petsmart adoption center for cats and there are no incentives for people to continue veterinary services there.
        I heard about the corporate vet situation from my own vet a few years ago and was shocked. My vet is independent and would never go corporate. Many vets were bamboozled out of their practices by promises of the corporate people. It was too late when they realized the mistake they made.
        I can only hope that some day soon, the independent vets will band together and do something to help the animals and their people. It’s absolutely disgraceful what the big places charge.

  4. Reader

    I agree with Leanne S. though I’m US based. But would expand the discussion to say this. Owners NEED to start taking responsibility for pet care!

    We’ve watched it happen, meaning with happy, excited new puppy (or Rescue) Owners! They immediately go to the nearest Vet Shop for a “Wellness Check.” Unfortunately, it could be a Banfield “Clinic” tacked onto the nearest PetSmart …. Yikes!! Then they’re signed up for the “Wellness Program” (a routine care pkg. as opposed to incidental illness insurance). Which guarantees a recurring relationship to the Chain (or any Practice), and a bunch of maintenance recommendations, including PF!! In other words they’ve just purchased the “Kool-Aid.” By the time the pet falls REALLY ill, where a novice Vet might not have enough answers, the Owners are too desperate to do much questioning or searching, and they’re stuck! (Prescription PF is discussed in another Thread). I’ve never figured out why Owners don’t shop around for pet health care, the way they select their own personal doctor (or a child’s).

    All of us here (somehow) found our way to this website! Over time it profoundly changed us. But it took an OPEN MIND. Maybe our discovery happened because of a crisis or frustration, or through a referral, or simply a curious mind! But we stuck with that educational process!

    Nearly 20 years ago there was no such thing as TAPF!! It happens that my (Show) breeder was enlightened and nutritionally progressive. Who fed RAW. And sent me home with whole food suggestions and a better than average kibble. Never being complacent (people say I over think everything way too much!) I sought out honest, wholesome, Pet Supply owners. And found THK (w’aaay before it became the trend). Went through DOZENS of Vets (for different requirements) because they all had different strengths and experience!

    My original goal was to avoid seizures (a weakness in my dog’s lineage) and succeeded! Minimized vaccines, against every Vet’s push! Couldn’t find groomers or professional boarding situations without proof of current Rabies Vax. So I learned to groom, and co-opted pet sitting with friends. Rotated commercial PF and home cook/feed RAW . Settled upon a Vet Practice which respects my level of care, questions, involvement, vigilance, and vaccination preference! There ARE wonderful Vets out there! Mine saved my older dog’s life TWICE! He never pushed a service on product on me, ever.

    1. Cheryl Mallon-Bond

      “Reader”–You are a WONDERFUL, ENGAGED, & INFORMED, pet-guardian/parent. Whomever tells you, that you “over-think things way too much!” Should just really shut the hell up! Already!

      Everything you wrote in your post sounded like me! I also went through Vet after Vet. Once “green” & taken advantage of, & WORSE, my poor beloved fur-babies suffering bc I didn’t know any better & was taken advantaged of & therefore my baby suffered! I can NEVER forgive those that were knowingly deceitful & therefore caused my babies unnecessary pain & suffering! I blamed myself for years! I finally realized that I just didn’t know “the ways” of some Vet’s that ONLY has their interests at heart & not my sick & suffering cats! THEY will have to live with that on their conscience!

      Now that I am much more experienced, & have learned from mine & others experiences, I am much more disconcerning. I’ve settled on a couple Vet’s that I respect & that they respect my beliefs & views, even if we don’t see “eye to eye” on every single subject matter. I at least am not pushed upon, as far as vaccinations etc. I know I am getting the best quality of care for my babies & that is what is most portent to me.

      It’s unbelievable how many average, (at best) Vet’s there are out there! We truly have to be as educated as possible & be on top of this at every turn! I as well, have my “go-to” peeps, that I can call at a moment’s notice, if I am emotionally overwhelmed while dealing with a serious medical situation, and need another mind to bounce things off of!

      Another issue I would like to mention for anyone that might be reading these posts, is that too many Vet’s diagnose & treat cats, the same as they do as dogs. In Veterinary Science, more studies have been done on dogs than cats, just in the same way that men have had the majority of scientific studies on them verses us women. With that said, most Vet’s clientele is approximately 85+% dogs verses cats, therefore not having monentary motivation to continue their further education with any specific focus on felines. This leaves cats with sub-standard care. Many diagnosis’s & medicines for cats, have changed/advanced as the decades have passed ,yet too many Vet’s are sadly antiquated in this new information. I have, or actually my cats have, been on the recievng end of this ignorance & have paid the price.

      I try to soak up every ounce of information, whether through personal experience, or an experience of a friend or a cat rescue peer has gone through, hoping that this body of information will help me be better informed & therefore make better decisions in regards to my cats health & welfare.

  5. Keller

    I am sickened about the news you have just presented here today, Susan. I’m no vet or medical expert, but my father was a pharmacist and I grew up under his guidance, plus I have always educated myself on anything that involved my career in social services and now everything I can about the health and welfare of animals, concentrating on dogs, my great loves. Obviously the government will not protect us or our pets, but this news about Mars controlling the veterinary practices it owns makes me positively ill. It’s time for us to become activists for ourselves, our environment and our pets. We can’t wait!

    I know that we are not to discuss politics on here, but I am very frightened for our country, the environment, the health of our pets, the people in this country and elsewhere whose health will be compromised by the new “Make America Great” disregard of the air we breathe, the food that we eat, the medical care we receive, the medicine that we that ingest, the very future of our lives. I fear that the laws that were made to protect us will be loosened or done away with, all under the business of “doing business to make America flourish financially.” We’re under the threat of making the rich richer and the working man have more unskilled jobs.

    I see very little chance of making positive changes in the pet food industry or making safe food for us all, including our pets and the animals bred for slaughter, unless we all stand together and help gather all people who really want to make a difference and fight for what we want and need and what our country needs. There are tax exempt environmental groups that we can join and add our voices to theirs, and we need to do it and make our voices roar!

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      Hi Keller – to me, this is not a Republican or Democrat issue. This is both parties protecting the interests of industry instead of the people (in this case, the pet people). This has been going on for decades. Both parties are guilty and have put us in this situation. I completely agree that the changes we need will only come from us. I am doing some investigating on who we can report consumer concern of this potential pet industry monopoly to. Should I learn more, it will be shared.

    2. Cheryl Mallon-Bond

      Hi Keller–Just wanted to comment on, when you said you are worried about the food that we eat…I am assuming you are referring to “our people’s” food supply (?) Incase you were not aware, Hillary was a big proponent of Monsanto & GMO’s. They have given a substantial amount of $ to her political campaign, so if she had won the Presidency, we would not have been in any better shape , specifically in regards to our countries food supply. As far as our pet’s are concerned NO candidate, nor ever ANY President, nor Congress, has EVER put that concern as any priority, ever.

      Full disclosure: I am not one way or the other for Hillary or Trump. Each have their good/bad attributes. I didn’t comment to get into any political “shit-storm” here. I only commented on your specific comment/concern about the issue with our food supply situation.

      1. Keller

        Cheryl, I think that we are actually on the same page.

        When our environment is not safe and pollution is rampant, it affects everything and everyone and the earth itself. I was not referring to Monsanto and GMOs, but to the turning back the clock on the advancements that our country has made to decrease pollution and create stronger environment laws (always a fight here), etc. Pet food is not an entity unto itself but food includes the crops that are grown to feed the animals that we and our pets eat, as well as the crops that we eat and feed to our pets. When the environment is unsafe for us, it affects all living creatures, including our pets.

        I mentioned that we have to unite as people of this country and fight for what our country needs, whoever is president, and I stand by that. Citizens help to support the various groups that work very hard to get strong laws in place to protect us and our environment. Our government (more often than not, under the extreme influence and pressure of lobbyists) does not always agree with what our world, our country and its citizens want and need. Look at how tremendously hard Susan has fought to make the gains that she has.

        Reducing or eliminating the laws that help protect our environment and us will be devastating. Right now, our PEOTUS has said that his agenda includes just that very thing.

        1. Cheryl Mallon-Bond

          Agreed. I really hope he comes to his senses! because we cannot delay in making swift & significant protection for our Earth. It’s a pivotal moment in time in so many Way’s!

        2. Reader

          I get the point. And this is not to make an argument. But when we politicize issues, we get distracted (and sometimes too discouraged). This is not about taking a side in Politics.

          I don’t think “Regulation” or not, is the defining moment. After all, there are currently laws (plenty of regulations) on the books that aren’t being enforced. Susan writes about this time and again. And this is already a rather “permissive” administration. I think what’s being alluded to, is that there’s no point in tying up Industry with useless activity. Or paying people NOT to enforce impractical solutions. Especially if Regulations aren’t being productive or serving their original intention. Then let’s start over with what everyone will support!!

          As with many things, education is always the answer. After all TAPF touches each of us personally. So we are very invested here. We care (but sadly 90% of the Owner population doesn’t know better, or care). We don’t need a Regulation one way or another to know what’s right or not. Enforcement would be helpful, yes, but Industry is self-serving, not benevolent. And it never will be. I say, we keep discussing the issues, and further the enlightened comments (such as does Cheryl, etc.) so that when people are searching on the internet (via certain tags) they will get pulled into this discussion, and learn even more.

          And when there IS something concrete to be done (or accomplished) Susan will let us know, and we’ll be ready!

          PF is about so much more than just “kibble” or “canned” and it demonstrates at the very core, how much responsibility we must assume for ourselves and for our pets. I always think, I am caring for a creature who is completely dependent upon me. He’s not a “hobby” and he’s not a source of “entertainment” … he’s deserving of what nature has intended for him.

          And the most all of us can do, is to keep referring this site to others, and to keep the discussions going, so that more people will discover what the true Truth About Pet Food has to offer!! It’s a quirky thing…. but people have to have an open mind, to be receptive to a lot of what we can share!! Don’t get discouraged though.

          1. Cheryl Mallon-Bond

            Hi, Very well said. Yes, I 100% agree. Just to be sure You, & everyone understands my intention. I never meant for my comments to sound as if I was being political one way or the other, just didn’t know if some people knew that Hillary supported GMO’s & Monsanto, because that is directly tied into our food supply, our’s & our pets. There is just so much divisiveness politically (which I do NOT want to be a part of).

            There are no easy answers, solutions, but like you stated, just keeping an open dialouge is the most important thing & getting as much forward thinking information out there, in the social media forum for people open minded enough to be hungry for it all.

            Your right, it is an odd thing, that’s hard to put our finger on it, as to why some people are intrinsically open-minded & curious, yet many, too many, are rigid, close-minded & just (I think) don’t want to have to think for themselves, & want to be told what is the supposed “right thing” to think/do/believe. It kind of blows my mind, really. With all the lies & corruption that goes on in the world, with our regulatory agencies, I’m not really sure why anyone gives any of them the benefit of the doubt. It’s not like all this wide spread corruption is so, “in the dark” anymore, with all the social media platforms out there outing their lies & deceptions.

            It seems to me that somehow, for some reason , it’s threatening to some people to think outside the box, outside of their rigid conformities of their mind’s. I’m not saying any of this in a “tone” to try to be mean or sarcastic here, I’m just verbalizing my observations. I am just curious about human conditioning, is all.

          2. D.Turgeon

            No, it IS about having adequate regulations, backed by adequate enforcement. You can have the best educated consumers in the world, but unless you have proper regulations that education cannot be put to use. If the food ingredient lists are a pack of lies, even the best educated consumers are deceived. It is up to us to DEMAND our legislators enact adequate regulations and DEMAND they provide the resources to enforce same. This means getting corporate $$$ out of politics — period. Otherwise, the politicians will continue to be bought, lock stock and barrel, by the pet food industry. The result? No regulations and no enforcement — business as usual, and it’s only getting worse.

  6. jan blanco

    TG my beloved kittydoc is his own man – he’s a single owner/practitioner in a small town – thank GOD for small favors! been taking my kitties there almost since he moved to the area in the late 80’s, would NEVER consider using either VCA OR Banfield clinics!

  7. Bonnie Jean Jones

    I’ve been struggling for some time with finding my dog a quality commercial food to eat. I find a small, family-owned pet food business and before long they sell out to some large conglomerate and my search begins again. I am on the cusp of going raw because there seems to be nowhere else for me to go and it infuriates me. Now, this latest news about Mars and veterinary practices, hospitals and labs, and I’m about to throw my hands up and give up on owning pets (not really, LOL). This is really vile and I am really sad. I feel like my pets and I are struggling in a severe head-on wind to try and make responsible choices and our options become ever more slim. Then I read from you that you’ve been THREATENED for your efforts to provide people like me with more choices and all I can say is WTF! I appreciate and respect you and Rodney, though still have lots to learn as I’ve just found you both recently. Thank God for you both.

    1. Cheryl Mallon-Bond

      Why r U struggling to be “on the cusp” of feeding raw? Just do it! If U can’t make homeade bc of time constraints or ur overwhelmed by it, Darwin’sRawPetfood.com is 1 of the ultimate best. If somehow that is appaulling, feed freeze-dried, Primal, or rotate. (NOT affiliated with either)

      If you don’t have a LOT of animal’s, it winds up actually being cheaper then feeding a good quality canned, bc it’s PURE Protien, NO CARB’s, & NO crap filler’s. If you figure it out $ to $, & cent’s to cent’s, it’s do-able.

      I also think that if trusted independent, like-minded veterinarian’s could come together & figure out a way to unite & join forces, they could open up ER clinic(s) & take away a good percentage of the monopoly. Even if this initially starts town by town, it can be feasabile. If people feel they can truly trust a Vet(s) & not be ripped off blind they will be on board.

      ****IDEA***** A “BETA TEST”– What if 4 like-minded Vet’s in any general area, decided to join forces, & open up a 24 hr clinic, each alternating being available as the practitioner, at each of the 4 seperate locations. Each practitioner would only need to commit to 1wknd per mos. They each would financially benefit, w/out the full-on time commitment. There would also be no major investment, because each already has their own practice, so no major financial losses would be incurred.

      Yes, the issue of effective advertising would still need to be a consideration, but if each participating practice advertized this within their own clinic (X’s the 4 participating clinics) plus, online advertising, even if it was just FB/Twitter etc & local town’s paper’s, it still could be a very viable, lucrarive business for all concerned. There maybe some “kinks” to work out, but all in all, I think it is quite a feasible proposition.

      Anyone have any comments, idea’s, tweak’s in my suggestion’s? Do any of you think this is even plausible? Or would consider bringing this idea to your own favorite vet(s) for possible consideration? I’d love to hear what you all have to say about this idea.

      1. Reader

        Cheryl:

        Too many people shoot down an idea before it can even get started. I like that you’re thinking outside the box. Showing initiative, brain-storming, and trying to involved others. The only way anything ever develops is through discussion and encouragement!

        A couple of considerations first. One thing Vets have on their minds, is making revenue, in order to pay for space, insurance, staff and products. It’s going to be tough for “brick & mortar” based Practices to switch from dispensing “Kool-Aid” services to enlightened fundamentals! They’re also loathed to wander from the path of established science. Most often they base recommendations and practices on specific mainstream studies (in order to protect themselves). After all, if they’re “too” novel, and something goes wrong, then they might be ostracized by their peers, and blamed by their clients.

        Given those obstacles, I think it’s a good idea to look at a different model. And use as examples, Dr. Karen Becker, and other novel practioners (and some ARE also in the PF business, like Dr. Harvey, and so forth). Therefore, to the goal would be to collect the band of Innovators you’re suggesting, which might have to originate from and be based through the internet. In other words, by starting a chain of “Alternative Practices.” So people could seek them out, with the understanding, that their advice and services will be “unconventional.” From such things as vaccination protocol, to species appropriate diets (and everything in between). For those Vets subscribing, their location could be published, or advice given through email, or referrals made or whatever. But the point would be in developing that “Subscription Process.”

        Now, other noteworthy thinkers (who’re interested) could also be included. I’m not speaking for them, but Susan often includes Guest Contributors on her site, with equally valuable input, who could support the effort.

        It would be much easier to “advertise” this kind of approach, web based, than expect anyone to give up concrete resources, that might seem a bit risky at first.

        Maybe others could elaborate on this idea, as you’ve proposed, because I think you’re making a very good point, and a very much needed service.

        1. Cheryl Mallon-Bond

          Hi, Thanks for your supportive comments & for your valuable ideas & input.

          I of course, would rather have integrative/Alternative practitioner’s all the way, I do know however that that can be very limited in most area’s & some areas nill.

          My initial thoughts about multiple Veterinary Practices coming together to form an Emergency after hrs clinic, were based on just because of the conglomerate’s owning everything & giving sub-standard care & ripping clients off financially. I figured that Moral thinking & acting vet’s could get a good piece of the financial picture, & help put the conglomerate owning POS on the decline.

          Most often ER type situations mostly involve Allopathic medicine (although Holistic can definitely be a part of that for sure) Even without Holistic practitioner’s for an organized ER, after hours clinic(s) ,it would still be a 1,000 X’s better than “those other one’s”, because of how unethical they are & how tied into they are w/ their substandard petfood’s & prescription foods they own & profit from. I do understand the problems that could be encountered though, ie: a diagnosis involving a diet change, whereas the “standard protocol” is prescribed said crap prescription food, etc.

          With that said, my dream would be, for more Vet’s becoming Holistically intergtated, of course, & therefore regular Veterinary practices would be available all over the States, but, If it was even feasible, for how I mentioned about a group of say 4 Dr.’s practices to come together to form an after hrs ER vet group , alternating services between them 1wknd per mos, even if they weren’t Holistic, it still would be a much better proposition, verses having to use these other ER Vet Chains, owned by scum conglomerate’s.

          I obviously dont know the in’s & outs of the insurance, or extra different equipment needed that is above what a regular practice’s have/doesn’t have etc. I am just trying to think of any ways to take away finances from these conglomerate’s that are hurting our pets & sucking our finances dry.

          There has to be a way! Please anyone & everyone out there (many of whom will know the business aspect of it way better than I) that see’s some kind of a potential in this idea (as flawed as my initial vision might be) Please Help! There has to be some really good business mind’s out there, people that are subscribers to this site, entrepreneur’s, Vet’s. Some kind of “think tank” needs to be explored. I certainly do not have the answer’s, but I am hungry for some major change, and I know many many people are too!!!!!

      2. Keller

        We have an emergency clinic in our area and we have used it numerous times. It’s expensive $$$ but worth it. Emergencies always seem to happen after hours and on the weekends, don’t they? Originally it was a ”take turns” situation, but I don’t know if it still is.

  8. Bonnie Jean Jones

    P.S. Didn’t mean to leave out Dr. Becker. She’s a beacon of light, too. As well as Rodney’s straight man.

  9. Marsha Hix

    In our old area, VCA was the “go to for store” to bring store pets for their first check up. I kept up with this because of the Petland in our area. I am a rescuer and only use Private vets,. The whole Mars thing is sickening to me. I buy nothing that is labeled Mars on it. the FDA and USDA stand by and do nothing. What’s new.

  10. Bonallen

    Keller, 2008 just called. Says it’s sick of MARS, makers of garbage corn & rendering plant in a bag which their vets also prescribe to dogs & cats, owning the largest vet chain in the country. 2008 asked me to ask you how many politicians have you contacted to voice these concerns because of the huge conflict of interest that this is. So many pet deaths still occurring because the foods killing them STILL the most POPULAR and vet prescribed …

    2008 also says it hopes that we here in 2017 are enjoying some peace of mind feeding the healthy meaty foods we can find at petco & petsmarts without taking out a 2nd mortgage, due to the lousy food makers having gone out of business from recall death lawsuits and CONSUMER BACKLASH/BOYCOTT demanding BETTER. Also nice to have Dr. Alivonis and Foxes to take our pets to without travelling cross-country, isn’t it?!!

    1. Keller

      Dear 2017: I have contacted my state senator and gave him lots of info. He was surprised and seemed to be concerned, but because his major concern is health care for all citizens (He’s a retired rheumatologist.), he suggested that I contact the agriculture committee. I’ve spoken with friends and sent info through emails to friends with pets, posted info on Facebook, signed every petition I can on animal welfare, talked with and given info to my vet. My husband and I sponsor a kennel at our local humane society each year. They only feed Science Diet there and the info I’ve given them has had no impact. It seems that people just aren’t interested. I’m retired from social services and am skilled at working with people, so it’s not that I’m trying to push anything down anyone’s throat or condemn them for not caring what their pets eat. That’s their right. We anonymously pay for special dog food for an emotional service dog with allergies. The senior citizen agency through which we pay for the food for that dog heard my concerns (nicely, informing but not condemning) about a photo they provided for a newspaper article that included a bag of Beneful to show how much good the agency does. I can say that I have influenced them a little, and the woman who handles the part of the agency that deals with pets has been very open about her concerns about the quality of dog food on the market.

      The FDA doesn’t have enough funds to hire enough agents to effectively do their jobs, plus I honestly believe they really don’t care and big pet food companies make it worth their while to not care or do anything unless it’s egregious enough to make headlines. And now it’s illegal for anyone to go undercover and record the proof of their lawbreaking. Abuse of the animals grown for slaughter is especially egregious. Sometimes it’s more than my heart can bear, but crying about it won’t change anything.

    2. Pet Owner

      …..” Healthy, Meaty Foods ….AT Petco & Petsmart” ….

      In which aisle would I find them.

      I can feed rendered protein (and all of it is for pets) including endotoxins and mycotoxins because it does include vitamins or minerals.

      Or feed real meat ($1.99 lb) cooked sweet potato, a veggie and healthy oil, with a dash of “Pet Kelp” that will last for months!

      Or, I could put off those seemingly initial expenses waiting for premature aging issues to creep up.

      But the question is, how do I want my dog to feel?

      1. Bonallen

        “In which aisle would I find them.”

        Exactly. ‘2008’ would assume as much after all this time. Veterinary care, ditto. “Dr Alinovis” were already rare in 2008 because the chains had ALREADY taken over. VCA was just as bad as Banfield/MARS back THEN. My point was, politians and what lazy consumers CHOOSE to remain content with despite poison pets and recalls being all over the news like they were, can’t be compared.

  11. Bonallen

    Oh darn, 2012 ringing now!! Asking the SAME things because it’s in the same boat as 2008 is!! What do I tell 2012?

    1. Reader

      Dear 2017,

      Let’s conference in 2012 and 2008, and while we’re at it, invite 2020 just in case!

      So here’s the deal. If it took MONTHS (maybe more than a year at this point) to EVEN begin to address the Flint, MI water crisis, think how complicated this problem is for regular people. Safe WATER is a basic human right, and little kids were getting SICK!! That’s a pretty “in your face” level of corruption. Yet those poor Citizens weren’t getting heard for a long time!

      So TRUST ME, the average person who is hearing anything about this “Pet Food Carp” issue (meaning, the people who’re not already looking for answers) don’t have a clue. Not because they’re necessarily bad people. But JUST because they can’t understand it!!

      They see a dog, they see a product, it’s called food for a dog, and they don’t SEE a problem. It’s so simplistic they can’t wrap their head around anything in between. Which is where all of us are at right now. The world of “in-between.”

      So what I think MIGHT make a difference (at this point, after a long chain of frustrations and disappointments for ALL of us, nearly 10 years into this) is driving home the point with PICTURES! Yes, that sounds graphic and pathetic! But the ASPCA and Sick Children Charities do it all the time. And if YOUR dog ate a (proven) tainted can of PF, and you had a picture of that poor creature hooked up to Vitals, and presented your monthly $1,000 Vet bill …. just MAYBE somebody would say …. there might be a problem here.

      You’d need another hundred of those examples of course. But it would create a MENTAL Post-It. And it would get circulated on Social Media. A problem with proof and graphics!

      Now you get those kinds of people (the ones at least who will to listen), or the ones who would care if they really understood and believed in the issue. And THEN you have to work through the bureaucracy that’s suffocating the issue. Red tape, red tape galore. So you have to figure out, WHO and how is this situation going to hurt somebody!! As an Owner, you’ve paid a price. Then next, do you hit the Retailer, the Diistributor, the Manufacturer, the Oversight, or the Third Party Suppliers?

      Oh wait, maybe they’re all involved!!

      That’s the complication anybody who might have the desire to help, would be looking at. Petitions can draw attention to the problem. Publicity can expand involvement. Lawsuits (even if dismissed) make headlines, and maybe move people in a different direction. Government should be held accountable (through Citizen complaints) for enforcement. And Legislators need to be reminded that they WORK for US! No matter the legitimate concern!

      It’s a complicated problem. And people just have to pick what level, and which direction, they want to work on it. I’m not sure the “Year” really has much to do with it. Except that we can only hope (because there’s nothing else at the moment), that people will at least have the feeling they are being heard for a change! We shall see. But we can’t give up!

      1. Bonallen

        “2020 just in case!:

        Unless people DEMAND better instead of still waiting for somebody ELSE to do it/improve things (including who’s President), people will need a vet degree and to strictly homecook if they want a healthy pet and undrained bank account by then!

        Someone I used to be friendly with remarked about the prescripton food lawsuit in CA. “About time somebody did something”. Person complained about these things to friend for YEARS but they’d rather preach serenity, knowing the difference of what we can change (We can’t, so give it up) than do what those great people in Ca. are trying to do.

  12. […] Mars, Inc., which also owns Banfield Pet Hospital, is about to merge with VCA, Inc., and BluePearl Veterinary Partners, two other large veterinary chains.  VCA also runs a dog daycare franchise called Camp Bow Wow, and Antech Diagnostics, the industry’s biggest laboratory.  This merger turns a candy company into the dominant holder of corporate-owned pet hospitals, a major player in pet food, and, essentially, the name in diagnostic testing. […]

  13. Cheryl Mallon-Bond

    Wow! You really have a wonderful Vet & are very lucky! I wish they could all be like that! I especially like how you said that you always felt he was “present in the moment” & gave his full attention. That is so important.

    I have had to leave some otherwise good Vet’s because of that. They just made themselves too busy, should have had another vet working w/ him & more technicians instead of “assistant”, so they could do some of the work & not have it rely all on him. I felt all rushed & one time an “assistant” NOT Vet technician, (you could sense the “energy” it was a very hectic day) actually tried to pull my cat out of the carrier by his front paw’s!!!!!! Not like trying to be purposely mean or aggressive, but STILL! That is NOT the proper way to handle ANY animal.

    You I’m sure would agree that animals “feel” & respond to the “energy” of any environment, especially cats, they’re very sensitive beings. Well, my Jeter, (who is not a wild cat at all) didn’t stand for it & he proceeded to fly around the room! I was just in kind of a shocked state! & It all happened so fast it was insane!

    I think some Vet’s can be technically good, but they make poor choices of how they choose to run their day to day practice & ultimately, it’s going to effect them & how clients wind up feeling when they bring their pets there. People won’t tell someone how to run their business, they just won’t return & they will lose business.

  14. […] care for the food or the vet services. The pet care industry is being taken over by mediocrity.A Concerning Pet Industry Monopoly? – Truth about Pet Food googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display("PugVillage_com_Zedo_PETS_Forum"); }); […]

  15. […] Mars, Inc., which also owns Banfield Pet Hospital, is about to merge with VCA, Inc., and BluePearl Veterinary Partners, two other large veterinary chains.  VCA also runs a dog daycare franchise called Camp Bow Wow, and Antech Diagnostics, the industry’s biggest laboratory.  This merger turns a candy company into the dominant holder of corporate-owned pet hospitals, a major player in pet food, and, essentially, the name in diagnostic testing. […]

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