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Cruel, Heartless Words from FDA Veterinarian

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    1. Ingi Raikes

      Me too! Here in South Africa, everybody thinks its the best food for their cats. I’ve never liked it or Hills or Eucanuba, they are not only full of harmful grains but also contain hormones, preservatives, anti-biotics and GMO’s, all of which are hectic for pets!

      1. Saria de Kock

        Ingi, I live in SA as well. Just discovered this site. What food are you feeding your cats? So shocked to read all these comments about Royal and Hills. Thought I was feeding them healthy food.

        1. Karen L.

          Hello
          This is Karen, I was the mommie of the 4 cats affected by Royal Canin’s food. My beautiful girls died and my precious boys lived, but they all suffered from the affects. I am having the food tested now and should have the results in the next week or so. Susan Thixton is an angel and she has arranged the testing for me. We will be posting the results soon, so stay tuned! Thank you to everyone out there for your support and kind words. It has meant a lot to read all the comments knowing people feel the same way I do.
          Warmest regards, Karen 🙂
          P.S. Watch out for Royal Canin & the FDA because they are heartless!!!!! 🙁

          1. Sherry Smith

            Karen, I am so sorry for your loss.
            I am glad you had the courage to post here because it’s so hard to keep up with these goings-on.
            My vet just started carrying the Canin vet line and I’m going to show her these posts. I certainly won’t be buying any of it!
            Good luck with your case, and I’m sorry you went through this.

    2. FG

      It is not surprising that the FDACVM took a hands off approach to this particular issue. There is an unofficial nexus with the Industry and the staff at the FDA/CVM. Lot of these staffers meet these industry leaders on a routine basis and some of the staffers are R&D folks classmates too.

      There was an instance when virbac was promoting aquadent with misleading and false claims-virbac had data that showed that aquadent was as good as tap water in preventing tartar accumulation in dogs but claimed that the study demonstrated aquadent was in fact effective in preventing tartar build up in dogs. Although this was promptly reported to CVM, CVM took no actions.

      I was told that most of the clinical trials are not properly conducted and in some instances expired medications are used in clinical trials-some past two years the expiry date. A friend of mine was given tablets which were in fact a bag of filthy powder and -to her surprise -was later told that the dog in the study was cured. In some cases mystery owners enroll in these animal studies.

    3. K.C.

      I was in tears just reading this article. God please help this person find another occupation. These animals are our children and both the parents and them deserve more respect.

      I am so sorry for your loss Karen.

      1. Karen L.

        Thank you for your kind words. I am still grieving over losing my beautiful girls. I cry every time I look at their pictures and I hold their brothers close to me every day to remind me that I almost lost them too. I went to a website called “Cafepress” and had pillows made with their pictures on them. I hug the pillows every day and cry….
        Thank you everyone for being so kind and caring, your words mean a lot to me and my husband and you are so right in saying these are our children and we love them so deeply that it’s unbelievable that someone could speak such thoughtless uncaring words to a grieving parent. I will never forget or forgive her for what she said. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you who have lost one of your “furry children” out there because I know how you feel and what it does to you emotionally. Thanks again for all your kind words.
        Karen

      1. Susan Thixton Author

        Not “most” – but many…too many.

  1. ESKIMODAD

    My heart goes out to you Karen L. and I pray your babies will fully recover and live healthy happy long life with you.

    Ms. Thixton,
    BRAVO to you.
    May I copy and paste your letter on facebook?
    Thank you
    ESKIMODAD

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      Yes – please share this everywhere – thank you!

      1. Pacific Sun

        Writing an email to the guilty party will do no good. What does the trick is writing to the employee’s SUPERVISOR, and much more importantly, copying the supervisor’s, supervisor as well!
        .
        Make it clear in your email all the people being copied. Nothing is more disturbing in an office, than the chain of command being informed of an employee’s egregious behavior. Nothing will sting more than the humiliation of a customer relations nightmare!! One that could’ve been easily avoided with a few sympathetic words.
        .
        Reimschuessel’s supervisor looks to be David White, Director Office of Research. Am not sure who White reports to however, unless the Ombudsmen knows and that information gets posted. In the meantime copy a couple of Reimschuessel’s colleagues, like Carol Cope and Stephen Pratt (both Consumer Safety Officers) or Robin Wilson (Supervisory Program Analyst.) The directory is here at this link http://fdazilla.com/fda-employee/structure/search?q=DHHS/FDA/CVM/OF/CVM/OR. Note that the first and last names of the email may need to be capitalized.
        .
        Regardless of what the FDA is actually capable of doing, a federal employee, paid through our tax dollars, representing the mission of consumer safety, was contacted through proper channels, in response to complaints being solicited via their website, AND yet they failed miserably at communicating. No person would agree that WAITING for additional animal deaths could possibly be a productive solution to a tainted food inquiry! This is about far more than challenging the FDA’s desire and ability to test a questionable product. It illustrates how the employee lacks utter common sense just as much as sensitivity, professionalism and gentle courtesy.
        .
        While you’re at it, email a local media outlet that specializes in complaints with businesses and governmental departments. Like “Call Kurtis” in the Sacramento, Calif area. (http://sacramento.cbslocal.com/contact-kurtis/). I am sure they would be more than ready to sympathize with this poor woman’s grief and frustration, that showcases yet another government agency’s stupidity and ineptitude!

        1. Wanda

          Thank you, Pacific Sun

        2. Sherry Smith

          I agree with you totally, Pacific Sun. Especially if you can get this story to the major media. Would love to see “60 minutes” get involved. Often times, public embarassment is the only way to get things done.
          I also fear that the FDA folks and the pet food people have a “good old boys” thing going on, and as FG said, a lot of these people were probably classmates at one point. Don’t forget all the lobbying these industries do.
          This just isn’t right, and I hope this poor lady can get some justice.

  2. Woofielover

    Appalling, shameful and my heart goes out to the Karen L. But – if Dr. Reimschessel was any kind of a GOOD vet, a conscionable vet, a compassionate vet she wouldn’t be working at the FDA. Clearly, she sees what side her bread is buttered on. So sorry for your loss, Karen L. I can understand not only your pain but your subsequent frustration adding insult to tragic injury.

  3. patsi ringsdorf

    If some one started a petition ,I wd sign it & forward to others to sign . And send it to this horrid person so that she will know that WE LOVE OUR PETS & WILL SPEACK UP FOR THEM!!!

    1. Wanda

      Please start a petition…

  4. mikken

    Wow. Just. Wow.

    The level of callousness is unconscionable. Not to mention the lack of professionalism in *actually doing your job* and properly investigating.

    Inexcusable. I hope this vet isn’t practicing medicine on anything living.

  5. Nancy

    this is so insensitive, but typical. Karen L, I know what agonies you are going through. I am cross posting this to everyone I know.

  6. Molly Nicoletta

    Just horrible! My heart goes out to the cat owner. Shame on Dr. Renate Reimschuessel, Research Biologist with FDA. She is NOT doing her job, and what communication with public she is doing, she is doing very poorly.

  7. Joan

    All of our pets owe you a lot, Susan. Thank you for your tireless and often thankless work.

    I wonder who’s other payroll Dr. Reimschessel is on… As they say, follow the money…

    Until our laws about domestic pets are changed from where they are classified as “livestock” (thus allowing puppy mills to continue to exist) I’m afraid that governmental ‘heartless mindset’ toward our pets will prevail.

    1. Sherry Smith

      You’re so right Joan. I wish this so-called “Dr” could be fired. She doesn’t deserve the title.
      I also wish some celebrities could come on board with this like Wendy Mallick. Celebrities can garner a lot of attention.
      Meanwhile, we have to be diligent consumers and keep fighting to right the wrongs.

  8. Bob

    Is Dr. Reimschuessel incapable of showing emotion? Surely she is fighting on the same team as we are. Perhaps she is forced to not get too involved emotionally with her work. Whatever the case, Karen deserves an apology and perhaps a referral to someone else who can put the necessary time into the investigation. Best wishes.

  9. Susan McFadden

    Is the FDA where veterinarians , who can’t make it in the real world go to make a living? Ones without people skills who can be empathetic and know how to do their job? I bet this vet keeps bankers hours too! I’m so very sorry Karen for your loss, those are beautiful cats and looked very well loved. I’ll pray your others recover quickly. God Bless.

  10. vicki

    Terrible. I have worked with many vets who had little bedside manner.. but this one vet shouldn’t be allowed to deal with the public in any capacity – period. I am so sorry for her loss, 2 cats within a few days of each other is unimaginable. Karen should ideally send the rest of this food off to Royal Canin for testing, if she hasn’t done so already.

  11. Claire

    This is shocking and disturbing to say the least. I agree with Patsi–let’s start a petition. I’m sharing with all my animal loving friends.

    1. Laurie Matson

      I agree, lets get a petition going, I will gladly sign. and I am sharing also!!

    2. Debra J.

      Seconded.

  12. vickie

    This story is more than shameful. Dr. Reimschessel should not be allowed to remain in the business of pet food or even as a veterinarian, in my opinion; it is obvious she doesn’t care about animals or have a conscience about safety and pet food given to our pets. Pet parents put in immense effort to choose the right food for their loved ones—the key is LOVE—-something Dr. “R” obviously JUST DOESN’T GET—-. Why do we have people like Dr. “R” working for the FDA—-where is the trustworthiness to do the safe, right thing that that agency is supposed to be doing—NOT BY HAVING PEOPLE LIKE Dr. “R” being paid to have the attitude “OH, well, not sure what to do”—-isn’t that her job, to know what to do and correct it—-before lives are lost—especially if lives are lost. Incompetent, uncaring and deplorable—-she needs to be dismissed.

  13. Fedup

    FDA and every other federal bureaucracy is worthless. They are nothing but self-serving deadbeats. Dissolve the federal government!

    1. Michael Jones

      Get off the political garbage. This mindset is just as bad from the other side. As a retired 35yr civil servant and avid dog and animal lover and reader of this website I can tell you the vast majority of federal, state and city employees are conscientious hard working individuals.Note the first vet contacted and the response.A few idiots can always be found in any organization. Everyone no matter who they are should be sympathetic to the cat owner as it’s a family loss. Next time you need the military to fight your war remember they are part of the federal government, so you might think twice before abolishing them.

      1. Reader

        I agree. Extreme minded thinking is totally unproductive here. And in fact is doesn’t even matter which party is in office. “Politics” doesn’t deserve our attention in this forum. However the frustration with government agencies, and the people who populate them, especially the FDA, comes into play exactly because many civil service employees are more protected than employees in the private sector. As an employee of a very publicity conscious Fortune 100 Company for 35 yrs, I know that speaking with any customer under similar circumstances as unsympathectically as did this so-called “professional” could’ve been cause enough for being let go. Particularly if my managers had gotten involved. As noted in another post, this employee’s response wasn’t just about being indifferent. It was the idea that nothing could be done “until” another pet (meaning THIS woman’s 3rd pet mind you!) had died!!! I’m sorry but that’s just crazy thinking AND pure stupidity, rather than taking action (research, testing) to help prevent other pets from similar fate. See, this seems to be a trend, rather than rushing towards prevention, it has become a matter of “collecting data” (numbers). And yet how much do we ever read about what the FDA finally “concludes” regarding these questionable matters?! It is the idea, that these hugely powerful corporations, owning such brand names as Royal Canin, matter more than do the feelings and experiences of the customers to which they OWE their huge profit margins. In this case, if I were a fellow civil service employee, I would be fully ashamed of the failure in communication (and full disclosure/transparency) that this agency in particular has repeatedly demonstrated!!! Sorry, but except for the couple of positive stories listed here, the FDA has a sorry history of being very much effective in these cases that are all too often being repeated lately.

        1. Reader

          very much INeffective!

  14. Terry L. Clark

    Yet another perfect example of the “heart” of the Obama Regime…

    1. Nicole Sours Larson

      This is a ignorant comment, typically of people who see things only through a polarized right-wing view. I don’t defend the behavior of this extraordinarily insensitive veterinarian totally lacking in people skills and humanity, but you are so uninformed about the way government works. This woman is either a contract or civil service employee, so far insulated from party politics that even if the president wanted to fire her, he couldn’t because of civil service protections.

      On the other hand, what I do recommend is that Karen send a letter to her congressman/woman and senators, which I guarantee will get some attention.

      By the way, I worked in government advocacy in Washington, DC, and do know what I’m talking about.

      And for those who want to dismantle the entire regulatory system, if you think we have problems now, just wait until the totally unleashed profit-making industries have no oversight. Then you’ll really see a lot of deaths from uninspected and unregulated foods and industries.

      1. patsi

        every American company is money, not compassion ,orientated,very few that r not. I agree that things have changed for the worse & will probably get worse,but the only power anyone has is people who force the biggies to listen & that is the numbers who find a way to speak

      2. Dee

        she may be insulated from politics but she not insulated from bureaucracy. in fact, she is a shining example of it and will most likely be promoted…

    2. Debra

      Are you serious? What does Obama have to do with this incompetent, heartless vet? The FDA has been in existence long before President Obama was elected and whatever its failings are, existed long before President Obama.

      1. Debbie Perkins

        Debra, you are so right. The FDA has been condoning this type of incompetence and non-caring long before this president. I wish people wouldn’t use every issue out there to share their political views.

        1. patsi

          I was visiting my elder brother in another city & we were meeting for dinner with other family members . There was an accident & it held us up for some time. My brother who was in another car called me @ yelled’it’s that dern Obama’s fault!!!!> We’re still laughing,my suggestion at politics….laugh in public,study & vote in private

  15. Teresa

    Absolutely amazing! In 2000 I took a non-credit veterinary assistant class at a community college. One of the very first things we were taught was to be compassionate towards not just animals but to their humans! Apparently Dr. Reimschessel needs a refresher course! As for “not know what to test for” I’m not in the veterinarian or medical profession but – well lets start with some of the most basics like salmonella or other bacteria. This might save other animals from suffering from this particular product! Or am I just over-thinking this?

  16. Ann McCann

    I just sent Renate Reimschussel a polite message on her Facebook page. She got an award for her work on melamine in pet food. I can’t understand why she wouldn’t pursue this case of animal poisoning.
    It was a heartless bureaucratic (that’s redundant!) comment – and who knew my local post office will mail dead animals… really?

  17. Ann McCann

    Karen, I am so deeply sorry for your loss and the suffering you all endured.

  18. Lauren

    Ironically, Renate Reimschuessel was awarded a 2008 Service to America medal for her discovery of melamine as the cause of the largest pet food recall in history: http://servicetoamericamedals.org/SAM/finalists08/hsm/reimscheussel.shtml

    From an interview, “When asked if she considered a career as a federal veterinarian, she revealed that she wanted to practice as a veterinarian.”

    Obviously, Dr. Reimschuessel doesn’t comprehend that compassion is an integral part of practicing medicine.

    1. wolfy

      Dr Renate Reimschussel is a highly respected SCIENTIST/veterinarian/biologist.
      http://connection.ebscohost.com/c/articles/54024087/riding-wave-kudos-roll-dr-reimschuessel

      So it shouldn’t be so surprising the lack of bedside manners. To most scientists, and rightly so, pets are animals — NOT people. Susan’s comment puts an “animal rights” spin in this so called heartlessness: “Can you imagine if the parent of a human child that just died from food poisoning got a call from an FDA investigator that said…’Sorry, we can’t investigate your child’s death – we don’t know what to test for. But if your other children die…send us their bodies.’

      Pets are not people, no matter how much love you or I have for them. Please don’t reinforce HSUS & PETA to win that war.

      Btw, we are NOT pet ‘guardians’ either, we are pet *owners*, they are legally our property.

      So what else did this scientist have to say? It looks as though those two comments were taken out of context. For starters, did she also mention they can only test SEALED (never opened) packages?

      Maybe Susan will eventually try the “you get more with honey than vinegar” method — perhaps after she gets tired of being hung up on or ignored by so many in the pet food industry.

      If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner. ~Nelson Mandela

      It pays to know the enemy – not least because at some time you may have the opportunity to turn him into a friend. ~Margaret Thatcher

      1. patsi

        Animals r not human but they r beings,alive,breathing,loving,fearing,tortured without help,totally helpless under the human’s rule of this world. because they r not human? no,not human,but mostly more humane.I will defend them in any way that I can. And the pet food industry in in dire need of someone getting the truth out about what this industry is really like.This woman is in the position to help.We r just reminding her of that & also prodding the FDA,who by the way fails humans too. Quote all u want,I know who I am & what Im about. I give u leave to walk ur way & I will walk mine,see u in the after life & we will compare .

      2. Susan Thixton Author

        Wolfy – to you, your pets may not be family…but mine are. I fully understand they are not people (some days I’m grateful for that) – but my pets remain family.

        You are not correct with your statement FDA can only test sealed packages – FDA can test any opened or unopened package they choose to test. They do need lot numbers to track down the food – but it is absolutely not a requirement for the package to be unopened.

        I personally try to respect everyone’s personal choice of pet owner/pet guardian.

        It looks as though the comments were taken out of context? How so?

        With FDA – honey/vinegar – I have tried for three years to establish meetings with FDA. I’ve been nice, pleasant, pleaded, begged, petitioned. I’ve written letters, pet owners all across the US have written letters. I have gathered some of the top holistic veterinarians in the US that volunteered to meet with FDA – these folks could undoubtedly help FDA and they most certainly could help improve the safety of pet food. But guess what? The FDA continues to ignore us. They won’t even respond to voice mail messages or emails. I’ve more than tried to open a dialogue between pet food safety advocates and FDA…it is FDA who is not willing. They have refused us time and time again. And by the way – I don’t consider FDA the “enemy” – you chose those words, not me.

      3. Interested Pet Owner

        You know, this is the author’s website. She works diligently to give us factually based information. It doesn’t matter what I think. But evenso, she’s more than entitled to occasionally bring us a human interest story. This one certainly qualifies. Question is, are field professionals entitled to bring their feelings to work? Are they permitted to express them? It probably depends on the circumstances. Except that most of us simply do a better job when we’re allowed to be passionately involved with our work. And we are most effective when able to be honestly interactive with the people who depend upon us. For example, is your a heart surgeon a cold-hearted brute who cuts and sews human flesh? Or is he performing that skill because he values the quality of “your” life and wants to make a real difference? Would you mind him expressing that to you? Or do you just want him to do his job sight unseen? I am sure that the FDA requires their scientists and researches to be impartial towards consumer products. That is one necessity. Still, she (or the department) at the very minimum, has a responsibility to clearly communicate with the consumer. Whatever the testing requirements. I did not read (see below) where this scientist even professionally communicated, period. Were Reimschuessel’s comments accurate? Did they make any sense? If the FDA couldn’t do anything, was that meant in terms of compensating for the loss of a pet? Or that they couldn’t go after the manufacturer? Or that the FDA doesn’t get involved? So we’ll never know because of her total incoherence. And if useful communications fails to exist, then why have an FDA consumer website to collect complaint data? Does it exist only to flesh out illegal activity?? And if the FDA couldn’t do anything, and wouldn’t know what to test the pet food for (which is a lie) then why would they be willing to pay for the shipment of two deceased pets? So strange … . Again, and what would happen to “that” information? If the FDA can only test sealed packages, then 1) that fact should have been communicated by somebody at the FDA. Does the rule also apply to State Departments of Agriculture? (I think not.) And 2) doesn’t it seem useless to compare an unopened package with the one that is suspect? Or do all these agencies really believe that owners are dumping toxic chemicals into their pet’s food before consumption? C’mon here, and give us a break!!! Finally, I am not sure how any employee of the Federal Government could be “fired” for simply saying 6 words to a very distressed caller: “I am sorry for your loss.” And if they could be, … then ask yourself, what in the world is the value of investing a person’s so-called expertise into such a trivial (and at this point) utterly contrary organization? In fact I’d like to know this. What happens to all the effective testing results (not just the warnings or salmonella recalls) that comes from all this million dollar research? Some computer must be very full of data, and to what avail?
        .
        “Approximately two weeks after the initial complaint was filed, Karen received a call from veterinarian Renate Reimschuessel, Research Biologist with FDA. Dr. Renate Reimschuessel told this grieving pet owner… “there was nothing the FDA could do, they wouldn’t know what to test the pet food for” “but if your other two cats die, send us their bodies – FDA will pay for shipping.” The FDA did not ask for pet food to test; Karen still has more than 1/2 a bag.”
        .
        By the way. If you think an indifferent response only applies to pet food poisonings? A couple of decades ago, eColi tainted hamburger (in a Fast Food Chain) killed several young children. The plaintiffs were totally stonewalled, attributed to the corporate ownership’s political influence in the government. Until they settled out of court in a sealed documnent and promised never to publicize their cases. (Source: Food, Inc.)

        1. elvwnk

          “And 2) doesn’t it seem useless to compare an unopened package with the one that is suspect? Or do all these agencies really believe that owners are dumping toxic chemicals into their pet’s food before consumption?”

          I had posted a comment re: comparing opened to sealed chicken jerky. The reason for comparison was to see if the product changed in any way once the package seal was broken, and the product was stored under normal household conditions. In the case of chicken jerky, simply testing products was not yielding enough helpful data, so the scientists decided to try comparisons.

  19. Linda

    Just passed this on to the Boston area TV investigative reporter, lets see if she can get some PR on it.

    1. Sherry Smith

      Linda, I’m in Boston too. Did your reporter pick up on this?
      Dan Rea might be interested, on Night Side on WBZ.

  20. Judi

    I believe the same thing happened to two of my cats; however, I and they are extremely fortunate they did not die. One, however, was very sick, needed fluids and a multitude of supplement given at the time of fluids to help him pull back from near death. He was vomiting, had diarrhea, and was listless. The other one only ate a small portion of his food so he didn’t suffer so much. The food: Royal Cr*p Urinary SO canned. Later, I noticed their SO dry food had a chemical smell. It went back to the vet’s office and I’ve never fed their garbage to my cats since. I’ll stick with making their raw meat diet. It’s not failed yet and it’s NEVER made them sick!

    1. Judi

      My sincerest condolences to Karen L. I’m so sad for your loss.

    2. darlene

      when was this? one of my cats is on the royal canin urinary SO moderate diet. although the cat used to like canned food, he won’t touch this stuff unless he is really hungry so usually he gets the dry.

      and to whoever it was who mentioned the petition, good idea! I would imagine that by the time everyone here is finished running her Renate Reimschussel’s through the mill with a petition, emails to her and who she works with and under, and sending and/or filing complaints about her to various others, she will think twice before opening her mouth.

  21. Susan Metzler

    So shocking to hear of that veterinarian’s bedside manner–or lack thereof! So discouraging to have to fear giving our pets commercial dog food without wondering if it’s going to be on the recall list, make them sick, kill them…..I have two dogs and a cat. I always fed Smitty the cat Blue Buffalo, till he got sick with a urinary issue, and the vet told me the Blue Buffalo could have contributed to it because of the grains in the food, and that there are only one or two Blue Buffalo varieties without the grains. Seriously, you need a chart to navigate the pet food industry. Now they want him on a prescription diet for UT issues, and I have a choice of Science Diet or Royal Canin. Smitty survived one bag of Royal Canin, but I won’t push my luck trying it again. Not thrilled with the Science Diet either (the ingredients do not look great), but as far as I know it hasn’t killed any cats–yet. I would love to be able to home cook for all my pets, but I’ve had to take a second job to pay off Smitty’s $2500 vet bill and my dog Lucy’s $4000 vet bill from two years ago. I haven’t been too lucky having low-maintenance pets, especially since I only give them what I think is high-quality food, but I wouldn’t trade them for anything!

    1. denise sullivan

      Susan Metzler-My mom’s vet wanted her dog on Science Diet rx for beginnings of kidney failure.I forbid her to feed Science diet. We found out what specifically was needed, ( low protein, high something else)and I did DAYS of research.TAPF website helped a lot.I found a much better brand with WAY better ingredients.The comparison of the first 10 or 12 ingredients was like night & day.Do your research, you CAN feed something better than Science Diet.
      ChicagoDenise

    2. Regina

      I think the only reason the vets only recommend Science Diet and Royal Canin is because those two companies tell the vets how great their products are, and the vets don’t look any further for verification. The fact that the vets will sell the stuff right in their office, well, there’s money there too.

      How can ANY vet recommend feeding those two brands, when they are sorely lacking the real meat protein that is the most important ingredient to put in pet foods????

      Corn and wheat are not natural proteins for dogs and cats, so why would you want most of their food to be either of those ingredients?

  22. Leahann

    So sorry for your loss Karen and the fact that you were treat so carelessly especially at a time when you were grieving

  23. George Kubin

    Perhaps you should share her email address to us all. There is power in numbers.

    1. Laurie Matson

      I also would like her Email Address!!

  24. 3catkidneyfailure

    Karen L., I am so very sorry for your pain and the stupidity
    of this FDA veterinarian, even if in 2007 this jerk did
    isolate melamine.
    Susan: You have such great heart and courage to be
    bashing your head against the same walls that we all encountered in 2007 and you personally encountered with
    your pet who died of cancer. I hope you can sustain it
    to help pet consumers everywhere. Still petless after 2007
    here – regards

  25. Ron

    I agree this is totally unacceptable from the FDA. I would suggest that people consider contacting their congressman with a copy of the FDA response. Hopefully that will help spark an investigation.

  26. Julie

    Here is the email I sent to Dr. Reimschuessel:

    Dr. Reimschuessel,

    I am not sure how much of this email you will read before you delete it, however I am extremely and profoundly happy you are not a practicing vet.

    My issues are as follows:
    Number one: The FDA would not know what to test the Royal Canin pet food for? Come on….
    Number two: Send the bodies of the other cats if they die? Karma has a funny way about equalizing cruel and heartless behavior such as this.
    Number three: Commercial pet food is not about health and nutrition; it’s about pure revenue production. This is why I home cook for my healthy animals……All organic and no GMO.

    Finally, you epitomize the very reason why I share two pieces of information with every commercial pet food feeding pet owner I meet. The first being, check out Truth about Pet Food.com and secondly, please home cook.

    Oh…now I have a third piece of information to share, your disgusting response to Karen L. about her beloved cats.

    An Enlightened and Concerned Pet Guardian,
    Julie Lesley

    By the way her email is: renate.Reimschuessel@fda.hhs.gov

    1. Valerie noyes

      I emailed her also. Here is mine:

      Dr., I too work for a government agency, albeit a state agency. I understand the workload, lack of funding and frustration of working for government. However there is no excuse for your cruel and careless words to Karen L regarding the death of her two cats cased by Royal Canin food. Good pet parents consider their pets as their children. I know I do. In her heart she lost two children. Whatever your personal feelings, you represent a federal agency, are paid by our tax dollars, and therefore need to treat people with compassion. If you cannot do this, resign. The FDA’s reputation is bad enough when it comes to protecting our pets from the greedy and ruthless big pet food companies.

      If you found the melamine problem in 2007 I cannot understand how you can claim you “wouldn’t know what to look for” in Karen’s tainted pet food. You need to do better than that.

  27. Laurie Matson

    I am so sick of the way our FDA operates. And very angry about how this lousy FDA Vet responded!! This should be forwarded to that Congress Member that was so angry about the actions of that FDA Head Honcho That lost his Job!! Our FDA needs to be taken apart person by person and lots of employees should lose their Jobs!! I am calling for the UNITED STATES FDA TO BE BROUGHT TO THEIR KNEES AND A THROUGH HOUSE CLEANING BE INSTITUDED!!! THEY ARE A DISGRACE TO AMERICA WITH HOW THEY OPERATE AND HOW THEY FAIL TO OPERATE!! Karen, my sympathy to you in the loss of your beloved Kitties!! 🙁 Thank you Susan for intervening in Karens case!! I can see China acting like this but not the US FDA!!!

    1. Laurie Matson

      Susan, I meant this should be forwarded to the Congress member that was angry about the actions of the IRS Head Honcho, Sorry!!

  28. 3 dog Mom

    Susan: Are you able to post Dr. R’s email address for us? As an owner of 2 pets who died from tainted pet food, I would love the opportunity to share a few choice words with Dr. R.

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      Not that it hasn’t happened already – but I would be reprimanded by FDA if I posted Dr. R’s email address. I always try to abide by the FDA rules even if they do not do the same. The FDA website has a search option however. You can scroll down the homepage at http://www.FDA.gov and find the ‘Contact FDA’ link. From that click on ‘electronic employee directory’. However I would suggest sending an email to the Ombudsman http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/CentersOffices/OfficeofFoods/CVM/CVMOmbudsman/default.htm

      1. denise sullivan

        No Susan, do NOT post an email address, & get reprimanded! We can find it ourselves ! 😉

        ChicagoDenise

  29. Debra J.

    Unbelievable, but not surprising. Unfortunately, it practically takes an act of Congress to fire a Federal employee; however, we can press to get a formal reprimand put into her file. What a disgraceful excuse for a human being! Karen, my heartfelt condolences to you and your family.

  30. Jacque Reynolds

    Susan, I appreciate your compassion and your passion to act on behalf of pets and their families.

    When I hear or read about this type of attitude from a professional who has taken an oath to care for our beloved pets, I am taken aback for another reason. They treat us, at the time, like we are in their way, a burden that they don’t have time for…but when we take our pets to the vet for treatment, they are glad to offer us unlimited testing, special diets and expensive remedies.

    They take advantage of, and get their income directly from, our love for our pets. If not for our deep feelings of love for our pets, these vets would not have a lucrative practice! It is fine to treat them like family when they are getting money from us but let our beloved pets die and they are nothing more than “chattle”.

    “Just a dog” or “just a cat” … indeed. It all depends on which side of the dollar they are standing, I guess.

    I am so sorry for the loss of these kitties. I lost puppies during the 2007 melamine poisoning…it should never have happened but it certainly should not be happening, still.

  31. Gitta

    Internal hand slapping via an ombudsman? If that much.

    I sincerely hope major media outlets pick up on this and report about it. It won’t undo the damage already done, but it may lead to more serious internal corrective action which may protect others from such a cold and callused response.

    As for the good doc: work as a meat inspector. Your callused attitude may serve you well there.

    Just freakin’ unbelievable.

  32. rick

    wow is all I can say the rest of my comment would hit
    x rated language so sorry for that lady having to deal
    with the death of her kittens but to have to listen to
    this jerk from the fda

  33. NMD

    I agree those words were not the right response, however, please take into consideration that not all medical professionals veterinary or human can relate to people and come across showing any compassion. I know a registered veterinary technincian who has zero, maybe lower then zero compassion when talking to people concerning their pet, but she is by far the very best technician I have ever worked with in all the years I have been working. When my pets need to have a procedure done, I make sure she is there to assist. Her compassion to the animal is extraordinary. That being said, I came home to one of my dog’s dead from eating 114 joint supplement chews and then drinking 1 gallon of water out of the water bowl. I was of course devastated. I called the company and the first thing the CEO said to me was “I need Gretta’s body. Can you ship it to Ohio State NOW?” Without hesitation I said yes, and within 2 hours Gretta’s body was on her way to OSU. The CEO called me that evening and apologized for his lack of compassion, realizing he never even expressed any sympathy at all. We talked for a good hour. I explained to him that I had just moved into my new place and Gretta vomited all over my carpeting, leather couch and recliner. He offered to have everything cleaned and if that didn’t work, he would replace everything. The carpet and furniture was cleaned professionally and looked brand new again. The necropsy report showed that Gretta actually died drinking so much water and aspirating it. She only weighed 15lbs and ingesting so many of the chews caused incredible thirst. But back to my point, sometimes humans don’t alway say the right thing, not to be cruel, but their thinking with their brain and not their heart at that moment. Oh, and Gretta chewed through a unpacked box to get to that container of chews and then chewed open the container. I still have nightmares about her.

    1. mikken

      If that’s the case, she had an opportunity when she was called again, but she didn’t take it.

      There’s no excuse for it.

    2. Joni Lowther

      We have all misspoken at some point in our lives. However, when we are in error, we should step up and apologize. Doing so shows one’s character and it appears that this is something that Dr.Reimschuessel lacks. There is no defending her callous remarks. Dr.Reimschuessel’s only defense at this point would be an apology, to secure the unused portion of food that Karen has, and to do the job she should have rightfully done in the first place: analyze the food and the veterinary records to find out what killed Karen’s cats.

  34. Dee

    bureaucratic mind-think. not from the heart and or head but straight from the book. be very afraid that it is about to take over human health care…
    I am so sorry for this poor woman’s loss.

  35. ellie

    I would never assume that an FDA vet would have a heart. I would hope for one but not assume that one was there.
    The FDA has looked the other way concerning just about everything that concerns pet food. They apparently just don’t want to be bothered with it or there are people in the FDA that are benefiting from looking the other way.
    In one way it make me sad that we have to depend on the government to regulate companies in order to make them be have standards to work by. It also bothers me that we cannot trust the huge out of control government agencies that are supposed to do the regulating.

  36. chris

    that is so terrible and heartbreaking. My heart goes out to Karen while she mourns the loss of her girls.

    Thank you Susan for the work you do and the awareness you raise each day. I look forward to seeing Mrs. Larkins’ response to your letter.

  37. Mary Anne Latham Kennard

    Bravo Susan! Thank you for all of your work. Karen L. I am so sorry for your lose.

  38. Laurie Raymond

    Karen, I’m so sorry you had this horrible experience! I’m wondering if you bought the prescription Royal Canin from your vet, and if she reported her suspicions about the deaths to the company? I would expect that Royal Canin would take seriously such notification from a vet who sells their products. Royal Canin should be making their own investigation, and should have data on other illnesses reported from that food batch, at the very least. The FDA is pretty insulated from consequences, but the manufacturer is not — the threat of adverse publicity, or a boycott, can make a company step up. Maybe this was done first -? If not, maybe you could go back and start again there. I’m a retailer, and know how companies react to credible complaints. I’ve never carried Royal Canin, though…

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      Laurie – Karen told me she did report to Royal Canin and they did not offer to test the pet food either.

  39. Kelly Wagner

    Dr. Renate Reimschuessel was the vet with whom I dealt regarding my Gracie’s poisoning from duck jerky and tragic death in September 2012 thanks to Senator Mark Warner ( D-VA)…But maybe that’s why I never got any more information even after sending them the jerky…at my expense….And I thought that we were heading in the right direction….maybe that’s why it’s stalled out…Gracie’s death will always be so painful because that crap from China is still being sold in the US.

  40. elvwnk

    I had just the opposite experience with the FDA when my puppy died after suspected chicken jerky poisoning. EVERYONE I encountered at the FDA was sympathetic, compassionate, and helpful. They all had dogs and understood. I reported online, and then called the local office to also file a report. This case stuck out because of the circumstances: chicken jerky, apparently healthy young dog, the vet’s tests and treatments, and good documentation. The CVM in Washington requested medical records, and then sent a local vet out. The FDA vet personally went to see my vet, interviewed her, picked up records, then came to my house to interview me. He spent 45 min. with me, and took the rest of the bag for testing. I am still in the process of obtaining test results via a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request.

    It took about 6 weeks from the date I reported until when the vet came for the product. They will only test jerky products if the case meets certain criteria, and their testing methodology may change as their studies progress. At the time of my report, they were testing opened chicken jerky packages in comparison to the same sealed product fresh from the store. However, this is because chicken jerky is an ongoing investigation, and that’s where they were with this particular issue.

    I don’t know what happened in this case re: the cats, but it makes sense to follow it up. It’s also helpful to be aware that it’s a one-way reporting relationship with the FDA. They are there to take in information and analyze it and take actions, as appropriate, but do not have a role in reporting back to whoever provided the info. In my case, the burden is on me to make FOIA requests.

    Having been through this process, I think the bigger question here is WHY won’t they be testing this product or looking at the vet records? I would go above this vet’s head and have someone at the next level up give this a second look in terms of pursuing an investigation, and to ask what criteria is required before testing is considered. It just sounds to me like it got routed to someone in the lab doing research, vs. someone who who is in position to decide what’s getting investigated.

    Another avenue is calling those who were helpful, and having them assist with getting it re-routed to the right people. They often also know the ropes and what more may be required to get further consideration. I called the local rep months after I originally spoke with her, and she was wonderful about directing me to the right people.

  41. PAM HARTMANN

    I am sure that “woman” rides a broomstick to work! That was just a heartless thing to say to any one. I am so sorry for your loss & I do believe in Karma- she will get hers!!

  42. BC

    I suggest you contact Dr. Lisa Pierson- she has a web site. For a speciality raw formula you can make for your kitty. She has regular formulas in the web, but for kidney issues you wI’ll need a phone consult. Have your lab tests so she can help you pick the best formula. Making your own human grade cat food is Not difficult- you need a couple hours a month-
    Surely time well spent for better health for your kitty.

  43. Brigitte Stern

    It is apparently up to us, the pet owners to take some action so that other pet owners, who may be unaware of this, don’t have to go through this devastating experience.
    People have been mislead, lied to, and brainwashed, blindly accepting what Pet Industry is selling, without any regulations and approved by FDA. It’s time to wake up people…Wake Up and Stop drinking the Kool-aid! Pet Industry and FDA is full of lies, CORRUPTION and GREED-GREED!
    ONE MORE REASON FEED YOUR PET RAW DIET!

  44. BC

    I agree – its got to hit the press #1
    Two- I will expect more of this as the FDA new head settles in- he is the/was the head of Monsanto
    Three- there are several labs out there who will test the food.
    I would contAct the UofMichigan- excellent people there who will not only guide you but has keen interest in protecting the health of pets.

  45. Denise Sullivan

    Anyone ever having to go thru a tragic event such as this one: Never send out the “remainder” of the dog food for testing. A company can very easily say, nope, nothing wrong with it and you have nothing left for possible future or additional testing. I would think they could do testing on a large handful of the food. I wonder also if you were to let them know you are only sending some of the food back, if their testing would be any different.

  46. Peg

    Karen L. I am so very sorry for the loss of your 2 most beautiful kitties.
    I am also sorry for the way the piece of crap, oops, I mean vet from the FDA treated you.

    Karen, any chance that your vets did necropsies on your babies?

  47. Vicki Barnett

    Outrageous!!! I would say it’s unbelievable……..but sadly, it is not. I will be sharing on FB and tweeting. Hopefully a petition will be started so we can make our voices heard collectively! Thanks for all the work you do Susan!!

  48. Carolyn Tillery

    Thank you so much for this article. One of our cats just had surgery yesterday. The vet told me this morning to feed him Royal Canin. This was at an emergency animal hospital. I went to our regular vet to get the food, they told me they don’t carry it because it costs too much. He told me to get the OTC cat food for urinary tract health, which I did. I am so glad I didn’t get the Royal Canin. Thank you, again.

    1. patsi

      SIGNED & SHARED!! ALSO GOING TO ORDER THE FOOD REPORT THAT SUSAN WORKS SO HARD TO GET FOR US. THANX SUSAN & THANX DEBRA!!!

  49. Alejandra

    Create a petition, please! She must to get fired!
    I support you!

  50. Joy

    hi everyone. This is a terrible situation.I know everyone tries sohard to get their companions the very best they can afford and it is very difficult. i have always bought my cat Sheba the very best top grade food no grains,wheat etc. Have just had her diagnosed in the first stagws of renal failure, she is 13 years old and I have had her as a companion since shw was just allowed to be adopted by the shelter..I have Hills’s prescription diet and they want me to change her wet food though I am using organic chicken and brown rice. does anyone have any ideas/I have never spent a ;ot of time taking her to vet,or getting shots but she has been through a lot of trauma the past 2 years with me moving across the country to live with my daughters annd a house filled with animals after a whole lifetime of just she and me. Any thoughts?Thank you JOY

    1. Janine

      Hi Joy,
      My cat was diagnosed with early crf at 7 and lived to almost 16 so there is hope!

      The best site I’ve ever seen on feline renal insufficiency is felinecrf.org. It has everything you can possibly need to know and I learned a lot on it. There’s a section on what to feed too.

      1. Joy Edmonds

        Thank you Janine, I will look that up.I have been doing a lot of research on the net and I do have Hill’s prescription dry food,have beeen mixing it with her other but it is almost gone so next week I will be trying it by itself.I have decided to continue with the canned food I am using(Nemans organic chicken,no grain.)I also got some herbal kidney support from Pet wellbeing.We will see..There is so much difference of opinio and in the end I have to decide..Blessings to you… JOY

  51. Julie

    Appalling, shameful, but unfortunately not surprising. I will be posting this on my Veterinary Abuse Network site AND my blog, Suki’s Safe Haven to get the word out about this “doctor” who not only has no soul, but also doesn’t give a damn about what this food may be doing to other innocent animals.
    This story needs MAJOR media attention to wake people up about the truth about the people supposedly charged with public health and safety who fall short of their jobs every day. Only when consumers demand accountability will we even begin to get close to obtaining any.
    This vet is a disgrace, and unfortunately she’s not alone.
    My deepest condolences to Karen on the loss of her kitties. And to everyone else — SPEAK UP about bad vets everywhere. It’s the only way to put a stop to the abuses on so many levels by people in positions of public trust.

  52. Zalman Lazkow

    FDA “veterinarians” are BUTCHERS, as many other government “vets”.
    As for Royal Canine – this brand is one of the worst foods to give to pets.
    I’m absolutely shocked how people decide to buy this crap.
    This website, and other websites exist for many years, and there is so much information online, and still despite that, people buy this GARBAGE.
    Royal Canine is loaded with GMO, soy, canola…etc.

    There are very good foods on the market. It’s not difficult to find them.
    People need to learn a little about the ingredients, and learn to read labels.
    Easier way is to go to one of a couple of very informative websites that lists ingredients of every pet food, and each food is rated according to the quality of ingredients.
    Amazon is also a good place.

    1. Reader

      Nope, sorry beg to differ (regarding websites). The internet can be very confusing. Much of it is based around informal breed and interest group “conversation.” It’s about personal experiences and whether or not certain foods “agree” with pets. This website (TAPF) is very unique. It’s written by the author who is one of the few people who specializes in understanding the FDA Compliance Policies and “industry language, in terms of how everything affects pet food. Contrary to the casual observer she is not in this for personal gain or fame. Furthermore she has dissected hundreds of pet food ingredients, compared them to both industry and generic definitions, and then interprets what all this really means for the Petsumer. Even if a person finds a list of ingredients on a package through the internet, Susan understands the impact that the first 5 ingredients have on the food. Even if a person thinks chicken meal sounds okay, Susan understands what that meal is made up of, compared to by-products, and on it goes. If you’re “really” going to start educating yourself, begin with the book “Buyer Beware” and cross reference your questions with a search here on TAPF for an even deeper understanding of different subjects. Then if you think you’ve picked out some pet foods, refer to the Petsumer Report, which again reviews every single ingredient. It’s not just about rating the food (5 paws or less). It’s about deciding which of the ingredients you can “live” with, versus which ones are the worst. After all this time Susan has narrowed her list down to about 13 select brands from about 2500 different formulas! Then there are the choice 13 companies out of about 86 who’ve returned the Pledge to Quality to be considered. That alone is a statement about the PFI. And finally, Amazon won’t be much help, because they’re in business to promote sales. And provide plenty of advertising space to do so! Many, many pet foods that you might find through a (hands on, informed owner operated) pet food supply store know of brands that you’ll never see advertised anywhere! Which, if they’re decent, means the company is spending money on the product and NOT on hyping it up for profit! These dedicated PF suppliers stay informed through their distributors and the sales reps who directly market new products to the area. One trick is to try and avoid conglomerate, corporate owned PFCs and look for reputable small owner operated companies instead. Many will order whatever food the Petsumer requests. They are an invaluable resource.

  53. Faith Fletcher-Ku

    I feel so sorry for you. A similar thing happened to my daughter and two of her four dogs. She lost the two girls but the boys survived. Since then she has made up her own dog food and not bought in cat or dog food. I am now in Taiwan and as you can guess very nervous of food supplies and have for a long time made up my own pet food just as my parents did many moons ago. I wish you peace and light a candle each night in your garden so your cats can see the light of love from you. I do this for the pets I have lost and loved and it is a very comforting thing to do. Of course you can be more modern and put a solar light in the garden for both your girls. With Love.

  54. Lisa

    Why is certain petfood called” prescription” diet ,yet contains NO medicine & ONLY available through the vets office.?This is another $ making marketing SCAM for the vets!

  55. Debbie Perkins

    Karen, I am so sorry to hear of your loss and your horrific experience with the FDA vet. This vet is a disgrace to everyone in the veterinary field.

  56. e.d

    The first indication of psychopathology is cruelty to animals. Not all veterinarians are in it for the joy of treating and helping pets. Perhaps a petition from
    sign-on.org where a good number of us ask to have this person chastised might help.

    1. Interested Pet Owner

      Could people please respect the time and effort that fellow Contributors are putting into this discussion??? It would be a courtesy to them to read their comments first before adding pure redundancy to the thread. This very kind reader already started a petition and is asking interested folks to participate.

      Just so you don’t have to go searching up and down again, the entry has been REPOSTED for your convenience.

      Thank you, Debra J.
      May 22, 2013 at 11:10 pm
      “OK, folks. I started a petition. PLEASE SIGN AND SHARE! …
      http://www.thepetitionsite.com/438/418/000/this-fda-vet-should-get-a-reprimand-and-give-an-apology/

  57. Kat Gagliano

    My cats have been eating Royal Canin Adult wet for close to two years. A few months ago one of my cats started vomiting after eating the food. I switched to the sensitive stomach formula and the vomiting stopped. I started reading several things online with problems from their food and have now stopped feeding any Royal Canin. Prior to Royal Canin, they ate Blue Buffalo for a few years, they got to where they refused to eat it and had some vomiting episodes with that too. I have also read other people starting to have problems with it. So now and using Before Grain and Call Of The Wild Canned. I am so tired of these constant problems with pet foods. Making my own just doesn’t work for me. Keep up the good work you are doing – Truth About Pet Food – it is much appreciated.

  58. lynn

    that is just so sad… i am sure not everyone would be so cruel as this vet was.if due to a bad day or what… this was somesomes babies and if was the food then… it should be checked so very sorry that wasn’t done. and, yes you can make well balanced homemade for kitties,too!! good advice. even my girls vet thinks it is good that i makehomemade and has had me to share recipes with some of his other patients pet parentsremember cat’s NEED taurine as it is critical to their immune system response. good vision,healthy heart and brain.. good natural sources are high-quality muscle and organ meat including beef,lamb,chicken,clams,oysters along w/ codfish.. cats love clams use shell fish very sparingly always.i hope i can say tis but you can buy cat vitamins at places like swanson,purtian pride,and mr.chewy.com to be on safe side of kitty getting all minerals and vitamins to be healthy i like the natural ones.i had a cat to live 28 years long until the last year was very active and playful. had heart problems during the last year of 28 years life.you can homecook for kitty too and they can be very healthy. i dont even buy treats you can dehydrate liver for treats and chicken stripes. hope this info has helpped so sad that this happend .. stay away from factory pet foods cat/dog/even birdsfoods and treats. don’t trust them

  59. Andrea

    I already posted about Royal Canin prescription for urinary. One of my cats is still having diarrhea and bouts of vomiting, but he is improving, and the other is also very much improving, as his stools are gradually returning to normal. Royal Canin is TOXIC! I also noted on the last bag I was feeding to my cats [I have several cats], their appetites became abnormally ravenous. I stopped all commercial food and I have been feeding them all homemade cat food, that I make myself.
    I will never feed them any commercial pet food again. Also, I noted on a forum, sometime ago that featured problems with Royal Canin, there was a class action law suit, as after I posted, there was a message that came up that asked me if I wanted an attorney to contact me in regards to the Royal Canin. There IS strength in numbers. I strongly suggest that those who have suffered such tragic losses get together and file a class action law suit. Money is all these companies care about and they need to be hit real hard in the pocket book, not to mention how much Royal Canin charges for their toxic poison.

  60. Karen L.

    This is Karen L. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the kind words and support from all of you. A big thank you to Susan for all her hard work on this and everything else she does for animals and their parents. Please let me confirm a few things for all of you. Royal Canin refused to test the food because I offered to send them some. Royal Canin was contacted by my vet numerous times and on most occasions didn’t even call him back. They refused to cooperate with him at all. The one and only call I got from Royal Canin was when the FDA called them and that’s why they called me. I have not heard from them since. The only reason I fed my kitties this food was because my vet said it would help them. The FDA has all my kitties records and they still did not want to test the food. They had testimony from 3 vets and they still did not want to test the food. They KNOW Royal Canin food made all my kitties sick and they suffered horribly and it killed my girls and they still do not want to test the food. We did not perform necropsy on the girls, but wish now that we did, but they have been cremated. I still have a lot of food left in the bag and I will send small amounts to be tested when necessary, but I will never let the whole bag out of my possession. I think of my kitties as gifts from God, like my children and treat them like my children. Royal Canin and the FDA are heartless, uncaring and greedy. No apology will ever take away my pain and the damage the FDA’s vet caused to my aching heart can never be repaired with an apology from such an uncaring, thoughtless witch. Thanks again for all the support and thanks for the petition too. I signed the petition as soon as I saw it.

    1. Linda

      I would love to start a fund to collect money to have that food tested independently.

      Susan is this something we could do?

      1. Susan Thixton Author

        We are working on testing the food – more news on this soon.

    2. Jolie Cosette

      I have read all the posts to this point, and this is the first time I’ve seen a necropsy mentioned.

      Ah, Karen. Hindsight is 20-20. You were grieving and are grieving still.

      I don’t live in a very pet-friendly state yet I’ve have three necropsies performed by a state agency. I urged my vet to request two; the third, a sad, sad thing, was mandated. I have the dubious distinction of being the first person on record in Nevada to have a cat diagnosed posthumously with virulent calici.

      Please, everyone, demand a necropsy if you suspect your cat died of foodborne-illness. (Not only am I shocked but also perplexed by the FDA vet’s comment, “send their bodies here.” Why not do it locally and have the slides sent to the FDA?) Without (a) current acute labs, (b) past labs, (c) samples of the suspect toxins and (d) a necropsy, nothing will be done. I’ve fought with the FDA and the EPA too long to think otherwise.

  61. Cheryl

    Thank you Susan for bringing this to everyone’s attention. I am sorry for Karen’s loss. The more people who know about this, the more pressure we can put on the proper people. The only thing these people understand is when it impacts their pocketbook. Together we can make that happen.

  62. Tammy Baugh

    Pacific Sun said it best. But I’d do one more and call the local TV Channel and get them to broadcast this on their TV. Nothing can be more moving than bad publicity to a pet food company. Also anyone being paid to see to it our pets get safe food and they are as cold as they were to you Karen, they are heartless not to deserve the job they are being paid to do. After all sympathy or a kind word or even to investigate would cost them nothing out of pocket. All you asked is they do their job and they won’t do it. That is so wrong. Our pets ARE our children, when will everybody realize it?

  63. candi baker

    about 15 years ago, I faithfully fed High Protein dog food fron Walmart…Old roy..didnt know any better…our 13 year old brittany & 9 month old black lab…both in good health except the one was older..became sick & died in a days time..we first thought the old one went off to hunt but found him the next day dead under a tree by our pond..the lab began seizuring & died shortly after..being country people, took the tractor, dug & buried them..afew weeks later there was a recall of the OLd Roy from the store I got it at..the company offered me a coupon for a free bag of the same stuff!!! I didnt even have a dog & wouldnt have fed it that ever again!! I have even told people in the checkout who are buying it my story..I wont buy ANY Walmart pet food…

  64. KAH

    The only problem with all these stories is that the average person, particularly the person standing in the Walmart or Costco checkout line, just can not believe the risks they are taking. It is totally beyond that person to imagine how a pet food company is in the business only for profit and not for pet welfare and safety. The PFI has done such an excellent job of “scattering” all these stories of tragedy, that they never make the media. They never reach the mainstream. And so, when a knowledgeable pet owner is just trying to share their own experience, hoping to save a couple of pets, they get that look like they have no idea what they’re talking about. Instead of appreciation for a warning, people just think you’re butting into their business. It takes absolute courage and conviction, yet communicated with pure kindness, to reach past all the embarrassment, in the hope of doing it for the pet – which is unfortunately so helpless in those situations. Thank you for continuing to try!

  65. Pinky Collins

    My heart goes out to Karen, I’m sure she’s devastated. I’m so sorry. The FDA is useless. They detach themselves from life. This is a job to them and they as a whole have no compassion they don’t care about someone pet. That doesnt surprise me in the least. I can’t say that I have ever heard a story about the FDA that was positive. That arm of the government does nothing productive.

  66. regretavet

    How heartless…I’m so sorry for your loss but sadly I’m not surprised at all how this was handled.
    SHARING!

  67. Ken Kalligher

    Some people are just not fit to deal with people. That’s why business owners quickly know who to put in front of the customer and who to keep hidden in the warehouse. The FDA really has no customers so they don’t have to please anyone, but for the love of humanity, do they have to hire people without the most basic of human emotions…sympathy? Shame on you Ms. Reimschuessel!
    I do think this is a symptom of the real problems with the pet food industry. Neither the industry nor the regulatory agencies nor the advisory groups treat this as if it were life and death for pets; or, and more probably the case, who cares. Pet owners and friends of pets get it, but these are commodity people whose sole interest is profit don’t care. Motivation for them is enrich shareholders and owners. If we recall, Natura was privately held for something like 20 years, without incident, and as in little as a year after Proctor and Gamble acquired the company…RECALL! Now they have a new line out and check the ingredients. Proof of the prostitution of a decent product. There are precious few choices left for concerned pet parents; and if you think your government is in the business of protecting the animals…wake up you are dreaming!

  68. Mary

    I might suggest that Susan contact Mike Adams…..the health Ranger. He has a website that is amazing. Just google his name and health ranger. He can help this issue go viral.
    Also, he may know how to line up an agency to do the testing. Then the FDA can REALLY be shamed. He would love to do that. He has absolutely nothing but contempt for that agency.
    I am a registered nurse and have nothing but contempt for the agency. What a bunch of psychopaths!
    I am very sad to hear about these poor innocent cats being killed by this company. My animals are my kids too. Having this experience of a totally needless and inexcusable poisoning of these cats followed by the absolute cold blooded callous disregard for the feelings of the people who love and cherish them is a sign of a psychopath. It is not the sign of an overworked federal employee. Not one of us would demonstrate that cold blooded reaction even on our worst day of life. Obviously this creep went into the profession because she lacks the ability to connect emotionally……psychopath.

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