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  1. jennifer

    Wow, you actually got someone to do something about the dog in the car?! I can’t get anyone to even go out and look at the situation here in Ohio. You got security to call animal control. When I try to do anything like this, I have to call animal control. They never answer the phones. I try to get security wherever I am – not their problem. Call the cops. I call the cops – not their problem, call animal control. No answer. I was almost fired from my job for trying to help a dog in our parking lot. I was given the run around and just passed along for almost an hour. I still don’t know what happened to the dog. Ohio does not care. I am always shocked by my responses, and not just by the authorities, but also by the general public.

    1. Dianne

      Sounds like a story for the local tv news. Or post your own youtube video, recording all the calls and the run-a-round.

    2. Carrie

      I’m in Ohio and you are so right. Most of them don’t care. This is also the state where a teacher left her toddler in a car for eight hours and was never charged with anything, even though the child died.

  2. elaine

    Good for you for trying to help the dog Jennifer. Keep trying!! Seems incredible that so many people don’t care in one state. Those in animal control certainly shouldn’t be there.

  3. B Dawson

    Given the state of the top pallet (open with empty flats thrown on top of the cans) and the large red labels on the sides, I wonder if these were rejected or flawed pallets waiting to be taken to a landfill. If there had been a truckload of pallets sitting out I would be inclined to think otherwise.

    I am a raw diet advocate, had a holistic pet supply for 10 years and certainly have major issues with the pet food industry, but there is room for a reasonable doubt in this case. If in fact they are unsafe cans I would hope that they will be absolutely destroyed and not find their way into any food bowls.

    Perhaps Natural Balance would like the chance to comment on this photo? I for one would be interested in hearing their explanation.

  4. Janne

    I would have broken the window and pulled the crate out, and I am sure that the car alarm would have gone off, and I would sat and waited for the police to arrive. Then, I would have probably gone to jail but that animal would have been out of that hot car. I would have done anything I needed to in order to save that poor dog. What a selfish creep. Thank you for doing what is decent in an indecent world. I fear for this world, its dependents, its innocents. That dog food warehouse should be ticketed. There has to be some sort of health code that was violated there.

  5. sk

    Oh no… !! this is terrible… I give my cat Natural Balance canned food, this is so so so upsetting!!! It took me forever to find a wet food that my cat actually liked that is not terrible ‘junk’ food, as she is really finicky, and now this. And it is really difficult to find a low-calorie wet food that is decent. What now?? She is on a rotation of Natural balance Ultra, Low-Cal and Petcurean’s Go! Fit+Free turkey, chicken & duck formula. She used to like Nat Bal Indoor cat formula too but lately refuses to eat it, so we stopped buying it. Anyone have any suggestions for a low-cal decent quality wet food?

  6. june lay

    I will never understand someone leaving their dog in a car period, let alone under the circumstances you describe. I hope you tried to explain how dangerius this is. Would someone get away with leaving their cild like this? Dogs are feeling, breathing beings that can die this way, just like a child. As far as the food, cans can swell in the heat after being left out in thesun for that long, and I do believe if they possibly can become contaminated.
    One last comment, I would like to suggest we change our language from habit from it to he or she when we refer to our companion animals. The less we objectify them in our everyday language, the more we spread the meaning of their being living beings, not things.

  7. Ken Kalligher

    Hi Susan,
    My career spanned over 45 years in the food industry; most of that time was in manufacturing, product development and quality control. I can tell you that what you see in the photo would be totally unacceptable in any of the many plants under my responsibility.
    There are 3 separate pallets of product in the photo and I can see only one scenario as to why they may be there. The sign between doors 18 & 19 appears to say Receiving. That would not typically be where items for disposal would be stored; unless that is product returned from a distributor. They may have been placed there briefly while some inside moving was taking place; not a good practice, but since the narrative says the product was out over the holiday weekend that would not seem to be a reason.
    To answer your question as to whether or not the product could be damaged stored outside under the conditions you describe, simply, YES! Canned food items are sterilized in different ways, but the end result is to produce a product that is “commercially” sterile. What that means is, that the product has been treated to be stable in the can. But there are ways, such as under certain storage conditions very negative events can occur.
    All vegetative bacteria are destroyed in the sterilization process, but the spores of Thermophilic bacteria can survive most sterilization processes. The spores of these bacteria can germinate at temperatures above 120F and become quite active at 140F. It is not unusual to have problems with canned items stored high in warehouses in “hot” climates during summer months. Temperatures often rise above those germination temps when product is stored high in warehouses without circulation or temperature controls. When the thermophilic spores germinate reproduction takes place and gas is produced (bulged can) and the food is in a state of spoilage. It is not hard to imagine that if the ambient temperature is 90+F that radiant heat could cause the internal temperature to rise to the thermophilic germination threshold.
    High humidity, condensation, rain or any exposure to excessive moisture can cause the cans to rust, particularly on the manufacturer’s end seal because the stress applied to the metal in sealing machines fractures the coatings on the can. Depending on how long the storage time is for any product this can become not only a cosmetic problem, but can also create an entry for contamination.
    Short of being in the location in the photo for disposal, there would be absolutely no reason for product to be stored as pictured and many reasons why it should not be stored outside.
    I would find that a careless and irresponsible act. Notwithstanding the fact that it could be an economic loss for the manufacturer, if the product was subject to spore germination, it could be disastrous for the end user (our cats and dogs).
    The human food chain is somewhat questionable as it relates to sanitation and contamination, but the pet food industry is even worse. What that photo shows, unless it is to be destroyed, is gross negligence, at the least, and could be downright dangerous.
    Please keep up the fight, it is only through your vigilance that positive change will come and it is sorely needed in both ours and our animals food.
    The FDA is not a friend of the consumer; so we cannot “trust” them to act on our behalf. Keep the faith, you are doing a magnificent job.

  8. Pacific Sun

    Here’s the table of State Laws that Protect Animals Left in Parked Vehicles: and California is one of them!
    I know that at all of our major breed events if anyone leaves an unattended dog in a vehicle that immediate action will be taken to rescue the dog, at the owner’s full expense! It doesn’t even have to be “hot”, only if the dog sounds as though it could be in distress.
    Everyone who cares about humane treatment should campaign their State Legislators to establish laws to protect all companion animals in danger.

    1. Dianne

      There are two issues though, one is having the laws, the second is to get someone to actually enforce the laws.

  9. Reader

    Without ANY law it’s that much more difficult to confront a guilty pet owner or to request security to get involved. When you can say, by the way what’s going on here is against the law, meaning to mistreat an animal (and here’s the ordinance), then Animal Control has a “responsibility” to act! Or be reported to their authority. If the violation is on private property then security has a responsibility to notify the authorities. Will everyone be responsive? Unfortunately not. But it’s far easier to stand your ground demanding that a citation be issued or the owner called out in a Mall, rather than hearing an owner say, mind your own business because I’m not breaking any laws! Yes, that’s how stupid some owners can be, and no, they shouldn’t be pet owners at all. Witness the ones who think that “crating” around their animal in the back of an uncovered truck in 100 degree heat is better than no containment at all! Yah, right. So the real point here is, everyone should campaign in their State or Community for the best laws to help protect pets (from sheer stupidity). Spread the word about what is unlawful. Period.

  10. Sharon

    I would like to know what was written on the orange paper inside the wrapped palettes of canned food. The front, top palette and the one behind seem awfully disheveled to be waiting for someone to load them on a store-bound truck.

    Could they have been waiting for the dumpster? Have you asked American Nutrition to explain why the food was outside?

    With all the good work you do – and this dog and cat parent (food warrior) is much smarter for it, is it possible you might be jumping to conclusions?

  11. Reader

    In truth that food could’ve been headed anywhere.
    Perhaps it was left outside for a non-profit to pick-up. Or for a homeless shelter to pass out on the streets. Not a good thing of course but better than having starving animals! It could’ve been left for disposal, but that would be giving the company the benefit of the doubt. It could’ve been left there by a disgruntled (or by instruction) distributor unwilling to deliver it to retail. Or a retailer demanding that it be returned to the wholesaler. Unfortunately the cans could’ve also been waiting for incorporation (re-packaging) into brand new cleaned up flats! The very fact that there are so many explanations possible, you’d think their PR department could be “creative” enough to figure out one of them, right???
    Here’s the gist of the matter. If PF companies had a track record of transparency and honesty to begin with, then they would be hopping on the bandwagon of consumer concern. See a picture that doesn’t look right? Identify a problem? Have worried customers?? Well most companies would be happy to look into the matter and find an explanation. What “damns” these PF companies isn’t so much the action or inaction alone, but their absolute silence and therefore utter disrespect for consumers. Whether NB is guilty or innocent at this point, the fact that they can’t or won’t provide an explanation is what should turn every existing customer (or what’s left of them) off of their products. Unfortunately DVP is such a compelling spokesperson it’s nearly impossible to think the worst. …. Just remember though, there are more than 2499+ other brand/formulas out there folks….! Why reward incompetence.

  12. Anne

    It would be helpful if you could include an email address for the company in question, in this case, American Nutrition, in future articles.
    Bless you for your continued work to keep our pets safe.

  13. Bill


    You continue to jump to conclusions, to the detriment of your own credibility…..seriously.

    Instead of contacting the company directly to discuss what you PERCEIVED to be a negative, you assumed the worst decided to air it out in public without facts. You stirred the angry mob without facts.

    A likelihood is that the food was not fit for consumption because of EXCELLENT internal quality control and was not sitting out in the sun for later consumption; rather it was set out for destruction!!!!

    As someone who attempts to gain footing and a voice in the pet food industry, it’s no wonder you find it challenging to gain any traction or credibility amongst those who can help your cause – your cause, I hope, is safe pet food for all, as opposed to stirring up the angry mob at any chance you get. Those two goals are not one in the same.

    Every time you do this, you choose drama over attempts at actual change.

    Get your facts by conducting actual, investigative analysis of a situation rather than jumping to conclusions.

    1. Call the company – share the pictures – get a response.
    2. Good, bad, indifferent…share the facts.

    Advocates for food safety(human/pet) takes pictures all the time, as do packaging consultants, retail executives, and others and submit them to corporate headquarters for review all the time and yes, they get responses, and yes..change occurs because of this sort of thing. In QC situations, the picture sender might find out the company was actually doing the right thing.

    By choosing the path you did(jumping to a conclusion, stirring the angry mob), you lost the opportunity to a) find out the truth b) enlighten the company about a POSSIBLE poor business practice or…. c) the company had proper QA/QC controls in place and had the food out for destruction(JUST WHAT YOU AND YOUR READERS WOULD BE HAPPY ABOUT!!!)

    But no….per usual…you took the angry, emotionally charged route..stirring the readers….missing the opportunity to do the right thing. Too bad.

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      You are entitled to your opinion Bill. And honestly, in many cases I do try to contact the companies. Just yesterday morning I contacted a company regarding a misleading claim they made on their website – and they refused to talk to me. They promised to have a ‘media relations’ representative call me…guess what, that hasn’t happened. This isn’t my first rodeo. But I don’t always call them – you are right. I guess I’m human. I get tired of getting the run around time and time again and trying to give some the benefit of the doubt. Best I can tell you is…you don’t know what I know about this industry.

      1. Kenneth Kalligher

        Susan, I have already commented on this, but the response from Bill just galls me in an uncomfortable way. While some of what he says may be the “nice” thing to do, we all know that no company will give a response that is truthful. It just doesn’t happen. There will be an explanation, but we all know it will lack in common sense if it isn’t just a downright lie. I know first hand how carefully large companies try to manipulate their responses. Bill points out that the product may be of “EXCELLENT” internal quality, but because it was not perfect it was destined for destruction. We all know that is just plain laughable. PLEASE! REALLY? No, Susan, as I said in a previous post, “there would be absolutely no reason for product to be stored as pictured and many reasons why it should not be stored outside.” Further, the notion that you would “alert the company to a possible poor business practice” is, if nothing else, naive. You have proven yourself to be someone who is passionate about our pets, honorable and professional, but most of all driven to improve this industry. Anyone who is reading your site on a regular basis is very aware of your dedication to create change in a responsible manner. I know that all the major pet food manufacturers are well aware of you and unquestionably monitor your site. I would like to suggest that anyone that would make the kind of attack Bill has made is also aware of that, and, maybe, as they always will, criticize the effort rather than join the crusade to invoke change. If Bill really wanted to make a salient point, he would have contacted the company himself and state the truth they supply rather than plant doubt and specious reasoning. Never Give Up!

    2. Reader

      If I remember the POINT of the article, and it’s been 9 months, it was about questioning the ambiguous disposition of the co-packer’s customer’s (NB) product on the property. Did you read ALL the comments, Bill? I do like mine best (see below). However in thinking about this matter further, all we need to know is that the canned food (good or bad) was unsupervised and unaccounted for, period. It was about American Nutrition’s poor quality control at best and a lack of responsibility to its own customer, Natural Balance, at worst. You know what? The people who work in the PFI don’t have to pass any test to perform brain surgery. Meaning, leaving that amount of food on a pallet under those conditions simply required a SIGN. “Trash”, “Pick Up”, “Returned”, “For Delivery” or “Property of ANC, Do Not Touch.” But hey, we’re only PF consumers, right? We have no business observing, much less wondering, what these huge companies are doing, even though they’re responsible for the health and safety of our pets. Now why should it even be Susan’s responsibility, to schlep proof of a consumer’s observation hoping that either company would be interested enough to provide an explanation or more likely some stupid excuse? You either run your business with integrity and control. Or you don’t.

      Original comment: Why reward incompetence … with your business or concern?

      Btw: until someone has done the entire body of work and research that this author has been doing since 2008, I’m not sure sure we’re even in a position to second guess why this article was published.

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