Maria is determined to be heard. Maria’s cat Princess died, but her determination to change the future for other pets continues on.
At 11 years old – Maria’s cat Princess was overweight. In 2013 her veterinarian prescribed Royal Canin Weight Loss Management kibble giving instructions to ONLY feed this food to Princess. Over the next year, following the exact directions of her veterinarian – Princess continued to gain weight.
In 2014 Princess was diagnosed with Type 2 Feline Diabetes…even though Princess was fed a diet prescribed by her veterinarian.
The next ‘treatment’ was Hills m/d prescription food – wet and dry formulas. And over the next two years – Princess was seen by 23 different veterinarians. She went through many, many treatments and over these two years was diagnosed with…
- Feline Obesity (fatty lumps)
- Fatty Liver Disease
- Feline Diabetes (type 2)
- Periodontal Disease (all teeth removed over 2 x dental procedures)
- Jaw Cancer
- Feeding Tube permanently inserted into her neck to get around the jaw cancer.
After the diabetes diagnosis…every single veterinarian she went to recommended Hills m/d diet and only Hills m/d diet. After six months on the Hills prescription diet, Princess’s health continued to deteriorate.
By September 2015, Maria took matters into her own hands. She had been researching real food for Princess, she put her on a raw meat diet. Within six months Princess lost over 3 pounds and her diabetes began to stabilize. Unfortunately, the multiple illnesses that Princess suffered from were too much to overcome. Princess passed over Rainbow Bridge in April of 2016.
In 2016 Maria filed a complaint with the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA). The AVA basically dismissed Maria – but the veterinary clinic that was mentioned in her complaint letter issued a life-time ban on treating any of Maria’s future pets.
Not discouraged, Maria took her message to the Australian Veterinary Association annual convention. On day 1 of the AVA convention she arrived at 6 AM and set up a small table just inside the conference hall. She brought with her copies of the film Pet Fooled, Dr. Tom Lonsdale’s book Raw Meaty Bones, her t-shirt she would wear on day 2, a bag of sugar, and of course she brought a picture of Princess…
The morning breakfast at the AVA convention was sponsored by Mars Royal Canin pet food. Maria came dressed for the occasion…(she’s wearing a wig in this image – as many of the AVA members know her)…
For one hour, Maria held a 4kg bag of raw sugar over her head “so that everybody could see the sugar in pet food as they walked into the breakfast room.”
Maria had conversation with several veterinarians, many agreed with her position regarding high sugar content in dry pet food. But…the Australian Veterinary Association was not happy she was there.
“Security asked me several times to leave the building…but I didn’t.”
“The AVA organizers rallied up against me….and asked me several times to leave the building…but I didn’t.”
The police were called in and Maria was escorted from the building. But interestingly enough, the police officers – in light of the recent illnesses and death of several police dogs linked to Mars Advance Dermocare – the police officers that where asked to remove Maria from the building agreed with her position; dogs should eat fresh, real food.
Fully aware there was the potential that she could go to jail, Maria returned to the conference at 6 AM on day two. Day two of the Australian Veterinary Association conference began with a breakfast meeting from Hill’s pet food. Maria came dressed for this occasion too (no wig for day two). Maria set up her table inside the convention center…
But security guards removed her table from inside the convention center to outside on the sidewalk…
The local ABC television station was there to film Maria, and ABC Radio Brisbane was there interviewing her. Only one veterinarian spoke with Maria on day two.
But…they all saw her. All of the Australian Veterinary Association members saw her table, saw her t-shirt, and saw her bag of sugar. They saw her picture of Princess. And while they might not remember all of the topics discussed at the 2018 AVA convention, they WILL remember Maria.
Princess must be so proud of you Maria. Pet owners around the world stand with you. Thank you for your bravery, and your determination.
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
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