Pet Food Recalls – Lies, rat poison, and heartbreak

The evening news keeps reporting only 10 deaths, but common sense would tell you that the number is sadly much higher. Go onto any forum or blog and you will quickly find heartbreaking stories of people losing their beloved pets simply because they fed them food from a can or pouch.

The more that comes out about this situation, the more horrible it becomes. Rat poison? Tainted wheat? or whatever has led to the unprecendented recall of at least 95 different brands of dog and cat food – there’s no explanation or excuse good enough.It would appear that MenuFoods may have known as early as last December that they had a problem. While they quietly tested and found there was indeed a problem, more of our pets were falling sick and dying. That number of reported deaths would appear to correspond to the number of animals they are admitting died in their own labs.

We lost our 16 year old cat last November. She was a beautiful pound baby and while she was suffering from the ailments that come with age, she too exhibited the symptoms that are being discussed. While in our case, we’ll never know for sure – at least she lived a long and hopefully happy life with us.

As a family, our hearts go out to those of you struggling with the life and death decisions of how far to take medical treatments and when to make that final loving decision none of us wants to make, but all know are often part of sharing our lives with cats and dogs.

Were our cat still making her early morning demands for her breakfast and sitting on our feet while we cooked our dinner to make sure she got hers too, we would be looking for alternatives. We’ve always wondered what exactly is in those cans. Some of the newer gourmet foods have identifiable ingredients like shrimp, peas, carrots, and rice; while many more have what appears to be some sort of meat that has been shaped, flaked and otherwise transformed from its original form into what could only be called mystery meat.

Wishing there was something I could do to help those of you struggling to find something or other to feed your pets that may or may not be on “The List”; I got the opportunity to purchase a collection of pet food recipes. Having a bit of fun with naming the site, but not forgetting the seriousness of the current recall – I called the site No Cans.

NoCans offers a growing list of recipes and other information for pet owners looking to find alternatives to mystery meat. I researched what food items are not healthy for cats and dogs and have included that list on a page called Foods Unsafe For Cats & Dogs. I combined what I found with what a lifetime of pet ownership has taught me and culled the list of recipes to those that seemed to offer the safest, easiest ingredients to obtain (buffalo and kangaroo sadly didn’t make that list), and affordable (buffalo again got the axe along with some recipes requiring expensive spices which may not be good for pets anyway).

If this was some sort of tragic accident, I truly hope MenuFoods makes good on their promise to pay for victim’s vet bills. If this was done with malace and forethought, I hope there is a most horrible, dark corner of hell waiting for those people and perhaps they should be fed the tainted food until they too expire.

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