Itchmo Forums for Cats & Dogs Brought to you by Itchmo: Essential news, humor and info for cats, dogs and pet owners.
May 28, 2020, 04:03:55 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
   Home   Help Search Login Register  

Go To Read the latest cat, dog and pet news, pet food recall info, product reviews and more — updated daily.

Pages: [1]
Author Topic: Jessica and Smudge Made Year in Review in RI- WJAR 10  (Read 4289 times)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Hero Member
Posts: 3200

« on: January 01, 2008, 04:29:11 PM »

At 7 pm tonight my local NBC channel is broadcasting the year in review and have gone month by month.  When they got to March they showed part of the story from my two interviews that they covered on March 18 and March 23.  After this showed the two anchors said to each other how they remember that after they aired these stories (they replayed part of the two stories for many different days) they had so many calls to the station wanting to know more information of the brands of food---it was incredible.  And they showed Jessica first and then Smudge---it was absolutely wonderful to see her again up and walking and looking healthier than my recent visions of her!!!!

Even though this was a very small part in this big picture, I'm glad Jess and Smudge apparently did help in those early days!!!

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” — Margaret Mead

United we stand     Divided we fall....
Long-Standing Member
Hero Member
Posts: 862

« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2008, 04:37:08 PM »

That is great news, Carol. If each of us 'Itchmovians' do what little we can, we CAN make the world a safer place for our beloved furbabies.

May '08 bring lots of good changes within the PFI


Long-Standing Member
Hero Member
Posts: 1086

« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2008, 04:55:33 PM »

Carol, that's great news. You did a wonderful job. So did Jessica and Smudge. Everything helps. Thanks so much.
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2008, 05:06:10 PM »


That's a great tribute to you and your kitties.  You guys made a difference, that's for sure. 

Long-Standing Member
Hero Member
Posts: 1086

« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2008, 05:07:13 PM »

That's what I was also going to say- You Did Make A Difference!
Hero Member
Posts: 11143

Trooper,Remy & Fragile

« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2008, 05:46:00 PM »

Carol- Be very proud ! You,Jess & Smudge helped make a difference.

"the world's most inept extortionist"
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2008, 06:34:40 AM »

I am pleased to know that you, Jessica, and Smudge were considered an important story of 2007 and put in this review.  The review will also serve as a reminder to people now again, which is important because so many think that poisoned food is a thing of the past.  Thank you for what you did, and for what you are still doing.
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2008, 06:50:33 AM »

That is very comforting for all of us, Carol.  And yes, you made an important contribution to raising the alarm last March 2007 and many pets now alive can thank you, Jessica and Smudge for that... although Jessica and Smudge paid a very high price indeed.  I hope you get a copy of that year in review.  Hugs, hugs, hugs.
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2008, 07:33:27 AM »

They are also the subject of a new article by ConsumerAffairs:

Cat's Death Blamed on Contaminated Food

Disputed lab tests found acetaminophen in Menu Foods' Special Kitty

"Jessica the cat has died.

" has -- over the past several months -- told you about this Rhode Island feline who waged a medical comeback last year after eating Special Kitty food that a private laboratory said contained acetaminophen.

"Jessica's owners made the difficult decision on December 26 to euthanize their beloved feline.

""She started having her lungs fill with fluid," said owner Carol V. "She couldn't tolerate the thyroid medicine as it put her back in renal failure. ... After fighting 10 months to keep her alive, it is so hard to let her go."

"As we reported earlier, 15-year-old Jessica nearly died last year after eating Special Kitty cat food made by Menu Foods of Canada.

"Carol's second cat, Smudge, also became seriously ill after eating the tainted food.

""To say the food made them sick is an understatement," she said. "It nearly killed them."

"Carol purchased the cat food last February – one month before Menu Foods recalled more than 60 million containers of contaminated pet food. The recall included the flavors of Special Kitty food that Jessica and Smudge ate.

"The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) discovered the wheat gluten and rice protein concentrate imported from China -- and used to make the food -- contained the chemicals melamine and cyanuric acid.

"Melamine is used to make plastic. Cyanuric acid is used to chlorinate pools. Neither is allowed in pet food.

"Thousands of dogs and cats nationwide suffered kidney problems or died after eating the tainted pet food.

"Veterinarians now blame those deaths on the combination of melamine and cyanuric acid in the pet food. They said those chemicals can combine and form crystals in the animals' bodies. And the crystals can impair the animals' kidney function.

""Either one of those chemicals alone wouldn't cause these (deaths)," said Dr. Barbara Powers, immediate past president of the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians (AAVLD) and director of Colorado State University's Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. "It has to be the combination of the two . . . it's not melamine alone."

No cyanuric acid

"But laboratory tests on the Special Kitty food Carol fed her cats did not detect cyanuric acid.

"Tests conducted by ExperTox Analytical Laboratories discovered melamine and the pain killer acetaminophen in the food.

"ExperTox discovered the toxins in a composite of three flavors of Special Kitty food: Special Kitty with beef and gravy, Special Kitty mixed grill in gravy, and Special Kitty with turkey & giblets in gravy.

"Menu Foods disputed ExperTox's findings and referred to its results as a "recycled claim" of acetaminophen in its pet food.

"But after our story about ExperTox's findings on Carol's cat food, the company agreed to test samples of Special Kitty specifically for the pain killer.

"Menu hired the California Health and Food Safety Laboratory at the University of California Davis to conduct those test. It then claimed no acetaminophen was found. "...recent tests by UC Davis found no traces of acetaminophen," the company wrote.

"Menu Foods, however, did not release copies of the lab's findings. "Menu Foods has provided a summary of the findings on its website," the company told us.

Right samples?

"But how did Menu Foods, which did not contact Carol about her lab results, know which samples of Special Kitty to test?

""The California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory at the University of California Davis ("UC Davis") tested products with date and time codes in close proximity to those identified in the ExperTox (report) - ensuring the products tested by UC Davis were manufactured and filled from the same ingredient sources as those identified in the ExperTox report," the company said.

""The ExperTox analysis was a composite of three different products manufactured on three different days. UC Davis' analysis was conducted on the individual products of the ExperTox composite analysis."

"Menu Foods added: "Acetaminophen was non-detectable in all three samples."

"Carol, however, isn't swayed by Menu's test results.

""I don't trust them and I think they're hiding something," she said.

"She's convinced the acetaminophen ExperTox found in her Special Kitty food played a role in her cats' illnesses – and in Jessica's death.

""That company poisoned my animals and they have the gall to refer to my lab results as a 'recycled claim,'" she told us. "That's a slap in the face. This company made money off my animals for years and now they've poisoned my pets. How dare they belittle them ... it's so insulting."

Toxic to cats

"Veterinarians say acetaminophen can be toxic to cats. Carol agrees – and says her cats are proof of the pain killer's damaging effects on felines.

""Finding the acetaminophen in there makes perfect sense after seeing what they've gone through," the veteran X-ray technician told us. "I really thought both of them were going to die."

"The first signs of problems surfaced last February when Carol detected a strange odor on Jessica's breath.

""It smelled uremic, like a kidney dialysis patient," Carol recalled. "We also noticed that Jessica was outside drinking water from a melting puddle. I remember commenting that we'd never seen either cat drink before. But Jessica was so desperate for water that she was drinking from a puddle outside.

""And then we noticed that she couldn't stand on her own."

"Carol rushed the cat to the family's veterinarian. "He did a urinalysis and discovered her kidneys were failing," Carol said. "We thought we would have to euthanize her.

""But our vet said that because Jessica she'd seemed fine the day before, he wanted to presume this was something he could treat."

"For the next few days, Jessica received fluids, potassium supplements, the heartburn medicine Pepcid AC, and an antibiotic.

""We decided that if this didn't work…if she was suffering…we wouldn't continue with the treatment," Carol said. But Jessica's condition slowly improved.

""Her back legs were getting stronger and she seemed to be getting better. So we continued giving her more fluids and sticking with this same treatment program."

"Carol's vet also emphasized the importance of getting Jessica to eat.

""So I tried to force-feed her the Special Kitty food," Carol said, adding this occurred a few weeks before Menu Foods announced its recall. "Jessica refused. I even poured tuna fish oil on the Special Kitty food to entice her to eat, but she walked away."

"Smudge, however, continued to gobble up the Special Kitty food.

"And on March 12, 2007, -- four days before Menu Foods announced its recall – Smudge suddenly became seriously ill.

""She could hardly stand up, she was staggering, and her breath smelled foul," Carol said of her Calico cat. "I thought that she had whatever Jessica had…that maybe it was a virus."

"But Carol's vet discovered another -- much more serious -- problem. Smudge was in renal failure.

""He said she was much worse than Jessica was and he didn't think that she'd last through the day," Carol said. "He said it looked like she'd gotten into some antifreeze. But he did a test and that proved it wasn't antifreeze poisoning."

"The family took aggressive measures to save the 13-year-old cat. They authorized their vet to follow the same protocol he used to treat Jessica. Slowly, Smudge started to improve.

""Our vet said he didn't know what was going on with Smudge," Carol said. "He was baffled. And I think I asked him if it could be something we were feeding the cats."

Suspicions confirmed

"Carol's suspicious were confirmed a few days later.

""I was watching the news and heard about Menu Foods' recall and that the food was causing renal failure in pets."

"Carol said she immediately contacted Menu Foods, but the company didn't respond.

""All Menu Foods was publicly telling pet owners to do was save their receipts. But this wasn't about money. It was about saving our pets and nothing was happening."

"Carol also contacted the FDA -- several times.

""I offered to give the FDA my cats' food, but they said they didn't want it," said Carol, who still has several unopened pouches of Special Kitty food in her freezer. "I told them I have the food that's on the recall list and I also have two really sick cats. I begged and pleaded them to test my food, but they didn't want it."

"Carol contacted the FDA again -- after receiving ExperTox's results on the Special Kitty food.

"FDA officials, she said, initially seemed interested. But they have not contacted her in months and never asked her to send any samples of her Special Kitty food for testing.

""This whole experience has been so frustrating. It's like being on a merry-go-round and I keep going to back to square one. And all I really wanted was for someone to test my cats' food."

New organization

"A new organization called The Pet Food Products Safety Alliance answered Carol's plea.

"That organization -- created to raise public awareness of pet food safety issues -- paid ExperTox to test Carol's cat food.

"The lab's results added to the growing list of pet foods that have recently tested positive for acetaminophen, including:

• About a half-dozen samples of pet food tested last May. ExperTox did not disclose the brands of those foods because of a confidentiality agreement. But cat owner Don Earl confirmed that two of those samples were Menu Foods' Pet Pride "Turkey and Giblets Dinner" and Pet Pride "Mixed Grill he sent to the lab for analysis after his cat died. Menu Foods and the FDA disputed ExperTox's findings. But learned that federal agency could not confirm it tested the same lots and brands in which ExperTox detected the pain medication;

• A sample of pet food -- identified as CANIDAE dog food. ExperTox, however, said the sample arrived in a Ziploc bag and it could not confirm the pet food was a CANIDAE product. The lab's customer, who was not identified because of a confidentiality agreement, listed the sample as CANIDAE pet food on ExperTox's forms. CANIDAE denied its products contain acetaminophen, but said it would test samples of its food for the painkiller.

"Carol said ExperTox's findings on her Special Kitty food demand further investigation.

""I know some people have criticized ExperTox, but I trust them. I know how hard it is for a lab to stay accredited. I don't think the FDA can continue to turn its head on acetaminophen."

"An FDA spokeswoman, however, said the agency "does not comment on pending legislation, litigation, or citizen petitions."

"Menu Foods said it cannot contact Carol because of a federal court order issued last May.

""This court order prohibits Menu Foods from contacting the consumer regarding the pet food she had tested and the test results she obtained, UC Davis' test results, any pet food in her possession, and any other information related to her claim," the company wrote.

"Menu Foods did not say what court had issued the order. Carol said she has not filed a claim -- or taken any legal action -- against the pet food maker.

"In the meantime, she isn't giving up her search for answers to her cats' illnesses -- and Jessica's death.

"Carol recently sent samples of the Special Kitty food to another laboratory for analysis – specifically for acetaminophen.

"While she waits for those results, she continues to nurse her other cat, Smudge, back to health.

""Smudge just started eating on her own at the end of June," Carol said. "We were feeding her in a syringe for months. We were determined that if she survived this in the beginning, she had a right to make a full recovery.

""I don't want something like this to happen again," she added. "The FDA cannot dismiss this as they have with all the other tests (that detected) acetaminophen.""
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2008, 11:49:30 AM »

For you conscientious heart on behalf of Jessica and Smudge, thank you, Carol.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2008, 07:29:43 PM by 3catkidneyfailure » Logged
Sr. Member
Posts: 416


« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2008, 12:24:30 PM »

Carol, what a journey you have been thru this last year.  My heart breaks for you, for Jessica and for Smudge.  You have in the midst of this made such a tremendous difference by getting the word out to a larger audience and in a personal way that puts names and faces to the truth.  Thank you for doing this, and I hope it brings some measure of comfort to know that you made a very big contribution to what I think is the beginning of a turn around in the way consumers look at the PFI.  Many furkids will benefit from what you have done. 
~Carol (the other one)

Pages: [1]
Jump to:  

Copyright 2007 Read the latest cat, dog and pet news, pet food recall info, product reviews and more — updated daily.
Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines | Sitemap