Accidents and Miracles

A pet is euthanized by injection but doesn’t die.  This happens.  I don’t know how often but sometimes it makes the news.

This Rottweiler was non-euthanized at a veterinary clinic.  The owner said he couldn’t bring himself to have the dog put to sleep a second time.

A dog named Gabby was non-euthanized at a shelter in Indiana, stuffed in a barrel full of dead dogs and placed in a freezer for 4 days.  After Gabby was found alive, the shelter ordered her to be killed again but an ACO refused and removed her from the shelter.  That same ACO also reported to the media that Gabby was not the first non-euthanasia at the shelter.

Robeson Co Animal Shelter in NC was reportedly sending non-euthanized pets to the landfill but the contracted killing vet would re-kill any survivors.

This week, a story was widely circulated about a non-euthanized puppy from a  litter of 5 killed at a shelter in Oklahoma.  The surviving pup, named Wall-E, is 3 months old and now has hundreds of potential adopters inquiring about him.  The many stories about Wall-E have centered around his miraculous survival.  And while I am thrilled that Wall-E is alive, I want to focus on a few other points in the story which seem to have been largely overlooked.

Per a vet, “[t]he puppies were selected to be euthanized because of illness, as well as overcrowding due to limited shelter space”.  And yet, the ACO who found Wall-E walking around the trash bin that contained his dead littermates describes the discovery with the words, “He was just as healthy as could be”.  On a webpage created for Wall-E, it says, “He is a delightful Pup, about 3 months old, is surprisingly healthy except for a heavy infestation of Hookworm for which he is undergoing treatment”.  So let’s be clear here.  Wall-E was not medically hopeless and suffering and the notion that he was “selected to be euthanized because of illness” is obviously false.  It makes me wonder if the 4 littermates were just like Wall-E.

Hookworm infestation is not uncommon for stray puppies.  Mulder was diagnosed as having hooks when she came to us.  I gave her some medicine.  All better.  If she had been taken to this shelter though, it sounds like they would have just killed her.

A Petfinder posting for Wall-E says “We have NEVER had the problem (or BLESSING) of more than one family wishing to adopt a dog.  Most of our dogs do not get this chance or opportunity even ONCE.”  Well first off, I bet Wall-E’s four littermates would have been snatched up right quick by all these folks reaching out to help Wall-E.  Gee, too bad you killed them all.  Secondly, if “most” of your dogs do not get a chance to be adopted, maybe it’s time for some changes, ya think?

Perhaps the idea of a facility which kills entire litters of treatable puppies suddenly becoming a no kill shelter seems far fetched.  On the other hand, miracles do happen – and they appear to be happening at this shelter right now.  Hundreds of adopters applying, puppies coming back to life – why not seize the opportunity to put in the work to make saving all the healthy/treatable pets there an everyday occurrence?  This shelter may have accidentally, miraculously, been given a unique opportunity for lifesaving.  Will they take it?

36 thoughts on “Accidents and Miracles

  1. Re time for some changes — yep. As in now. Right now. Not next week, not next month. In a meeting agency director could have with staff today. About change. In a directive from agency director which could put in motion multiple regularly scheduled off site adoption events. At Petco, Trader Joes, Earth Fare, local Mom and Pop pet stores, parking lots of local day care and boarding facilities, a museum with a large grassy expanse in the front or back — because they’d be oh so happy to let you use same on a Saturday or Sunday. Etc., etc., etc. I’m thinking we need to get some right brain thinkers at NACA on board as well. This is about the nation. Our nation. The success stories of muni shelters who have embraced No Kill are there. We’ve read them. Have the people in a position to effect change read them?

  2. Perhaps a personal phone call from Nathan and some AC Directors at other No-Kills could encourage this shelter’s directorate to institute the changes? Positive reinforcement works with the pups, why not with people too?

    1. Okay, but sometimes Nathan isn’t so much positive with his reinforcement…(Take Back the Power and all of that.)

  3. Thank you for bringing this issue to the forefront.

    Many years ago we got news that the toxins in pet food (namely sodium pentobarbital) were reducing pets’ sensitivity to euthanizing agents, causing apparent “re-animations” as well as increasing necessity to inject pets with additional doses of the drugs after the initial injection fails to do the job.

    I kind of passed this information off as anecdotal, because while I could find MANY veterinarians who claimed it to be true, I could not find a single piece of true evidence (such as an actual study or properly analyzed survey of veterinarians).

    Then I was a witness to one of these re-animations. A dear friend worked at a vet clinic close to the store I worked in at the time, and part of her job involved coming in before the clinic opened to clean the clinic and kennels, and feed/medicate the animals.

    The night before, they had euthanized a German Shepherd. The freezer was full and the cremation company was coming the very next day so they just placed the dog in a bag, as usual, and then left him in front of the freezer. In the morning my friend arrived at work only to be TERRIFIED by the apparent zombie dog running around the clinic. She called me after she couldn’t get ahold of the vet and I explained to her what I had read and observed. We both agonized over the vet’s decision to euthanize the dog upon his arrival at work and to NOT inform the dog’s owners. We also agonized over the idea that this could be going on quite frequently – that dogs and cats MAY be surviving the euthanasia process only to freeze/suffocate to death in their bags in the freezer.

    Since then we have euthanized three pets – in fact, the only three pets I have personally euthanized. They were handled by three different vets from two different clinics several years apart. Two of the three (one from each clinic) required additional injections after the first one was insufficient. The third time I convinced the vet to mark the dog’s weight down at a higher number so that we could legally use additional solution right off the bat. After reading my file and former experience, he agreed and the dog was euthanized peacefully.

    Interestingly, the last clinic that I worked at made it a practice to record a higher weight at a euthanasia to ensure that the job was done properly the first time. At the time I found it odd, but certainly could see nothing wrong with being extra careful. Now I am convinced that the clinic head did this because she had witnessed these “re-animations” in the past and was proactively addressing the issue when the CVMA would not (aside from their study of pentobarbital in pet foods in 1999).

    I can’t say what the cause of this phenomenon is – but I can say that given how many times I have witnessed it, read about it, heard second hand about it, that it is certainly much more common than the veterinary community is willing to admit – and it NEEDS to be addressed by their governing bodies.

    1. WOW. Is THAT a message from the universe or what?!
      Our toxic lifestyle means that our beloved pets are evolving to cope within our disposable mentality.

      Every old dog I’ve had euthanized was ready to go (and halfway there already) the one young foster dog (aggressive and unpredictable) that was euthanized by Animal Control went peacefully too. I should check the paperwork and see what dosages they used.

      1. Ah, but LynnO, as I have discovered witnessing the euthanasia itself is not enough. The only way to know for sure is if you personally handled the disposal of the body.

        I assure you that the owners of the aforementioned German Shepherd believe to this day that their beloved pet was euthanized peacefully and completely the first time as well.

        Scary, scary, scary thought.

      2. KDH – We have put our pets to sleep at the vet’s office and then driven them home for burial. We’ve never waited overnight to bury them. Now I’m pondering the possible implications of that.

      3. YesBiscuit – it’s likely that you would have noticed something awry.

        Think of the amount of time involved – gathering yourself afterward, driving home, preparing, actually doing the burying…

        All of this done (presumably) with the animal nearby.

        The problem lies in the fact that the immediate response by vets and techs is body bag + freezer. The moment you leave your pet, he or she is bagged and stored immediately.

        Even your actions of re-loading the dog/cat into the car, etc, I’m sure you would have noticed if things were not 100%.

        All three times we euthanized a pet we had them cremated with ashes returned to us for the mantle (some will be then cremated along with myself, some with my husband). We live in the city and move fairly frequently… or at least we’re definitely in a house we’re not staying in forever, and so burial is really not possible without a two hour drive to our friend’s farm.

        Most pet owners do NOT take their pets home with them, even in rural areas (at least, where I live). So, you’re one step ahead of most people.

        When we have a pet euthanized now, we make sure that we go during off-hours (my vet is open 24/7) so that we can spend ample time with the body. Once I am satisfied we can go home, although I do accept that I’m running a bit of a risk. The additional pentobarbital we insist on helps to ease that concern, although it never goes away entirely.

      4. OK well the stories all seem to have the “overnight” theme in common so I wasn’t sure how long it would be before anything was noticeable. We do keep the remains nearby while Billy digs the hole and we allow any dog who wants to sniff the body to do so. So there is some time.

    2. You would think that vets (and anyone who is qualified to euthanize) would have to be made aware of that situation and adjust dosages just for that reason….

      Do they not require continuing education for those who are qualified to euthanize? I know my vet attends classes regularly….aren’t they all required to do the same?

      1. Sure, those of us with an ounce of common sense see this as a problem…

        However, in order to recommend a change in dosage they would also have to accept that either a) they have been under dosing this product for DECADES or b) there is a REASON that animals are becoming more resistant to these compounds.

        Admittedly, this is the first case I have ever personally heard about that involved a puppy.

        On a much different note, I am so sorry to hear about your dear kitty. My two are about 13 and 16 (estimated) and although they too act like cats less than half their age, I worry all the time that their age will catch up to them when I least expect it. It sounds like she had a wonderful life and was well loved to the end.

      2. I guess my problem is that if sodium pentobarbital is found in their diets – it would stand to reason that they would develop a resistence to it…you would think that given that info it would be enough to admit it *could* be a problem. Similar to the doctors who talk about kids becoming resistent to antibiotics. So this is either a cases of them not knowing (or lacking a scientifitc study to prove it) and the failure to address it as an issue. To me neither is acceptable. I mean, if there hasn’t been a scientific study on this – then it obviously needs to be done. Regardless – I think it would be safe to say that there is something wrong to have so many cases of animals that were thought to be dead, but actually not. So something needs to be done about it. I don’t care if someone has to stnad up and say “Opps – we’ve been screwing up and now we’ll be changing a, b, & c to address the issue so that it does not happen again.” I woul dhave more respect for someone to do that other than continue to act as if it isn’t a problem. Robeson (in particular) has had this happen a few times in the past…the garbage guys found animals wandering around alive at the dump site.

        And thank you for the kind words about my kitty (Sam) she was a wonderful cat…I have another one that is 12 and she’s a trooper – blind in one eye, has gone completely deaf, and had a stroke but it was only mild so while she now has balance issue she can move around well, but I have already prepared myself for her to go – she seemed to be going down hill for so long…but with the last foster kitten I took in I saw her perk up and become much more active, to the point that she is playing again! Cats are definitely funny creatures…I can’t imagine a world without them!

      3. I agree with you entirely. Unfortunately, your scenario uses that “not-so-common” common sense we’re always talking about.

        You see, they can’t admit that there’s an issue with the food because they have never admitted that it was even a possibility. In fact, when the 1999 study was published (in 2001, I believe) regarding pentobarbital levels in pet foods they confirmed that the correlation was ingredients such as “meat and bone meal” and “animal fat” that are likely to contain rendered animals of all walks of life. They then went on to state the impossibility that the levels found in the foods were affecting pets’ resistance to these drugs.

        Of course, no one really knows because no studies have been done (to my knowledge) regarding the potential long term effects of an animal eating these products day in and day out – or what that passes on to the fetus, which seems to be occurring as well if the food is in fact to blame.

        Not only would they have to admit that they failed to study the long term effects of a carcinogen that was present in pet food, they would also have to admit:

        – long term exposure to low levels of these drugs may be affecting resistance
        – long term exposure to low levels of these drugs may be affecting the animals in myriad other ways
        – these drugs are therefore not safe in pet foods at any level
        – therefore products containing “meat and bone meal” or “animal fat” should not be allowed on the market

        This last one is, I think, the real issue at hand.

        Even addressing this issue (frankly, I was stunned that the CVMA tested foods for pentobarbital, and particularly that they released the findings) would shine a light on pet food manufacturers… and we all know how deep THAT relationship goes, don’t we?

        Now, obviously I can’t prove that this is what is going on, but one has to admit that the AVMA and the CVMA have utterly ignored this issue of pentobarbital ineffectiveness (despite the fact that it was featured in one of the most talked about and best selling books about pet food, “Food Pets Die For” by Ann Martin) which seems particularly suspicious since the “#1 veterinary recommended food” in the US and Canada (Science Diet) regularly uses “Animal Fat” as an ingredient in both their retail and veterinary prescription lines. Royal Canin doesn’t appear to, although several of the brands their parent company owns rely on both target ingredients.

        I guess what I’m saying is, we’ll never even know if the problem really exists – or why it exists – as long as these companies continue to hold power over the veterinary community. And let me say it again – I have no direct evidence of this, aside from an educated opinion based on years of watching the interaction between PFCs and Veterinary Associations.

  4. Right now all I can think of – is what a waste. Two days ago, my cat of 18 yrs (who still acted like she was 6) suffered a stroke so bad that her back end was completely paralyzed. The decision was made to put her to sleep because her quality of life wasn’t going to be good and she was unable to move around – go to the bathroom, get to her food bowls, etc.

    This isn’t the first time I’ve read a story about shelters killing animals and it not working. Everytime it ends up that the animal was actually healthy and didn’t NEED to be killed. After losing my beloved kitty – to read these stories just makes me sick. Especially, when it’s botched and doesn’t work the first time and they do it AGAIN. If it were me I’d take it as a sign that maybe I shouldn’t be killing that particular animal – or ANY for that matter!

  5. My guess is going to be No, they won’t take the opportunity to learn how to stop killing.

    BTW: At Houston’s animal control facility i.e. BARC the “Animal Care Technician’s” i.e. kennel attendants are required to “euthanize” animals. So, the people killing do not have to be vets or have any medical training whatsoever. The KAs just take a “euthanization class” and voila. Also, in Texas people are required to “euthanize” animals in order to take the class… some classes provide the animals for “practice” and some let you bring your own. Nice, huh?

    1. NOT nice…tell me, WHO would apply for this job?! I just don’t get it. What does a BARC *Animal Care Technician* get paid?
      Does BARC donate loaner victims to be used as pin cushions for this bizarre training?
      And do KA’s also have to take courses on compassion fatigue?

      1. You got me who would apply. The job description is so ridiculous. It talks about providing “humane” care for the animals but then oh yea, after you provided humane care, you are responsible for killing them. What kind of person could reconcile this in their minds?

        But apparently people do apply, because KAs work there. According to a recent job posting, it pays $842-$1,257 bi-weekly.

        I don’t know where they get the “practice” animals. Don’t know if the instructors supply them or if they bring their own.

        The sheltering world in Houston is such a sick, twisted world.

    2. I was recently reading a book that was written by a group that spent a week at a shelter in CA and they said in the book that some AC facilities have a contract where they sell the animals to labs….I’ll have to find the book, I think it’s called “One at a Time” – but anyways….it really bothered me that they are able to take animals that at one point where obviously someone’s pet and use it in lab testing! Could be that’s another way they get the animals to “practice” on. Either way – the thought makes me sick to my stomach!

      1. Erica,

        I have that book One day at a time-one week in an american animal shelter. Yes, completely heartbreaking. But, we can do better. People suck-like the one who wouldn;t pay 20 bucks for her dog and they killed it, but she said he was a great dog. Alot of good people in there too. The shelters needs to be accountable far more than they have been.

      2. I completely agree Tonya – shelter DO need to be more accountable than they have been. Which is part of the reason why I get so frustrated when HSUS pushes for new laws, and yet NO shelters fall under the same laws that they want breeders and pet owners to follow. It leaves the shelter with no checks and balances – and with all the things we keep hearing about some of these facilities is sickening. There needs to be laws on the books that pertain to shelters and the shelters should have to follow them. Period. Why should they be able to get away with some of the stuff they do – while they are accusing rescuers of being hoarders and breeders as puppy mills…yet the laws allow our shelters the freedom to basically do as they please. Very sad, especially with this recent event.

        Bett – You are right it is legal in many communities, which I also have an issue with. HSUS is against animals being used in labs, yet they know this practice exists and have done nothing to change it to protect these animals.

      3. Many years ago, I worked briefly at a primate research facility. My boss told me that there were dogs that were used for research by the university too (I never saw them, I only worked with the monkeys). I remember he said that activists had made a fuss over shelter dogs being sent to the research lab and so that practice was ended. After that, all dogs were obtained from a private breeder. Nobody made a fuss over that.

      4. So it’s ok to test on dogs from a breeder, but not out of a shelter? WHAT?!!?

        You would think the activists would raise just as much of a stink about that as shelter pets…but then again maybe the rights activists think that removing the dogs from breeder is better. You know – cut down on the supply and the breeder go out of business kind of crap that they would think. Sadly – it shouldn’t matter where the animals come from – if they are against animal use in research then it should be all or none. Crazy I tell ya!

      5. Erica, I think it’s probably because far few people know about it. It took awhile before people in Houston realized that one/some of the shelters were selling to research labs and put a stop to it. And those were public entities.

        Breeders would be private individuals who don’t fall under the same Freedome of Information/public information acts. It is really hard to find and prove this information. The breeder would “supposedly” have to have a USDA license to sell to research labs, but getting documents to prove the sales is something else entirely.

        Believe me, I’ve been dealing with a similar situation for several months.

  6. @ KDH

    There’s a simply solution to the pet food problem. Don’t feed your dog (or cat) junk from the grocery store. Feed your dog brands that use human grade ingredients, and that do not contain the words “corn, bone meal, animal by-products” or any type of gluten. I understand that the premium foods are more expensive. If a person has a membership to Costco, they can buy Kirkland brand foods, those are pretty good quality and sold at a decent price.

    My dog is fed raw, and she is healthier for it! (Plus her poops are much less gross – they contain a lot of calcium from the bone, so turn white and dissipate!)

    1. Yes, please look into feeding your pets RAW food. It doesn’t have to be more expensive. In fact it can cheaper than the kibble you are now feeding. There is a lot of good info about it online — check into it.

      And Cristy is right about the dog poop – much less gross — smaller, less smell, dries white.

      Love your pet? Feed them better and put less money into the huge pet food companies’ pockets.

      1. Really? After I provided all of that information you both think I’m feeding my dogs… Pedigree?

        We’ve been raw feeders for over 13 years now, and currently my three girls get a raw for dinner (free range organic) beef, bison or lamb with breakfast usually being some form of Champion Pet Foods kibble (Orijen or Acana – the fave around here is the Regional Red) all grain free, mixed with some home made dog stew, which generally consists of whatever we had for dinner the night before.

        They eat better than I do.

        The reason that I don’t end my comments with “you should be feeding x, y, z” is because after 5 years involved in retail pet food (not currently) I am well aware that most people have a very negative reaction to reading a suggestion they didn’t ask for.

        Much better, I think, to lay out the issues (or potential issues, as the case may be) and allow people to come to it themselves. People are far more convinced when they convince themselves.

        Oh, and please don’t end with “Love Your Pet?” when addressing myself or ANYONE on this blog. We ALL love our pets. Just because someone loves their pets and believes that Dog Chow is a great product or Ol’ Roy is all they can afford, they don’t love their pet any less than you do.

        What a silly thing to say.

  7. Hate to sound cynical but don’t believe there’s much hope for immediate change at the “shelter” that was in such a hurry to get rid of Wall-E and his littermates.

    I wonder if the vet just forgot to give little Wall-E the second shot? It’s hard to kill a healthy puppy. Every cell in their body is geared up to LIVE! Anyhow, after he was found the next morning and sent back to the vet, Wall-E didn’t return to the shelter. A member of our rescue forum, Marcia Machtiger, from Pittsburgh, arranged to board him at the vet for a week while she and the vet tech sorted through thousands of e-mail messages from possible adopters. They were afraid to let him go back to the shelter even for 1 more night–which says a lot about that place. Hope his appearance on GMA causes a little uptick in adoptions at shelters everywhere!

  8. I do agree with KDH in that some people that is what they can afford and they are trying to keep their pets. Especially people on fixed incomes and of course people don’t like suggestions they didn’t ask for. PAWS certainly did not.

    1. While I do agree with you – I struggle at times to feed my pets, and I do purchase Meijer brand dog food – I have found it comparable to some other brands – the dogs like it, but I do know in my mind that the raw diet is better health-wise and would love to do it, but until we’re in a position where we can afford it (or can hunt) I have no other choice but to feed regular dog food.

      On the other hand – if not for other people telling me about the raw diet I would’ve never known that there are people that do actually feed their dogs this way. My vet pushes Science Diet (as that’s the only food they carry I can’t help but think they’re getting some sort of kick back from it), but they do also have special canned food (can’t remember the name – KD?). Anyways – if it wasn’t for someone talking about the raw diet and teaching me about it through a conversation I would’ve never known about the health benefits and all.

      So while many people maybe can’t afford it, or would take offense at the suggestion that they feed their dogs that way – if it isn’t talked about at all then nobody has the chance to learn more about it to see if it’s right for them. I just suggest that when discussing it don’t act like you are superior to them because you feed raw and they don’t. When you make people feel bad about themselves (ie they can’t feed their dog the right way) that’s when they shut down. I think throughout this thread as the diet has been brought up it’s been discussed in a manner that doesn’t make anyone feel bad that they can’t do it – while pushing the benefits of doing it – everyone has laid the groundwork for others to research their dogs diet and possibly make changes. And I thank you ALL for doing so in the manner you did.

      1. First of all, Meijer is exactly the type of food we were discussing. Products that contain ingredients such as “Meat By-Products” are the same products that test positive for Pentobarbital.

        And I agree (and have stated) that education is the key. What I disagree with is that you’re either feeding crap or you’re feeding raw. The worst dogs I have ever seen were raw fed dogs. Some of the best dogs I have ever seen were raw fed dogs. To do it economically, one has to truly be educated regarding your pets’ nutritional requirements. Commercial products are available, but tend to be prohibitively expensive to those of us with multiple dogs or large dogs – or multiple large dogs!

        As for how the matter was brought up, I disagree with your perception that it was done so without superiority. When someone writes “Love your pet? Feed them better and put less money into the huge pet food companies’ pockets.” it’s pretty clear what the judgment is there.

        When someone who doesn’t feed raw is told that if they REALLY loved their pet they would be doing so, it’s no longer about education. What I tell people is if they REALLY love their pet they will investigate the ingredients of their pets’ food as well as the companies that produce them – and make their own decision.

        Sadly, I have heard that from only a handful of raw feeders. The overwhelming majority come at the topic with the opinion of “my way is BEST!” The fact is that NO way is “best” for all dogs. Some dogs do poorly on raw food. Some people shouldn’t be feeding raw, period. Others do best on home cooked, dehydrated or canned food. Some dogs do just fine on grocery store pet food and their owners love them just as much as any raw feeder.

        Look at this statement by a previous commenter:

        “There’s a simply solution to the pet food problem. Don’t feed your dog (or cat) junk from the grocery store. Feed your dog brands that use human grade ingredients, and that do not contain the words “corn, bone meal, animal by-products” or any type of gluten.”

        Do you see a single fact in this statement… anywhere? Decent products go into grocery stores every day. Holistic Blend, for example, has just teamed up with a national grocery chain in Canada and is slowly putting their products in stores across Ontario. By-Nature Organics is available in health food stores across Canada already.

        Bone meal is a perfectly acceptable ingredient, particularly when it’s a named bone meal (such as Ground Chicken Bone). What do you think you’re feeding your raw dog, exactly?

        Corn, if processed correctly, can be easily digested by most dogs. Do I choose to feed it to my dogs? No, because I don’t believe it is as healthy as other choices – but corn in and of itself is not an evil ingredient.

        Specified glutens such as Corn Gluten are also perfectly acceptable ingredients if you are not concerned about the source, GMOs, or dealing with a dog who can’t tolerate gluten. We choose to not feed any gluten – we don’t feed grains at all – but we do so because we believe that this is the optimal choice for our dogs. I’ve had fosters who did better with grains in their diet, and we chose low-grain formulas for those individuals.

        Now, if you want to say “avoid unidentified meat ingredients like Meat Meal because these ingredients are known sources of pentobarbital” I can accept that.

        If you want to suggest that I “avoid foods containing ethoxyquin, BHA, BHT and Propylene Glycol because studies have proven their toxicity” or that I “avoid products containing menadione supplements due to the fact that this supplement has been shown to have dangerous effects and other, natural, safer alternatives for Vitamin K are available” I can accept that too.

        But don’t make a comment like “avoid all of the following…. because I say so” or “if you really LOVED your pet you would do what I say” or yeah, I’m going to speak out on behalf of anyone who may be made uncomfortable by those statements.

        We just had a recall on a commercial raw product sold through a butcher contaminated with E. coli 0157:H7. Raw products get recalled all the time for contamination. Wellness just recalled most of their canned cat food line due to a thiamine deficiency. Nature’s Variety’s grain free was recalled due to contamination with Sorghum. Our own spinach and tomatoes have been contaminated.

        What I’m saying is that there are dangers whenever we eat or drink anything, and whenever we feed or water our pets. No matter what we do. I’m saying that no option is “the best” option for every pet. And I’m saying that not only is it rude, it’s TOTALLY counterproductive if our end goal is the best diet possible for every pet, everywhere.

        I can assure you that the best approach is simply to educate. When I am confronted with a client who is having trouble with their dog and is feeding what I consider to be a lower quality food I leave them with a list of internet links, some printed information about the pros and cons of certain ingredients, the dangers of a few, and I leave myself open for future questions and discussions.

        I would say 75% of the time that client comes to me looking for more information, or for my opinion on a particular ingredient or product. I will provide it, with the caveat that it is my opinion. The other 25% simply were not interested, and approaching them by asserting that their pet food was bad, giving them a list of ingredients to avoid and telling them that if they “really LOVE your pet” they would feed what I feed – I can assure you I would be out the front door on my ass, or at the very least not going to hear from that client again.

      2. I must have missed the “love your pet” comment. I went back through and re-read all the posts and now I see what you are talking about. I guess when I responded I did so from the posts that I read of yours. And, you are right – they should contain facts about why the product is not the ‘right’ one and the effects it can/does have on animals.

        Although, all the people that I know (or have talked to) about raw diets have had all good, positive results. I had never heard of any negative ones – maybe because they choose not to engage in the discussion? IDK.

        I do understand that the Meijer brand food does contain those products that we were discussing…it is the only affordable food that I can feed my dogs. Unless I wanted to go with a major generic brand sold by places like Family Dollar & Dollar General (basically discount stores) and I fear that those would be even worse then the Meijer brand that I do use. Happily I can report that my animals are healthy – with the exception of my pit who is close to 15 yrs old…but her health issues are a result of age and nothing more – arthritis, a dislocating knee (that she’s always had), and typical ‘old’ dog problems like cataracts. In fact – I use to feed them Iams and they started to get overweight…then when we began to be unable to afford it we switched to the Meijer brand and haven’t had any problems since. Although, knowing all this I will keep it in mind when/if I have to have her put down and request that they use a higher dose of the drugs.

        But – your point is taken in the demeaning comments and such. I just missed that when reading through the other comments (fairly quickly). Thank you for cleaing that up for me.

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