Menu Foods Reaches Settlement In Pet Food Class Action


Menu Foods has reached a tentative settlement in the class action suit brought by owners of pets killed or sickened due to contaminants in Menu Foods products. Del Monte Foods Inc., Nestle, Procter & Gamble, Xuzhou Anying Biologic Technology Development Co. Ltd. in Pixian, China, and Suzhou Textile Import & Export Co. in Jiangsu, China were also named in the suit.

In 2007 cats and dogs began falling ill and dying from kidney problems. The FDA eventually found melamine and cyanuric acid in many different pet foods. New recalls were being announced daily and over 60 million containers of food were recalled.

You can find out much more on previous recalls on my Pet Food Recall Archive Page.

Oprah Show Investigates Puppy Mills


This Friday’s episode of the Oprah Show will expose the obscene business of “puppy mills”. Puppy mills are commercial breeding operations where animals are kept in over-crowded cages, not given adequate shelter, food, water, veterinary care, are not socialized, are bred too young and continuously with complete disregard to disease and inherited genetic problems. The breeding stock of puppy mills may live their entire life in a cage—they may never see day light. They live out their days in their own filth and the filth of the animals in cages over them. Puppy mills have to be one of the most barbaric creations of man.

The ASPCA has good advice on how to avoid supporting the puppy mill business. The easiest way to do that is to adopt from a shelter or rescue organization. If you must have a pure breed animal, never buy from a pet store. There are many rescue groups focused on specific breeds, so check out where you can search by breed. If you still can’t find the right dog for you, find the right breeder. The ASPCA also has advice on what to look for in a good breeder and what to avoid. I think a particularly telling sign of a good breeder is that they carefully screen potential owners. They won’t want their animals going to a home that doesn’t understand the pros and cons of their breed and they’ll want to make sure any animal they breed will be well cared for.

Hopefully the Oprah Show will lead to change. It’s already changed Oprah apparently. She is now is committed to adopting any new pet from a shelter in the future as a result of doing the show. (The episode is dedicated to Sophie, her 13 yr. old cocker spaniel who recently died.)

Nubs & Marine Brian Dennis Reunited



(Update 9/25/09: You can read my recent interview with Maj. Dennis about Nubs here!)

Major Brian Dennis has returned from Iraq and was reunited with Nubs the dog. Nubs is the Iraqi dog that walked 70 miles to find the Marine who had befriended him. Dennis is looking forward to taking Nubs to the San Diego beaches and teaching him that playing in the surf is fun. Coming from a desert, Nubs wasn’t too sure about the ocean on his first trip to the beach with his foster parents. Nubs has been doing well while waiting for Maj. Dennis to return. He’s put on some weight, his coat has gotten smooth and shiny, and he’s been learning what it means to be cared for. We’re very glad Nubs and Brian Dennis have made it home safely.

You can learn a bit more about Nubs from the email I exchanged with Maj. Dennis. And about Nubs’ homecoming in February.

I checked previously with Major Dennis and he said it was okay to post his email address. You can write him at: