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Tag: petco

PetSmart and Petco to pull China-made jerky treats off their shelves — finally

Chinesjerky

After thousands of reported illnesses and 1,000 dog deaths, PetSmart and Petco have announced they will stop selling all dog and cat treats made in China.

What took the retailers so long to reach the decision, and why it will take them seven to ten months more to purge store shelves of such items, remain questions worth asking.

So too is why the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which has been investigating the treats for years — without determining what about them is making dogs sick — can’t tell us much more than “CAUTION,” with an exclamation point.

PetSmart said it will pull from the shelves all of the China-made treat it sells by March 2015.

Petco said it will accomplish that by the end of this year.

Both retailers have about 1,300 stores nationwide.

The two national pet retailers’ decisions came after seven years of complaints to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration about jerky treats from China making pets sick, or worse.

“We know some pet parents are wary of dog and cat treats made in China, especially chicken jerky products, and we’ve heard their concerns,” said Jim Myers, Petco CEO, in a statement.

A PetSmart spokesperson, meanwhile, told USA Today it has been working toward this goal “for some time, and feel it’s the right thing to do for pets and our customers.”

Taking questionable Chinese-made treats off the shelves strikes us as a pretty simple task, as opposed to “a goal to work toward.” You just pick them up and put them in the garbage. And while “hearing customer concerns” is commendable, it shouldn’t take three or four years for them to sink in.

The move comes as sales of Chinese made jerky treats diminish, amid increasing public concerns about them.

Five years ago, 90% of the pet industry’s jerky treats were made in China, said Lisa Stark, spokeswoman for Petco. Currently, about 50% of the jerky treats sold by Petco are from China.

Since 2007, the FDA says it has received about 4,800 reports of pet illnesses, and 1,000 dog deaths, possibly related to the consumption of jerky treats. The FDA, while issuing warnings, says it has yet to establish any direct link between the pet illnesses and the China-made treats.

Most of the complaints involved chicken jerky, but others included duck, sweet potato and chicken, according to the FDA.

Potty Patch: The indoor option for your dog

Previously available only on the Internet, the Potty Patch — basically a porous slab of artifical grass situated atop a drainage tray — will now be available at PetCo, one of the nation’s largest pet retailers, and will be sold under the American Kennel Club name.

Eagle Eye Marketing, makers of the indoor doggie restroom, announced the marketing breakthrough yesterday.

The three-tiered doggie restroom is perfect for patios and indoor use, says Eagle Eye Marketing, and serves as a valuable training aid, getting dogs used to relieving themselves on grass, or what appears to be grass. It is the only product of its type endorsed by the American Kennel Club, Eagle Eye says.

In fact, the AKC has done more than endorse the product. The non-profit organization has agreed to it being sold under their brand.

As for the product itself, the top portion is made out of a soft artificial grass specifically designed to let liquid flow through. The collection tray holds up to a gallon of liquid. It comes in two different sizes, regular (17″ x 27″) and large (27″ x 34″).

“We are very excited to finally have Potty Patch available at PetCo,” said Simon Wright at Eagle Eye Marketing. “This is a big milestone for us and we look forward to even better serve our customers. For extra convenience, Potty Patch is no longer available exclusively online but you can actually go to the store and see it first.”

Potty Patch is available through the product’s website, www.pottypatch.com.

Blind “Idol” contestant receives guide dog

Scott MacIntyre is no longer in the running for “American Idol,” but the blind contestant did win a surprise gift from Paula Abdul last week — a guide dog.

Abdul presented a guide dog to MacIntyre at a Guide Dogs of America event on Friday as part of the official kick-off of  National Guide Dog Month.

MacIntyre had been told he was at the ceremony to perform, but instead Abdul informed him that he would be receiving a guide dog after his upcoming tour, according to a press release.

Abdul, Natural Balance Pet Foods, Petco and independent pet stores nationwide are teaming to raise funds and awareness for guide dogs, with hopes of raising more than $2 million during May.

“Being part of this important cause is truly special and very close to my heart,” said Abdul. “Most people have no idea how much time and money it takes to train these beautiful animals to give such a precious gift to those who need it most. It can take more than two years and $40,000 to properly train a guide dog. Together, we can help guide dog schools provide more of these life-changing partners to people who are blind.”

Throughout the month of May, PETCO’s more than 950 locations nationwide and many independent pet stores will be selling specially marked bags of Natural Balance dog food with Paula Abdul’s picture on them, and donating 50 cents of the purchase price to participating guide dog schools.

PETCO shoppers can also “round up” their purchases at the register to donate the difference to the cause, or make donations directly online at PETCO.com.

“Having Paula Abdul, a huge animal lover, as our spokesperson will help us get the message out to raise money to match people who are visually impaired and in need of these amazing guide dogs”, said Dick Van Patten of Natural Balance Pet Foods.

Paula Abdul to campaign for guide dogs

American Idol judge — and Chihuahua owner (times four) — Paula Abdul has signed up to help raise money for guide dog programs.

Abdul will be helping Dick Van Patten’s Natural Balance, Petco, and independent pet stores raise awareness and money for guide dog organizations across the country, according to Dogchannel.com.

Her role involves getting the word out to the public about the time and effort that goes into training a potential guide dog puppy — an18 to 20 months process, followed by another six months in formal guide dog training school. After about six months of school, the dog gets matched with a blind person. For 28 days, more training takes place at the guide dog facility so the person can learn how to handle their dog.

Learning about the amount of time and money it takes to train these dogs inspired her to join the nonprofit side of raising awareness so that more guide dogs are made available. Abdul said. “I have always been amazed at how it transforms people’s lives.”

Petland stores protested nationwide

Protesters turned out at about 25 Petland stores in 15 states over the weekend in a choreographed series of demonstrations against the marketing of puppy mill puppies.

Petland, after an 8-month investigation by the Humane Society of the United States, was identified by the organization as the largest retail supporter of puppy mills in the nation.

HSUS says its investigation revealed that many Petland stores across the country are marketing puppy mill puppies to unsuspecting consumers.

Petland denies the accusation.

“To encourage the company to mend its way, we’ve organized rallies at 22 Petland stores across the country this Saturday,” HSUS President Wayne Pacelle said in his blog, “A Humane Nation.”

HSUS is encouraging Petland to allow adoptions in its stores, as PETCO and PetSmart do, rather than selling puppies.

The protests took place Saturday in Maryville, Tenn.; Tampa, Fla.; Hilliard, Ohio; Pittsburgh, Pa.; and nearly a dozen other locations.

Petland says the charges are untrue and slanderous. Here’s the full text of a press release the company issued Friday:

Read more »

Petco holds pet food giveaway

Rising foreclosures and the sagging economy are making it more difficult for families to properly care for their pets, and this week JAKKS Pets and the Petco Foundation are doing something about it — offering free dog and cat food to struggling families and pet rescue groups in Detroit, Chicago and Greater Cleveland.

A free one-week supply of dog or cat food will be handed out to those who show up Saturday or Sunday at the Petco stores at Westgate Mall in Fairview Park or at 500 East Aurora Road in Macedonia.

“Pets have become innocent victims of the recession,” a company spokesman said, “and the number of animal intakes at shelters has risen dramatically.”

The move may not be purely altruistic. The company’s public-relations events follow a raid of its Illinois warehouse in June, when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and marshals confiscated pet food that had been stored in filthy conditions, according to the Cleveland Plain-Dealer.

The warehouse, which supplied Petco stores in Ohio and 15 other states, was infested with rodents and birds. There had been no reports of pet illness from consuming Petco food, but pet owners were told to wash their hands after handling the bags and plastic containers.

Hie, Chihuahua

A little dog named Tiger from Bakersfield, Calif., reclaimed the title of of America’s fastest Chihuahua over the weekend, beating out 14 other tiny champs at the fourth annual PETCO Unleashed National Chihuahua Race finals in San Diego.

The 4-year-old pooch, PETCO Unleashed National Champion 2006, passed up the entire bunch of the nation’s fastest Chihuahuas – including the popular 2007 winner, Maddy of New York City – covering the 35-foot-long (1/18th furlong) track in just 1.9 seconds. Petco, which sponsors the competition, recaps the race on its website.

The 15 finalists – including Poppy, a Chihuahua from Annapolis — raced in front of thousands of cheering baseball fans at PETCO Park in San Diego between innings of the San Diego Padres-Colorado Rockies game on Sunday.

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