Monday, August 22, 2011

Merrick Pet Care Recalls

Merrick Pet Care Recalls

Doggie Wishbone (Item # 29050, Lot 11031 Best By 30 Jan 2013)
Because of Possible Salmonella Health Risk
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - August 8, 2011 - Merrick Pet Care, Inc. of Amarillo, Texas is recalling a single lot of its Doggie Wishbone pet treat (ITEM # 29050, UPC # 2280829050, Lot 11031 Best By 30 Jan 2013) because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. Merrick Pet Care has made the decision to recall the Doggie Wishbone pet treats in the abundance of caution. 248 cases of this lot were manufactured and shipped to distributors in 10 states. Those distributors have been notified. Only one lot of Doggie Wishbone is affected by this recall. No additional Merrick Pet Care products are involved in this recall. No other Merrick brand products are involved.

Salmonella can affect animals and there is risk to humans from handling contaminated pet products. People handling the treats can become infected with Salmonella, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the chews or any surfaces exposed to these products. Consumers should dispose of these products in a safe manner by securing them in a covered trash receptacle.

Healthy people infected with Salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. Rarely, Salmonella can result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract symptoms. Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their healthcare providers immediately.

Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian immediately.

The Doggie Wishbone was shipped to distributors and retailers throughout the US. These individuals have been notified and have activated their recall procedures.

No illnesses have been reported to date and there have been no consumer complaints for this product. This issue was identified through routine sampling by the Food and Drug Administration.

At Merrick Pet Care, the safety and efficacy of our products are our top priority. We apologize for any inconvenience due to this recall. Consumers who have purchased the Doggie Wishbone with the lot code 11031 are urged to return the unused portion to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact the company at 1-800-664-7387 M-F 8:00am – 5:00pm CST.


Friday, August 12, 2011

Friday, August 5, 2011

Thanks for the Memories, Yoda!

The original Corgi Respite Team in 2000. (L-R) Luke, Yoda and Broni

Thoughts on Respite at the time of Yoda’s retirement.......

by Jon McNamee

Yoda and Luke were born to Broni in our front room. They were 2/5 of a great litter and from the beginning we knew that we were not going to be able to break these brothers up. Others told us that male litter mates would be a problem but we kept them because, in our hearts, we knew that they belonged together.

Their lives began as show dogs. Luke was beautifully colored and flamboyant while Yoda had all the structure you could ever want in a male Cardigan Welsh Corgi but he was decidedly more laid back. After a few shows, we came to the conclusion that the perfect show dog would be one with Luke’s personality and Yoda’s build.

Yoda really didn’t like show business all that much and Luke, while pretty, was a bit small for a male Cardigan so we reluctantly decided to stop showing them. We soon realized that these guys had to have something to do besides hanging around the house and taking the occasional walk. Our friend Bonnie Sines was a charter member and organizer of the local Pet Pals organization and she encouraged us to take the initial training and start visiting. I liked this idea and thought that they would be great with folks in nursing homes. After the initial training and temperament testing, we were advised that nursing homes might not work so well because Corgis are built so close to the ground. The temperament testing team asked that we consider participating in the Respite Program at the River Hills School in Cedar Falls.

The Respite Program brings special needs kids in on weekends for fun, games and interaction. Lori is great with all kids, but I had never been that comfortable around them and especially handicapped kids. We made an initial visit without the dogs and it relieved some of my fears but I remained apprehensive. I didn’t think that I wouldn’t be very good at dealing with the children and I even convinced myself that they would make the dogs edgy and uncomfortable I couldn’t have been more wrong.

We began our relationship with the kids of the Respite Program in October of 2000. Yoda and Luke and Broni visited the River Hills School once or twice a month. They walked miles of hallways, they splayed out on the cool floor and reveled in the petting and pampering that was lavished upon them. Kids who couldn’t stay on any task for more than a couple minutes would brush them, pet them and toss them treats for as long as we would let them.

A memory that will stay with me for the rest of my life is of a profoundly autistic and physically challenged boy I will call Seth. When we first met Seth, he was reluctant to interact with the dogs but Luke was determined to make him a friend. Seth would sit on the floor and Luke would lie beside him.  Eventually Seth reached out and gave a quick touch but nothing more. He liked to walk with us as we toured the hallways but he would not hold the leash. Then we discovered if we held his hand along with the leash he would walk the dog. It soon became clear that Luke and Seth were developing a special bond. We couldn’t understand what Seth was saying, but we were sure that Luke could. As time went on, Seth got more and more attached to Luke. When it was time to leave, he would insist on walking us to the door. One Saturday, as Luke and I started out the door, Seth wrapped his arms around me and gave me a hug. I’ve had a lot of hugs in my life, but that one ranks as one of the best. Needless to say my heart melted and any residual apprehension I might have had dissolved without a trace.

The Respite kids eventually “age-out” of the program and we stopped seeing Seth. At about the same time, Luke started acting like he had a sore hip and we took him in and discovered that he had bone cancer. The prognosis was poor and a bright light went out of our lives on the day we had to say good bye. Shortly after Luke’s passing, we learned that Seth had also passed away. Our sadness was tempered by the thought that on some far-distant, sun drenched grassy hill; a boy who was denied the ability to run, sing and laugh in this world was playing with a little blue-eyed friend that he made on Saturday mornings at the River Hills School.

Respite moved from River Hills to the Deere Center a few years ago and most of the original kids have graduated. Sunny joined the crew after he retired from the show ring and after Broni passed away he and Yoda kept up their monthly visit schedule.

Last Saturday, just a month short of his 11th anniversary as a Respite volunteer, Yoda made his final visit. His vision is failing and with that comes a bit of confusion which makes us think that the experience might be more stressful for him than fun so we decided to announce his retirement. He has been a great friend to a lot of kids and he has done a lot of good. Sunny will carry on the tradition even though he’ll, no doubt, miss his partner.