Nestle Purina Hit with Class Action Lawsuit Over Beneful Dog Food

Purina-Beneful-Beneful-Dog-FoodIn an action that many pet parents and I have been expecting for quite some time – and is long overdue – a dog parent from California has filed a class action lawsuit against Nestle Purina Petcare Company, alleging that this food contains toxic chemicals that can potentially kill dogs.

The plaintiff Frank Lucido, who had owned three dogs, filed the suit in California federal court on Feb. 5. His German shepherd and Labrador both became violently ill shortly after Lucido began feeding them Beneful dog food, and then his English bulldog died. Lucido and his wife discovered the dog’s body in their yard.

The dogs’ veterinarian determined that their symptoms were consistent with poisoning, which is not surprising, since Beneful reportedly contains propylene glycol, a component used in anti-freeze.

Beneful also contains mycotoxins, toxins-producing fungi that occur in grains, which are the primary ingredients in Beneful.

Sadly, the FDA has taken no action whatsoever, despite receiving more than 3,000 complaints from pet owners claiming that their dogs were sickened or died after consuming Beneful.

According to an article on the website Top Class Actions, Lucido is looking to represent two classes – a nationwide class and a California subclass for dog owners “who purchased Beneful dog food in the past four years and who incurred any out of pocket costs due to illness, injury or death of their dog resulting from the ingestion of Beneful.”

The class action lawsuit is charging Nestle Purina with breach of implied warranty, breach of express warranty, negligence, negligent misrepresentation, strict products liability, violating California’s consumer legal remedies act, violating California’s Unfair Competition Law, and violating California’s False Advertising Law.

I received many complaints about this food from readers when I was managing my website for people in the pet industry, and I have written about the dangers of this food on a number of occasions.

I said before, and I will say it again: Please do not feed this food or any others that contain similar ingredients to your pets, ever.

If you have any insights, thoughts or need more info, please post in the comments section below.

Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Regal Beagle Wins Best in Show at Westminster

Miss P was top dog for 2015 at Westminster. Photo from AP

A 4-year-old beagle named Miss P (because she’s a princess) from British Columbia, Canada, took Best in Show honors last night at the 2015 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

She beat out six other pooches, including Rocket, the Shih Tzu co-owned by heiress Patty Hearst and crowd favorite Matisse, a Portuguese water dog who is a close cousin of First Dog Sunny Obama.

Portuguese water dog Matisse, cousin of Sunny Obama, was the crowd favorite. Photo from Reuters

Miss P, who is owned by Eddie Dziuk and Lori and Kaitlyn Crandlemire of Enderby, has racked up 20 Best in Show honors during her career. Her owners plan to retire her after this win.

As part of her winnings, Miss P was to be treated to a steak lunch at a fancy eatery, a walk-on part in the hit Broadway show “Kinky Boots,” a visit to the Empire State Building and a meeting with Donald Trump.

This is only the second time a beagle has ever placed Best in Show at Westminster. The first time was in 2008, when Miss P’s uncle, Uno, became top dog.

Congrats to Miss P. And try not to bite Donald Trump.


Get a Pet Psychic Reading for a Furry Worthy Cause!

Dog-PsychicIn addition to my many other skills, I am also a pet psychic. Join me at Buzzy’s Bow Wow Meow for a very special event to benefit a very special cause.

On Saturday, March 7 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. bring your pet(s) or a recent photo of your pet(s) to Buzzy’s, 701 Montgomery Ave., Narberth, Pa. 19072, to receive a psychic reading for a $10 donation to PACT For Animals!

About PACT for Animals

PACT for Animals is a non-profit organization that provides emergency foster homes for companion animals belonging to people in the military or those undergoing medical crises who might otherwise have to surrender their pets to shelters.

About Pet Psychic Alissa Lily and Alissa

Alissa has been a professional psychic and spiritual adviser for more than 40 years. She hails from a long line of mediums starting with her great-grandmother, who was a renowned tea leaf reader in Kiev, Ukraine in the 1800s. A great lover of animals, she can tell you what your pets are thinking and feeling, and what you need to know to keep them happy and healthy.

Please call (610) 617-3300 to schedule a reading; each reading lasts 10 minutes.

Hope to see you there!

Photos from Getty Images/Alissa Wolf

Patty’s Hearst’s Shih Tzu is Top Toy Dog at Westminster


The Shih Tzu dog belonging to heiress turned kidnap victim turned terrorist turned movie actress turned regular wife and mom Patty Hearst won the top prize in the toy category at last night’s Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show preliminaries.

The socialite granddaughter of iconic newspaper publisher and media magnate William Randolph Hearst, the inspiration for Orson Welles’ classic film “Citizen Kane,” caused a worldwide uproar in the 1970s after the Symbionese Liberation Army terrorist group kidnapped her.

After being beaten, blindfolded and locked in a closet, threatened with death and brainwashed by the group, she joined the SLA, changed her name to Tania, and wielded a machine gun while the group robbed a bank in San Francisco. She was ultimately arrested, and spent almost two years in prison for bank robbery.

Fortunately, she later got her act together.

A few months after her release from prison (then-President Jimmy Carter commuted her sentence, because the court determined that she had been brainwashed) Patty married her bodyguard, Bernard Shaw, and she became a wholesome suburban mom. The couple remained married until Shaw’s death in 2013.

The now 61-year-old grandma also made some forays into the acting world, with roles in John Waters’ wacky “Serial Mom,” “Cry Baby,” “Pecker” and “Cecil B. Demented.”

Patty is now active in the dog world, and she became the co-owner of the glorious Shih Tzu Rocket (whose AKC registered name is actually Stockholm Syndrome).

Congrats to Patty and Rocket, you handsome dog.

Photo from AP

Devoted Schnauzer Visits Owner in Hospital

Scahnauzer-Visits-Owner-in-HospitalWhile animals generally are not permitted in healthcare facilities, with the exception of therapy pets, that didn’t stop Missy the miniature Schnauzer from paying a visit to her human mom while she was in the hospital.

Missy, who lives in Grand Rapids, Iowa, with her human parents and Schnauzer brother, Barney, walked about 20 blocks from her home to Mercy Medical Center, where her mom, Nancy Franck, was recovering from cancer surgery.

Nancy’s husband, Frank, discovered that Missy was missing last Saturday. Then the pooch showed up at the hospital, where she was captured strolling through the lobby on video surveillance cameras.

That’s just another example of why dogs are man’s, and woman’s, best friends.

Photos from ABC News

Nutrisica Dog Food and Buster’s Chew Treats Recalled

Nutrisca-Dog-Food-RecallTuffy’s Pet Food of Perham, Minn., has issued a voluntary recall of some lots of 4-pound bags Nutrisca Chicken and Chick Pea Recipe Dry Dog Food due to the potential for Salmonella contamination.

Meanwhile, Pet International of Miami, Fla., is recalling 1,500 units of 6” Beef Trachea Pet Treat because it, too, has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.

(FYI: Nutrisca is actually made by the popular Dogswell company. Yeah, it’s confusing.)

The Nutrisca foods were distributed nationwide through all retail platforms in bags containing the below info:

First five digits of lot codes:

4G29P, 4G31P, 4H01P, 4H04P, 4H05P, 4H06P

Best By Dates:

Jul 28 16, Jul 30 16, Jul 31 16, Aug 03 16, Aug 04 16, Aug 05 16

Busters-Natural-dog-treat-labelThe affected Buster’s Chew Treats were distributed primarily in Conifer and Lakewood, Colo., with bags bearing the below info:

Lot Code: 8501450

Size: 6” Beef Trachea/12 Pack Plastic Pouch

UPC Code: 8501450

No human or animal illnesses in relation to any of these products have been reported thus far.

For info about the Nutrisca products, you may contact the company at (888) 559-8833. For info about the Buster’s Chew Treats, you may contact the company at (305) 591-3338 Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST, or e-mail

Photos from Wikimedia Commons

Bart the Zombie Cat’s Owner Sues Humane Society for Kittynapping

bart-zombie-cat-1There have been some fur-ious twists and turns in the saga of Bart the “Zombie Cat,” who I reported about on Jan. 30.

After he miraculously rose from the dead after being buried for five days following being hit by a car, veterinarians at the Humane Society of Tampa Bay, Fla. treated him for numerous injuries, and he survived.

Although the Humane Society originally planned to return Bart to his owner, Ellis Hutson, officials there later changed their minds because they believed that Hutson’s home was not suitable for Bart. Plus, they alleged that Hutson knowingly buried Bart alive.

Now come reports that Hutson is suing the Humane Society for the return of the kitty, claiming that the organization is keeping Bart in order to use him to generate publicity.

So this fur-raising tale is far from over. Stay tuned for more developments.

Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Farewell, Sweet Amanda

February is National Pet Dental Health Month

National-Pet-Dental-Health-MonthThe condition of a pet’s teeth and gums can have a profound impact on many other aspects of their health. With that in mind, the American Veterinary Medical Association and other pet health groups founded National Pet Dental Health Month, an awareness campaign that is observed every February.

Indeed, pet parents need to gain as much education as they can about how to best take care of their pets’ smiles, because dental ailments such as periodontal disease can harm an animal’s other organs and lead to even more serious ailments, including heart and kidney disease.

I learned this the hard way years ago, when my tabby cat, Amanda, developed an abscessed tooth that resulted in a residual bladder infection and high fever. My poor gal had to undergo major oral surgery and being plied with a battery of meds to get through this.

Tips for Maintaining Pet Dental Health

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when it comes to caring for your pets’ teeth and gums. As such, veterinarians recommend regular teeth brushing for companion animals. Many pet stores now carry toothbrushes and other pet oral health supplies, which are a great investment.

*Note: Never use people toothpastes on pets, as these contain such ingredients as foaming agents and xylitol, which can cause liver damage and other ailments if animals ingest these.

As many pets are not amenable to having their teeth brushed, there are dental chews and toys specifically designed to help prevent dental issues. If you like the natural approach to pet health care, the Ottawa Valley Dog Whisperer website provides some great recommendations for holistic pet oral care and products. Prominent holistic veterinarian Dr. Karen Becker also has some great advice on the Mercola Healthy Pets website.

In addition, a number of pet groomers now offer dog teeth cleaning services. Otherwise, it’s very important to ensure that your pets maintain a healthy diet, which can further help to ward off dental ailments. Last but not least, be sure to have your veterinarian perform dental exams on your pets on a regular basis.

What to Do When Pets Develop Dental Ailments

There are some telltale signs that indicate that your pet may have a dental ailment:

  • Bad breath
  • Drooling
  • Tooth discoloration
  • Broken teeth
  • Chronic sneezing
  • Growths in the mouth
  • Swollen and/or infected eyes
  • Changes in behavior

If your pets develop any of these signs and symptoms, be sure to whisk them to a vet who has experience with pet dental issues ASAP. However, many pets do not exhibit any signs of dental ailments. So as mentioned previously, it’s very important to have a vet conduct a comprehensive oral exam on a regular basis to help keep your pets’ choppers, and overall health, in tip top shape, this month and all year round.

Photo from the American Veterinary Medical Association

Get Set for Puppy Bowl XI

Puppy-Bowl-2015I for one could not care less about the Superbowl. But I will be cheering on the furry, four-legged athletes during the 2015 Animal Planet Puppy Bowl.

The 11th annual extravaganza was set to kickoff at 3 p.m. today, with Team Ruff going up against Team Fluff. Both teams consist of adorable pups that are all available for adoption.

Not to be outdone by the human version, the Puppy Bowl will feature a fur-bulous halftime show starring fabulous feline Katty Furry, donning duds designed by a celebrity courtier who has whipped up critter couture for Paris Hilton’s pets.

If you miss the kickoff, you can still catch reruns throughout the day on Animal Planet, or via a stream on the Animal Planet website by clicking here.

No matter who gets the gold, these precious pets are all winners in my book.

Photo from Animal Planet