March 15th is Petfinder’s Adopt the Internet Day

March 15, 2011


Petfinder Adopt-the-Internet Day

Help Petfinder Adopt the Internet! 

What It’s All About
In honor of our 15th birthday, Petfinder is asking people everywhere to pledge to spread the word online about adoptable pets today, March 15, 2011.

For starters, post a link and/or photo  here on Itchmo Forums Blog or on your blog/site/facebook/twitter to an adoptable pet from your local shelter or Petfinder.

Go to link for more information.


Vote for Animal Bill of Rights: Ideas for Change In America

March 9, 2010

Urgent! Here’s your chance to vote within the next 3 days only!

Ideas for Change in America is a national competition to select the best ideas from across the country and turn them into reality.

Provide Legal Protections for Animals Through the Animal Bill of Rights

In this country animals are still considered “property” according to the law- in most cases no different than a table or chair. Through the Animal Bill of Rights, the Animal Legal Defense Fund is working to show Congress a groundswell of support for legislation that protects animals and recognizes that, like all sentient beings, animals are entitled to basic legal rights in our society.

The Right of animals to be free from exploitation, cruelty, neglect, and abuse.

The Right of laboratory animals not to be used in cruel or unnecessary experiments.

The Right of farm animals to an environment that satisfies their basic physical and psychological needs.

The Right of companion animals to a healthy diet, protective shelter, and adequate medical care.

The Right of wildlife to a natural habitat, ecologically sufficient to a normal existence and self-sustaining species population.

The Right of animals to have their interests represented in court and safeguarded by the law of the land.

– Animal Legal Defense Fund Jan 20 @ 01:31PM PST

Pet Net Safety 2009: Pet Food Safety

October 21, 2009


Did you know that:

There is a pet food recall on an average of once every three months. The past month alone has seen at least two pet food product recalls and a “product withdrawal” (an under-the-table way of recalling product without the scary “recall” word being put in front of the public). Potentially toxic mold, omission of critical nutrients, over-or under-dosing of vitamins and minerals—all these are threats to the lives and health of our pets, and all have been present in pet foods in the very recent past.

Over the past few years, two horrible pet food disasters stand out especially. The widespread presence of kidney-damaging melamine in pet foods made by Menu Foods, a subcontractor company that does food production for many well-known brands, caused an estimated 14,000+ dead and damaged pets in the US and Canada in 2006 and 2007. Melamine, a plastic used in dishes and fertilizer, was deliberately added by Chinese suppliers of wheat gluten, one ingredient in the pet foods, to falsify protein tests. In 2008, a very high-end brand of dry cat food was subjected to high levels of irradiation when imported to Australia, causing changes in the food that resulted in very severe neurological damage and ended in death for many cats whose families are still paying the costs. Many problems caused by pet food go undiagnosed or unreported.

The “standards” for nutrition in commercial pet foods are very weak. AAFCO, the Association of American Feed Control Officials, specifies in its handbook the following protocol for assuring an adult dog food is nutritionally adequate:

Eight dogs older than 1 yr. must start the test. At start all dogs must be normal weight & health. A blood test is to be taken from each dog at the start and finish of the test. For 6 months, the dogs used must only eat the food being tested. The dogs finishing the test must not lose more than 15% of their body weight. During the test, none of the dogs used are to die or be removed because of nutritional causes. Six of the 8 dogs starting must finish the test.

Not very stringent standards, are they? All the food has to do to “meet standards” is not starve or kill your dog in six months. That’s all. Yet many pets eat the same food every day for fifteen to twenty years. And the members of AAFCO themselves are all members of the pet food industry. Talk about the fox guarding the henhouse!

The FDA cannot issue mandatory recalls for pet food that is known to be unsafe. (In fact, the FDA has no authority to mandate a recall on anything but baby formula.) Recalls are at the discretion of the manufacturer. So a company that knows a given batch of pet food contains, say, fragments of metal from a machine that broke during a production run, is under no absolute obligation to do anything about it. And when customers call with complaints, the pet food company’s answer is almost always, “We have had no other complaints about that problem,” when in fact there may have been plenty of other complaints.

What you can do:

  • If your pet is ill, contact your vet and let the vet know if you have reason to believe the food is causing a problem.
  • If you have a pet food problem, contact both the company and the FDA.
    Contact Us
    240-276-9115 FAX
    Issued by: FDA, Center for Veterinary Medicine
  • Learn about pet food ingredients; what’s good, what’s bad, and where they come from. Carefully read the labels on your pet’s food.
  • Save all receipts for pet food, and save the original packaging until the food is consumed by your pet.
  • Become involved in advocating for safe, nutritious pet food.

For more information: An active pet forum with information about food ingredients, recalls, specific product reviews and experiences. ItchmoForums does not receive corporate sponsorship or funding, and does not accept advertising. Pet Food Products Safety Alliance, a consumer group that tests pet food and posts test results.
Timeline for the Menu Foods recalls of 2007.
Description and discussion of effects of irradiated food on Australian cats. Consumer Affairs lists consumer complaints about a large variety of products, including pet foods. Search for your pet’s food on this site, and you may be surprised. Also publishes articles on pet food problems and recalls.

Halloween Pet Safety

October 17, 2009

scaredy cat

Halloween is meant to be a scary holiday for us humans, but our pets don’t appreciate the fright! There are many dangers to our furry companions on and around Halloween. Here are some tips for keeping your pet safe:


  • On Halloween and during the days before and after, do not leave your pet outdoors unattended, and most especially do not allow cats to roam. Even dogs in a fenced yard are not safe from harassment by those who may throw objects over a fence, including things that may not be safe for your pet to eat. Such activities tend to increase around Halloween. Horribly, many pets, especially cats, disappear at this time, never to be heard of again. One can only speculate as to what their awful fate may have been.
  • On trick-or-treat night, your dog, cat, or bird may be happiest in a quiet area behind closed doors. Even pets who normally welcome visitors may be spooked by repeated ringing of the doorbell and strangers in costumes. This stress may cause your pet to behave unpredictably, to dart out an open door, relieve him- or herself on the floor, or even bite and scratch. Dogs may enjoy a filled bone or Kong to work on and stay occupied while separated from the activity, especially if crated. A bed to snuggle in, or a blanket to hide under, may comfort a scared cat. Birds may do best with their cages covered. Try to have a family member spend time with pets who are thus confined, playing with and reassuring them.
  • Young trick-or-treaters may be intimidated by dogs who greet them at the door, or who are in the yard in front of your house; another good reason to keep your pet in a private, safe area.
  • Keep bowls or bags of Halloween treats out of your pet’s reach, and don’t underestimate where they can find these! Dogs may eat a whole bag of chocolate bars with the wrappers still on, and experience serious consequences. Chocolate is toxic to pets and can be deadly. Many cats love pumpkin, and may be attracted to your jack-o-lantern. While pumpkin is in general good for cats and dogs, consuming too much can cause digestive upset.
  • Be extremely careful with lighted candles; do not use them where they may contact wagging tails or inquisitive whiskers, or be knocked over. The best option is to use battery-powered candles or flashlights.
  • Use caution with decorations and costumes. Pets may swallow beads, strings, glitter, or other materials that can cause choking or bowel obstruction, or damage the stomach or intestines. Check carefully to make sure that small parts do not come off and become available to a curious pet.

Wishing you and your pets a safe and happy Halloween!

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Photo copyright ItchmoCommunity member.  Used with permission.

A Day For Those Who Love Animals

October 4, 2009

Today is the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals and the environment.  Many stories are told about his love for animals, including that he preached to both birds and wolves.  St. Francis believed that it was the duty of humans to love and protect nature, in a time when others saw the natural world as something to be exploited.

St. Francis is often invoked for the healing of sick pets.  On his feast day, churches traditionally hold services for the blessing of animals.

If you are looking for a soundtrack for the day, I highly recommend Missa Gaia by Paul Winter, originally performed for a St. Francis’ Day service of the blessing of animals at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in NYC.  Here’s another choir performing the “Canticle” from Missa Gaia, the words of which are a translation of a poem by St. Francis of Assisi.

In Memory Of…

September 23, 2009

Original Posting Date:  03/16/2008,

Author:  Emily Huh

As today marks the one year anniversary of the pet food recalls, this is an open thread for anyone to speak their mind, share their thoughts, express their loss or simply encourage and support each other.

From the Itchmo Forums, JustMe made a memorial for the victims of the pet food recalls:

Member: 3Catkidneyfailure

Doozie: A 10-year-old Cat.
Suffered kidney failure from poisoned cat food.
Euthanized: February 10, 2007.

IQ: A 16-year-old Cat.
Suffered kidney failure from poisoned pet food,
January, 2007.
A survivor, under treatment.

SMORGI: A 15-year-old Cat.
Suffered kidney failure from poisoned pet food.
A survivor, under treatment.


Member: Arlo


BART: A 5-year-old Spaniel Dog.
Poisoned by pet food. Renal Failure.
Euthanized May, 2007.

ELLIE MAY: A black and white, Domestic Short Hair cat.
Poisoned by pet food. Acute Renal Failure.
A survivor who sustained chronic renal failure.

JETHRO BODINE: A black and white tuxedo, Domestic Short Hair Cat.
Poisoned by pet food. Acute Renal Failure.
Euthanized April, 2007.


Member: Carol

JESSICA: A 16-year-old Cat.
Diagnosed with Acute Renal Failure due to poisoned cat food,
February 17, 2007.
Euthanized December 26, 2007.

SMUDGE: A 14-year-old Cat.
Diagnosed with Acute Renal Failure due to poisoned cat food,
March 12, 2007.
A survivor, currently under treatment for Chronic Renal Failure.


Member: Catbird

PHANTOM: A 12-year-old Domestic Short Hair Cat.
Sickened by poisoned cat food.
A survivor.

ISIS: A 10-year-old, Burmese mix Cat.
Ate poisoned cat food, sustained heart disease.
A survior.


Member: SusanP/MrsP

LADYCAT: An approximately 13-year-old Cat.
Poisoned by pet food.
Euthanized July 10, 2007.

MUNCHKIN: An approximately 7-year-old Cat.
Poisoned by pet food.
A survivor.

TEENYCAT: A 4-year-old Cat.
Poisoned by pet food.
A survivor.


Member: Catmom5

CJ: A 12-year-old, Catgirl.
Suffered acute renal failure in November, 2006,
from posioned cat food.
A survivor with multiple serious health issues.


Member: Dyginge

DYLAN: An approximately 11-year-old Cat.
Acute renal failure from poisoned cat food.
Euthanized February 23, 2007.


Member: Kittylyda

PEANUT: Between 17-20 years old Cat.
Poisoned by cat food, diagnosed with renal insuffiency.
A Survivor, under treatment.

TIG: A 12-year-old Cat.
Poisoned by cat food.
A survivor, under treatment.


Member: Trudy

NUTMEG: Cinnamon Bengal Girl Cat.
Kidney Failure, 2006

BECAUSE: Tortoiseshell Manx Cat.
Oral cancer, 2007

SUNSHINE: Yellow Rescue Girl Cat
Cat food, 2007

BOB: Big Boy Rescue, Part Maine Coon Cat
Cancer, 2007

GREY THING: Little Grey Manx Rescue Cat
Cat food, 2007.

INKY: Black and White Manx Rescue Cat.
Pancreas, 2008


Member: JustMe

PEPPER: Black/White Domestic Short Hair Female Cat, 19-years-old.
Early CRF. Ate recalled food/treats, ?nonrecalled food.
Became violently ill.
Euthanized April, 2007.

Member: Meowli

PURRY: A 17 to 18-year-old, Male Cat.
Became seriously ill in late, 2006. Kidney failure.
He had eaten food that was later to be recalled.
Euthanized, January, 2007.

CLARISSA: Petite Black and White Female Cat.
Collapsed after eating around Christmas time, 2006.
Diagnosed with liver failure.
She had eaten recalled food with gluten “gravy”.
Died: February 7, 2007.


Member: Cathy

HUNTER: A 6-year-old, male Springer Spaniel Dog.
Sickened by pet food.
Died: 4/11/2007


MARIO: A 2-year-old, Orange Tabby Male.
Poisoned by pet food.
Acute renal failure.
Died: June, 2007

LUIGI: A 2-year-old, Orange Tabby Male.
Poisoned by pet food.
Acute renal failure.
Died: July, 2007


CATS AND DOGS: The countless, unknown cats and dogs.
Poisoned by their pet food.
Victims and survivors.


Member: Nabiya

PERSEPHONE: An 11-year-old, Grey Female Cat.
Poisonous pet food.
Complete Renal Failure.


Member: Mysuperhero

SNOOP DOG: An 8-year-old Cymric Cat.

BERT AND ERNIE: 7-year-old Male Cats (brothers)

SHERMAN: A 6-year-old Snowshoe Cat.

WALLY: An 18-month-old DSH Cat.
All poisoned by pet food.
All Survivors.

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