Dear Editor,

I get an email from Susan Thixton several times a month about pet food. She’s an advocate for clean, healthy dog and cat food, and began after the terrible time when Chinese ingredients were killing thousands of otherwise healthy animals. If you see a pet’s picture in her email, it is because that pet has died. My own service dog, a Corgi/Border collie mix, was found on my bedroom floor in a seizure. $400 later, we discovered that “Pedigree” dog food had damaged her kidneys, gallbladder, and thyroid. I got her on a healthy diet, and she lived for three more years, though with increasing amounts of arthritis. Finally, he kidneys failed, and I had to hold her while she was gently put to sleep. It nearly destroyed me.

What is interesting about Ms. Thixton, is that she use to attend the conventions of dog food manufacturers, paying her own way. Now, they watch for her, and won’t sell her a ticket! She has discovered that the FDA does not enforce their own laws when it comes to dog/cat foods.

The ‘protein’ found in most pet foods are euthanized dogs and cats, plus downer cattle too sick for human consumption, the ‘chicken’ is often meat so rotten it is green. It includes the heads and udders of the cattle, plus their digestive systems, complete with the dung in those systems at the time of slaughter. It also includes the substance that euthanized the pets, as well as the pesticide in the flea collars. Another source of protein is aged-out meat, too old to be sold to people. It is chucked, plastic platters and all, into the mess that is being stirred as ‘pet food.’ It even includes road kill.

The words to watch for when you are buying pet food, are animal “byproducts” – animal “meal” – and any kind of animal “digest.” That means the digestive tracts of animals as I described above. Also, stay away from pet foods that start with too many grains.

After my dog’s near death, I sat down and Googled “Pet food Manufacturers” and “Rendering Plants.” That’s when I got a lot more active about it. What I discovered is horrifying at best, totally illegal at worst. Dog food manufacturers make a profit on filth, while we innocently feed our pets on food that is more poison than healthy. And the FDA lets them get away with it.

Penny McCracken