Bob Martin Clarifies: By “Remove the Flea Collars”, They Actually Meant “Keep on Shelves Until They Sell Out”
After receiving numerous calls from concerned consumers since France issued a ban on flea collars containing organophosphates, Bob Martin, a European producer of over-the-counter flea and tick products, announced on May 16, 2012 they would be “working with retailers in the coming weeks to remove the products and provide alternative products.” Despite this announcement, Bob Martin flea collars were spotted at a grocery store in Scotland on July 3, 2012 (pictured above) by BH Ambassador @Lulu_Lindi. When questioned via Twitter on when exactly the flea collars would be removed, the company responded with the following:
“we’ve voluntarily stopped selling the collars; the product hasn’t been banned; retailers may have residual stock”
Bob Martin added:
“any remaining stock that shops may have on their shelves will sell through but will not be replenished by us”
While we applaud Bob Martin on their decision to stop producing the products, the statement the company provided on Twitter conflicts with their press release claiming the products would be removed from shelves and replaced with alternative products. Sneaky sneaky, Bob. This means that the flea collars, found to be potentially toxic to children and deemed unacceptably dangerous by France, could potentially remain on store shelves elsewhere for years as the products sell out, or until the UK decides to ban the toxic plastic strips as well.
Read more about France’s flea collar ban and other animal industry updates from PoisonedPets.com:
- BANNED: Flea collars are pulled off shelves in France, citing danger to pets and children [PoisonedPets]
- Purina Recalls AquaMax Products, Expands Recall of Mazuri and LabDiet Feed Products [PoisonedPets]
- Class Action Filed Against Monte’s Milo’s Kitchen [PoisonedPets]
In PetMate Lingo, “Warranty” May Be Better Interpreted as “Expiration Date”
An individual contacted us with the following account of an issue she experienced with a PetMate carrier. Two years ago, she purchased a soft, collapsible PetMate carrier for her 8lb cat, Boo. This June, her husband took Boo to the vet. Upon, returning, he was transporting Boo from the car to the house when the zippers of the carrier broke apart and Boo, startled, got out. The pair searched for their scared little girl all night long to no avail. They put up fliers, spoke to all the neighbors, put out food and water, set humane traps, enlisted others to help with the search but still failed to find Boo. The following day, around noon, a neighbor called with a sighting:
“I was at their home in less than 2 minutes and found warm blood and bloody paw prints. We were frantic but hoped she’d just hurt her paw.”
That wasn’t the case. They continued searching day and night without sleep or food. Their other cat cried at the window the entire time, refusing to eat as well. Two days later, in the evening they found their little girl behind a garage alive, but in obvious distress. Her leg was severely broken and the individual, who volunteers at a cat rescue, knew it would require amputation. Further inspection revealed the true tragedy, poor Boo’s entire abdomen (skin & muscle) had been forcibly ripped off, most likely caused by a car pinning her between it’s wheel and the curb, according to this individual’s Veterinarian.
“She mustered some meows for us but she was looking at several surgeries. We were looking at over $10k to save her and she would have been in extensive pain for 6+ months. Her temp was so low it wouldn’t register and several times before we had to make the call I thought she’d already passed. We spent all our bill money on vet bills. We can never unsee what we saw, but I wish we could.”
The couple contacted PetMate with this opinion:
“I’d like to let you know that your defective product caused this so you can make better products so people don’t have to go through what we did. I am holding on to this carrier in case you want to pay to have it shipped to you so you can look it over. If not I’m going to throw it away. We are beyond devastated by all of this and traumatized by how our little girl looked when we found her.”
This was PetMate’s response:
“Thank you for your email, and we are truly sorry for your loss. We understand that the loss of a pet, especially when they are cherished members of the family, is devastating.
We really appreciate you taking the time and extra step to let us know what happened. We have passed on your valuable feedback to our Product Development teams and are saddened as anyone when a beloved pet is injured in any way, as we are pet parents ourselves.
When I inquired about having the unit returned, it was determined that since the unit is two years old, it would be beyond the warranty instilled for this product line and not a necessary action. It was suggested that you could e-mail pictures and we could add them to the file. This would be up to you.
Our compassion is with you in this time of sadness and healing.
If I can assist further please let me know.
Consumer Services Supervisor”
We have shared this in sympathy for a devastated family:
“I would love you to tell her story so others know. If I would have known the carriers weren’t reliable past their warranty I would have replaced it every year! But I wasn’t made aware of this until that email from the company mentioned the warranty. I hadn’t even thought about it. I only wanted them to know they had a faulty product that caused a beloved pet to die in a horrific way with much pain and suffering so they could do better. But they don’t want to do better they just want to hide behind their warranty expiration. If they cared they’d want to see this.”
While we fear there is no legal recourse that can be taken against PetMate in this case, since the product did not directly cause the injury, we wish to stress members of Broken Hartz will be throwing out their hard-shelled PetMate carriers, well past warranty, and will seek another option.”
Lennox Euthanized by Belfast City Council, Backlash Ensues
After a two year legal battle, Belfast City Council euthanized Lennox, the family animal companion who never bit anyone, under Breed Specific Legislation. However, many questions remain. The council refused to return Lennox’s body or even the dog’s collar and many are questioning when Lennox actually died and how. New video surfaced of Lennox being evaluated by a behavioral expert hired by Lennox’s family while Alexandra Lightfoot, the dog warden who testified under oath she was terrified to be near Lennox, sits nearby and pets him. The video shows Lennox wagging his tail, sweetly taking treats and showing no signs of aggression despite being carefully taunted by the behavioral expert. Sinista DaCapo and Cypress DaKilla released a rap song and video expressing their outrage over Belfast City Council’s actions, which has gone viral. The Lennox Army is calling for an investigation into Belfast City Council. [Examiner]
Some of the latest from HartzVictims.org
These people treated 8 cats with Hartz. Only one survived. To the best of our knowledge, Adverse Events involving multiple animals are still not included in EPA studies. The EPA is trying to determine how to include these reports. [HartzVictims.org]
OTC Flea and Tick Product Activists Bid Farewell to BioSpotVictims.org
After eight long years, the highly informative resource on over-the-counter flea and tick products BioSpot Victims.org was removed by site owner, James TerBush. This is a very sad loss for all of us fighting this battle. You can read more about the site and its owner at TinyTimmy.org. Tiny Timmy followed up this piece with a welcome to Broken Hartz and a summary on how our mission came to be. All of us at Broken Hartz thank Mr. TerBush for his years of service to our community and for the factual information he provided which helped fuel the launch of our mission. [TinyTimmy.org]