January 16th, 2013–According to hundreds of dog owners nationwide, their dogs have become ill or even died recently after eating Purina brand dog food, particularly Beneful. The high volume of incident reports and complaints have led some websites, like The Examiner, to write articles on the issue and wonder why a recall has not been issued.
We at Cockapoo Crazy have posed the same question. After having issues with Purina’s contact form using two separate browsers, we decided to write directly to their public relations manager, Keith Schopp. We called them out on the need for a swift response to this crisis, asked them if they *still* believe their food is safe after such a huge mass of complaints in such a short time, and asked him to give dog owners an official response to this ongoing crisis in an email.
We await their response, and will post it here for all of our readers. Meanwhile, we advise playing it safe and *not* feeding Beneful (or any Purina product) to your dog, until such time as this issue has been addressed and resolved. We feel this is fair advice, considering the weight of the allegations against Purina and their lack of response thus far.
Update 12:33PM EST: We have found an MSN article that was released within the last 24 hours, wherein Keith Schopp addresses the issue by saying that the online posts and reviews we have read: contain false and misleading allegations and cause undue concern and confusion among consumers.
There are no known product issues with Beneful dog food, Schopp said in a statement. Consumers can continue to feed Beneful to their pets with total confidence.
We are not sure what to make of this simple response. False and misleading allegations? Is this the work of some person or group with a vendetta against Purina, or is the company completely dismissing the reports of hundreds of dog owners? The company is still providing no clear explanation for why hundreds of “false and misleading” allegations would have appeared surrounding a particular food and brand so recently.
In short, this is not enough to go on. More information is required, Purina. Meanwhile, if it were our dog, we would not risk it.
Update 5:33PM EST: Still no answer from Purina to our inquiries. No new articles from significant sources, either. There appear to be either some shills, or some simply dismissive people, who want to ignore this issue entirely. Do not let that happen. Go to this link and scroll down to participate or view the somewhat heated discussion that is taking place. Take part if you wish, or simply write to email@example.com to demand answers from the company.
Lest you think we are unfairly attacking Purina, we are not. We simply want reasonable, specific answers to this issue, instead of a broad “our products are safe” statement. Purina is not making it easy to trust their products. Remember that this is the same company whose chicken treats were recently implicated in the deaths of hundreds of dogs and continues to sell them outside the US.
We will continue to stay on this case until we are satisfied with the answers we receive.
Update 6:01PM EST: We have posted our foremost question to Purina directly on their Facebook page here. Hopefully they will respond openly, honestly, and with enough information to explain away the multitude of dog owners claiming their dogs suffered health issues from Beneful.
Update 6:46PM EST: Purina gave us the same canned response they are giving everyone, stating: “Thansks for your post, Cockapoo Crazy. There are no recalls or known product issues with any Purina pet food products. We stand behind the high quality of our products, which consumers can continue to feed to their pets with total confidence. We’re available to answer any questions our consumers may have at 800-877-7551. Thanks!”
Our response to them: “Thanks for responding, but you didn’t truly answer our question. Your spokesman is on the record at MSN.com as saying the hundreds of posts from consumers claiming their dogs were sickened or died from Purina food, “contain false and misleading allegations and cause undue concern and confusion among consumers.” In order for people to believe this statement, they need to be told *why* you believe these to be false and misleading statements? In other words, why have hundreds of consumers posted similar issues in a short time frame if there is, in fact, nothing wrong with the food?”
Obviously, we are not happy with a canned response. Hopefully, we will hear more on this soon. We will keep our readers up to date. Meanwhile, we at Cockapoo Crazy feel we have no choice but to recommend steering clear of Purina products until they come clean on this issue.
Updated 9:11PM EST: Purina re-posted the exact same response as above in response to our response. It is like chasing your own tail to talk to these people. They also continually say they have no recalls at this time, which may be technically correct, but seems mildly deceptive given that they just announced a recall on January 9th, a whole 7 days ago, for some of their pet treats. We continue to try to engage them in a constructive manner and get a response, but that hope is diminishing as they continue to copy and paste the same canned response and are not addressing (or purporting to address) the actual issue of hundreds of similar complaints on consumer affairs sites, Facebook, and other online forums in any way.
January 18th, 2013–Purina continues to evade us, and their PR man has not returned our email. However, hundreds more people are appearing on Facebook at Purina’s several brand pages, like the Beneful page, and claiming the same stories as those on the Consumer Affairs site. The number of complaints surely has reached the thousands if added up across all forums, sites, and other venues now. If these are all “false and misleading allegations” as the canned response they are giving says, this has to be one gigantic conspiracy!
January 26th, 2013–We missed this article, shedding a bit of new light on the situation and calling on dog owners to report their animal’s illnesses (if they believe them to be related to Purina products) to the FDA. Although thousands of people have claimed on various websites, such as Facebook and consumer affairs sites, that Purina’s food is making their dogs ill, the FDA can only act on the reports it receives. If you believe Purina food has made your pet ill, follow the instructions in the article and report the incident to the FDA for further investigation.
Again, owing to this issue, we at Cockapoo Crazy have no choice but to recommend avoiding Purina products, at least until this issue is addressed in a serious and satisfactory manner.