PLATTSBURGH — Concern remains about last month's pet-food recall, although local worries have started to subside.Dr. Jacquelyn Bentley, owner of Champlain Valley Veterinarian Services in Plattsburgh, said her office was getting about five to 10 calls a day when the recall was announced, but calls now come only occasionally.No cases have been confirmed through her office."We've had some people come in and say that their animal had maybe eaten the food and they were concerned enough that they wanted to do some blood work, but not much more than that."Her office previously sold Hill's Prescription Diet dry food, which was on the recall list, but it has been pulled from the shelves.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced April 5 that it had received 12,000 reports from consumers and veterinarians reporting illnesses over the previous three weeks.The FDA is unable to confirm how many deaths have been caused by contaminated pet food because it doesn't have a surveillance network to rely on, as it does with human food, so it would have to investigate each complaint individually.The recall now includes certain varieties of 47 brands of cat food and 53 brands of dog food.ChemNutra Inc. recalled all the wheat gluten it imported from a Chinese manufacturer after learning that it was tainted, and Menu Foods recalled more wet food Tuesday, April 10.Menu Foods announced March 16 it was pulling its "cuts and gravy" style products, and a week later, the company asked retailers remove all wet pet food due to consumer concerns.Hannaford and Price Chopper, both with locations in Plattsburgh, had some of their store brands of pet food recalled as well.PetSmart spokesperson Michelle Friedman said the company is encouraging customers to bring back any recalled products to a local store. The company has a store in Plattsburgh.Friedman said PetSmart will help any customers who need assistance in choosing alternative products for their cat or dog.Customers at one local pet store didn't need to go the alternative route.
Daniel Anderson, owner of Animal House Pet Shop in Plattsburgh, said he didn't have to pull any food off the shelf after the recall because the in-store food was bought long before the recalled products were made.Animal House sells Eukanuba and Iams at its store, but Anderson said it's in different varieties than the recalled products.He hadn't heard many questions about the recall but said food hasn't been selling well because of people's concerns.Peru resident Sharon Pavone was leaving the Plattsburgh PetSmart Sunday afternoon with her freshly groomed dog, Keoni.The recall has not affected her, she said, but she keeps close tabs on the recalls through the Internet.Bentley has also paid attention to the issue through e-mail, the Internet and the American Veterinary Medical Association.She said pet owners who are concerned should talk to their veterinarian or make an appointment."It's better to be safe than sorry."