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    ELB Resident Suspects Her Cat's Death Associated With Pet Food Among Products In Nationwide Voluntary Recall

    (March 19, 2007) -- This ELB cat's death from renal (kidney) failure is one of a number of pet deaths or illnesses across the country suspected associated with forty brands of cat food and fifty brands of dog food, some of whose products are now being voluntarily recalled nationwide (link to list below).

    11-year old Sparky got a clean bill of health from vets just months ago and was fine until she began eating pouches of Priority cat food purchased at a nearby Pavillions. said Sparky's owner Arlene Lancaster, dabbing away tears.

    When Sparky became listless, Ms. Lancaster took her to VCA's Woodruff Ave. pet hospital and got the bad news: Sparky was suffering renal failure. The vets did their best but by Sunday March 18, hope was gone. "We had to put Sparky down. She died in my arms," Ms. Lancaster said.

    After learning about other cat deaths nationally linked to multiple brands of pet food (including Eukanuba and Iams) some of whose products were associated with single manufacturer -- Menu Foods -- Ms. Lancaster checked its website. It listed voluntarily recalled brands and items.

    She checked the box of Priority cat food she'd bought at Pavillions (Woodruff/Spring).

    Her heart sank.

    It was one of the brands and products in the national voluntary recall.

    To view the Menu Foods website link listing brands and products involved in the voluntary recall, click here.

    Now Ms. Lancaster is worried about what may happen to the family's other cat, Cruiser. He appears to be OK...for now...but Ms. Lancaster said the vets told her to watch closely for any signs of illness.

    At the personal direction of the sympathetic VCA hospital vet, the costs of Sparky's euthanasia and cremation ($95.50) were waived...but the remaining bill for three days of veterinary care, medications and treatment still came to $1,101.69.

    Before Sparky closed her eyes for the last time, Ms. Lancaster took a final picture of her and made ink impressions of her paw prints on a piece of paper. They're now in a special place in the Lancaster household with the following note:

    "Our dearest Sparky. You entered our lives on August 2, 1996. You left for heaven on March 18, 2007. You will forever remain in our hearts and memories."

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