2336 Douglas Street #1413
Austin, TX 78741
Hartz Mountain Corporation
400 Plaza Drive
Secaucus, NJ 07094
June 25, 2001
To Whom It May Concern:
I am writing to issue a formal complaint about your Hartz Advanced Care Brand Flea and Ticks Drops Plus and to request reimbursement for our veterinarian bill.
On Thursday, June 21, 2001, my fianc? and I bought a three month supply of the above mentioned product from a reputable pet supply store. We applied one tube of the product, as directed, to our cat?s back at approximately 12:30am on Friday, June 22, 2001.
I awoke at 7am that same morning to our cat crying, shaking and delusional. We called our veterinarian immediately and were instructed to wash our cat and bring him in as soon as possible. We followed the vet?s instructions and brought him in.
Our pet was sedated and given intravenous medication throughout the day. The cost for this treatment totaled $88. I have researched and documented numerous instances of this exact same occurrence with other people and their cats. Nowhere on the product?s box do you give warning of any reactions.
Again, we followed the instructions provided and feel that your company is liable for mislabeling your product. We expect a full reimbursement totaling $98.74.
Vet bill $88.00 Hartz Advanced Care $09.99 + 7.75% sales tax Total $98.74
Dear Josh and Elise Janicek:
Thank you for contacting our firm regarding the class action lawsuit we have filed against Hartz Mountain Corp. If you have not already done so, we would encourage you to send us a copy of all documents you have concerning any problems with Hartz Mountain Corp. products. These documents may include, but are not limited to, any receipts for the purchase of Hartz Mountain products; any veterinary correspondence, including bills, any diagnostic findings or letters; any correspondence with Hartz Mountain Corp. or any reimbursements/checks issued by Hartz to cover the cost of veterinary bills; or any other related information. Note, please send copies only. You can mail this information to:
ANTHONY VOZZOLO, ESQ.
FARUQI & FARUQI, LLP
320 East 39th Street
New York, NY 10016
If you have any additional comments or questions, please do not hesitate to call. I may be reached toll free at 877-247-4292 or by e-mail at [email protected]
Anthony Vozzolo, Esq.
Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP
Sent: Saturday, June 23, 2001 9:36 PM
Subject: Re: Hartz
Glad your kitty is ok. You need to know that Hartz will not give you any funds unless you return all the leftover product(the evidence) to them
and, sign a statement saying you will never complain about them again and, the case is closed. Unfortunately many people who have no resources to pay the
bill have done this.
The above in combination with the fact that both the poison number on the back of the product and the Animal Poison Control Center in Illinois
through the ASPCA is paid for by manufacturers including Hartz. All of the data they generate from the calls they receive goes only to the manufacturers. The
data, so the vets answering the phone have told me, is not available to anyone but those in the organization because it is not organized. It is up
to the manufacturers to report themselves to the EPA, etc.
So, you can see how the information is not widely known. Hopefully we will be able to change this. Judy said that there may be a problem with Hartz’s
political contributions to politicians influencing the EPA to not act on the matter. I hope not. You can check out the EPA website on tetrachlorvinphos
and see that the EPA has managed to get dips, sprays and powders with tetrachlorvinphos off the shelves despite Hartz’s reluctance. Unfortunately,
tetrachlovinphos is still in collars and we have received numerous emails of toxicities to those products also. Not to mention the EPA calls tetrachlorvinphos a suspect carcinogen.
One more thing, Hartz is only one of a handful of companies in the US that refuses to tell the EPA what their inert ingredients are. Many inert
ingredients can cause liver failure, seizures and death also. There are articles on the web about this.
So, glad you have joined the group. Sorry it is under such circumstances.
Here is the second letter that we wrote to the Hartz Mountain Corporation.
2336 Douglas St. #1413
Austin, TX 78741
Consumer Relations Department
The Hartz Mountain Corporation
400 Plaza Drive
Secaucus, NJ 07094 USA
November 1, 2001
To Whom It May Concern:
I am writing to inform you that your Hartz Advanced Care Flea and Tick Drops Plus For Cats and Kittens severely affected our cat?s health and to demand full reimbursement for our vet bill and the money we paid for your product.
On the night of June 21, 2001, my wife and I applied Hartz Advanced Care Flea and Tick Drops Plus to our cats back, as directed. We were awoken early the next morning to Riley (our cat) crying, shaking uncontrollably and in a hallucinating state.
We immediately took Riley to our vet where he spent the whole day under sedation, observation and was administered intravenous medication. Our cat is less than 2 years old and has had regular veterinary checkups and has always been given a clear bill of health. This time, we were afraid we were going to loose our pet ? not something any animal or human should have to endure.
Our vet concurred that Riley?s condition was due to the Hartz Advanced Care Flea and Tick Drops Plus that we had properly applied. I have done research and have spoken via written correspondence with numerous people who have experienced the same conditions with their cat upon using Hartz Advanced Care Flea and Tick Drops Plus.
I have attached a copy of our vet bill. The total for the aforementioned procedure totaled $88.00 ? I expect full reimbursement for our vet bill.
I have attached a copy of our receipt from Petsmart, the store in which we purchased your product. The total for you product is $9.99 plus a 7.750% sales tax equaling $10.76 ? I expect full reimbursement ($10.76) for our purchase. This brings the total reimbursement that I expect from the Hartz Mountain Corporation to $98.76.
Shortly after this dreadful incident, I contacted our local television news station about our recent emergency visit to our vet due to the application of Hartz Advanced Care Flea and Tick Drops Plus to our cat. I was granted an interview and my story was aired. I have included, with this package, a CD. This CD contains the video interview that was aired. The video is to be played on a computer using Real Media?s Real Player. The Real Player can be downloaded at http://www.real.com. I have also created a website that contains said video. It can be seen at http://home.austin.rr.com/olbaid/riley/.
I have also included the unused portion of your product.
Again, I expect full reimbursement, totaling $98.76, for our vet bill and your product that caused our cat a great deal of harm.
I can be contacted at the above address or at 512.555.1212 in the evenings or at 512.555.2121 during the day if there are any questions.
Your immediate response and reimbursement is expected and greatly appreciated.
I had both my babies develop symptoms a few hours after I applied the
drops. I rushed them both to the emergency clinic and luckily, they
were intravenously given antibiotics to cleanse them of the poison. I
wish everyone had a happy ending to their story and am horrified and
appalled that this product is still on the market. I pursued Hartz to
give me an explanation and they very diplomatically washed their
hands. But even though my cats are now OK, I do not want any other
precious creature to have to suffer because of an unethical, greedy
company. I have e-mailed the lawyer who has the lawsuit and have
written another letter to Hartz. I wrote them that there are plenty
of ways to make money in which they don’t need integrity. They should
leave the care of our angels to people who care about them and can
run a business with genuine care and INTEGRITY. I will do ANYTHING
to see them investigated and apprehended. Please let me join in any
effort to do this.
This just in from CDM. I just became the 186th signature. I encourage everyone to sign this petition.
I just wanted to let you know that Hartz are sueing me directly. Like you, I was outraged at Hartz about their indifference to the suffering of cats and decided to become an activist myself. I sent letters and copies of the TV news report on VHS tapes to several retail outlets (such as Publix, Petco & Target). Hartz are claiming that I have interferred with their business relationships and that I am spreading false and demafatory remarks about them and that this, in turn, has caused and is causing irreperable harm. Apparently, I am not the only individual that they have tried to sue. The reporter for WJCT told me today that they sent 4 of their top lawyers to the town where another individual tried to take Hartz to small claims court. The individual in that case ultimately lost the battle – not surprising given the strength of the legal team that Hartz unleashed.
You might also be interested in putting a link up on your web site pointing the the following:
It is an online petition that was put up just recently. There are almost 200 signatories already.
Thanks for the link CDM. Other useful links can be found in the links section.
This was sent to me from our first registered user. Thanks CDM!
As you can tell, Hartz is re-packaging the same junk. Look for the
newly packaged product in mid-January 2003. When you see this product on
the shelves of your local grocer, do like Elise and I do – turn all of the boxes
backwards. Or better yet, hide them behind something else.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
HARTZ TO ROLL OUT NEW PACKAGING AND LABELING FOR ?ADVANCED CARE?? FLEA AND TICK
PROTECTION FOR CATS HIGHLIGHTING UNSURPASSED PROTECTION FOR PET OWNERS
Education Campaign to Support Launch of New Packaging and Labeling
Secaucus, New Jersey (November 21) ? The Hartz Mountain Corporation is rolling out
new packaging and labeling for its best-selling flea and tick products for cats
(Advanced Care Plus? and Advanced Care? Once-a-Month”), including a new application
process that makes the product easier for pet owners to use.
The actual product formulation will not change. The new packaging will highlight
Advanced Care?s unsurpassed protection. These products completely protect cats from
fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes, all of which can pose serious health threats to pets
and their owners. An extensive consumer education campaign will accompany the
rollout of the new Advanced Care packaging and labeling. It will alert cat owners to
the health risks posed by fleas and ticks and offer advice on the proper use of
?Hartz is committed to providing the best possible products for pet owners and their
animal companions,? said Bob Devine, Hartz President and CEO. ?Our goal is to
protect pets and to strengthen the human-animal bond that is so meaningful for pet
The new application process incorporates an easy-to-use ?spot-on? technique where
the product is applied at the base of the cat?s head. Current label directions
recommend applying Advanced Care? in a stripe down the cat?s back. As part of these
changes, Hartz will also include a more detailed precautionary statement on the
label. The company worked closely with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to
develop this new Advanced Care? packaging and labeling.
Dr. Albert Ahn, Chief Scientific Officer for Hartz, said. ?As a leading provider of
flea and tick protection, we are constantly reviewing feedback on our products and
developing potential improvements.
Advanced Care? has a low rate of adverse reactions that is comparable to the rates
of all other flea and tick products, including those available through
As part of this Launch of the Advanced Care? brand, Hartz will commence an extensive
consumer education program. This campaign will encourage owners to follow the
revised labeling and other important guidelines when using any flea and tick product
on their pet.
This effort will include educational brochures, an upgraded website, and a direct
mailing to pet owners and veterinarians. The campaign will remind owners that the
use of these products helps protect cats from dangerous diseases that can be
transmitted by fleas, ticks and mosquitoes. It will also stress that some of these
diseases can be transmitted to humans as well.
New packages for ?Advanced Care Brand? Flea and Tick Drops Plus+ for Cats and
Kittens? and ?Advanced Care Brand? Once-a-Month? Flea and Tick Drops for Cats and
Kittens.? will be available in stores in mid-January 2003.
Hartz Advanced Care? for Cats offers an unmatched spectrum of protection against
fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes. Over the last five years, pet owners have bought more
than 150 million doses of Hartz topical flea and tick products to protect their dogs
About The Hartz Mountain Corporation: Founded 76 years ago, Hartz is America?s
leading manufacturer and marketer of quality pet products. Hartz is committed to
enhancing the Human-Animal Bond by providing quality pet products, with innovative
and technological solutions developed with proven science, and love for companion
animals. The Company offers over 1,500 different pet products, each of which is
dedicated to the health and well being of household pets.
Today under ownership of J.W. Childs Associates, LP, The Hartz Mountain Corporation
operates as an independent company with a strong focus on customer service,
international opportunities and innovation, through expanded research, development,
and quality in manufacturing. For more information on The Hartz Mountain
Corporation, please visit
I just joined the CatLoversAgainstHartz group over at Yahoo! and found this read:
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Environmental Protection Agency is now investigating a product called Hartz Advanced Flea and Ticks Drops.
Although it’s sold in many grocery stores, some cat owners say the product causes loss of appetite, and possibly forces the animal into debilitating seizures.
A veterinarian told Channel 4 that the product should never have been allowed on the market.
A cat name Kirby is unable to walk and can hardly stand. Her vet said she twitches from a seizure caused by toxic poisoning.
They’re the same symptoms afflicting Lady — a 2-year-old Burmese.
Morgan says Lady was perfectly healthy until he says he applied Hartz Advanced Flea and Tick drops for cats 10 pounds and under on Lady’s back.
He says within hours his cat was nearly dead.
“She was practically in a comatose state,” owner Chris Morgan said. “She had no energy, no enthusiasm. She wouldn’t walk, she wouldn’t eat.”
“This is a condition we see in many, many cats that have had over-the-counter topical flea preparations applied to them,” Andrew Lawless told Channel 4 investigator Jennifer Waugh.
Lawless says blood tests reveal Lady’s liver shows signs of toxicity — the same problem Kirby’s vet says caused this cat to have a seizure.
Both vets say this can be caused by an insecticide — called Phenothrin. Phenothrin is the primary ingredient — 85 percent — of Hartz Advanced Flea and Tick Drops for Cats.
The drops are sold in most grocery stores to pet owners looking for a less expensive solution to flea control.
Kirby and Lady’s owners both told Channel 4 they bought and used the product on their pets.
The Eyewitness News investigators called 30 local veterinarians, learning that 19 them — more than 60 percent — reported seeing seen cases where cats have either died or become very sick after being treated with Hartz Advanced Flea and Tick Drops for Cats.
The Environmental Protection Agency said it approved Hartz Advanced Flea and Tick Drops for sale in stores nearly two years ago.
Morgan said that Hartz asked for asked him for more information about Lady, then said that there is no proof that its drops made Lady sick.
And they are right. Lady’s vet says it is possible that Lady had some type of pre-existing condition that no one knew about. But he also said Lady only became sick after she was treated with the drops.
An attorney representing one woman who says these drops also made her cats sick is seeking to file a class action lawsuit on her behalf.
So far, he says more than 350 pet owners have joined the suit.
While an internal EPA memo recommending that the product be reevaluated for its safety was written months ago, the product is still on grocery shelves.
Hartz told Channel 4 they stand behind their product. Its company vice prsident told Jennifer Waugh that they believe their product is sound.
“I think the key here, Jennifer, is that the information you are citing is preliminary. It is an interim report,” Dr. Albert Ahn of Hartz Mountain said. ” Based on the information we have and based on a review of all the data that we have, we stand firmly behind these products.”
KHOU – video included
By Jeremy Desel / 11 News
There is no doubt that many pet owners love to pamper their animals. But could you be putting you pet in peril by trying to help keep them comfortable? For months, 11 News has been looking into a product that is pushed by the largest pet product company in America. It’s a product that may be in your home right now.
Spring is the time of year that fleas and ticks start to pester our pets and people look for ways to protect them. One of the hottest products is also one of the newest. And some say it’s potentially dangerous, even deadly.
Kiser and Stryker are two important feline members of the Hiatt family.
Brian Hiatt likes to think he looks out for his animals and takes good care of them, “They’re very special, they are a part of our lives,” Brian says.
That’s why he decided, two weeks ago, to get them set up for spring with an anti-flea treatment. But not long after he applied the product, Hiatt says Stryker started acting strange.
“It looked like the cat was almost drunk. If it tried to walk, it was really unstable, and then it would just drop and fall, and fall on his side. And all throughout his muscles, through his side, and his back, would just sit there and convulse,” says Brian.
Then Kiser began to exhibit the same symptoms. Hiatt says he was worried for his cats’ lives. He rushed both Stryker and Keiser to Dr. Cindy McCauley’s emergency clinic in Sugar Land
In the animal hospital, they received anti-seizure drugs and were cleaned with dishwashing soap. But even hours later, the cats still exhibited muscle tremors.
Brian says he applied Hartz Advanced Care Plus to both of his cats. Tens of millions doses of the product have been sold nationwide. The active ingredients are Phenothrin and S-Methoprene; they’re both pesticides.
Dr. McCaully’s report shows the Hiatt’s cats had a reaction to flea meds, acute Phenothrin toxicity.
According to vets consulted by 11 News, what happened to Keiser and Stryker is not an isolated incident. Dr. Angela Rose saw enough cats come through her Arkansas office that she started to videotape them.
She taped two-year-old Punkin, who’s owner says she applied Hartz Advanced Care Plus to her pet in July of last year. Hours later, the vet reported extreme muscle tremors, and grand mal seizures. Dr. Rose says the cat suffered a toxic reaction to a topical synthetic pyrethrin.
“If you look at all of the flea and tick products, there is always that very small possibility that they may have an adverse event associated with them,” says Dr. Albert Ahn, Chief Scientific Officer for the Hartz Mountain Corporation.
New Jersey- based Hartz Mountain is the world’s largest manufacturer of pet products and the maker of Advanced Care Plus.
“We have done a whole battery of tests and each time we do we get the same result. That these are safe products,” says Dr. Ahn. “These are effective products.”
But the Environmental Protection Agency reports some of Hartz’s testing is unacceptable.
That’s not the only finding of the EPA’s staff review of the Advanced Care Plus product line for cats in 2001. The report continues to say, “It is recommended that the product be re-evaluated for its safety in cats,” because “a margin of safety has not been established in the studies.”
The EPA reports include 35 cat deaths and 64 life-threatening episodes that may be associated with the product. In addition, the company reported thousands of minor incidents.
The EPA stresses that in many cases it did not have sufficient information for cause of death.
The vast majority of the complaints registered with the EPA about the Advanced Care product actually came from the Hartz Mountain Company itself. Calls came in to its customer service center and were then forwarded to the federal agency.
Dr. Bill Plaff thinks he may know why some cats get sick. For much of his 25-year career at Texas A&M, Plaff studied the family of pesticides used in the Hartz products. He says it’s the mixture of S-Methoprene and Phenothrin that is causing trouble. He compares the reaction to the kind patients would have when taking two different medications together.
Dr. Plaff said, “Often when you take a combination, one drug interferes with the metabolism of the other, so the combination is much more toxic than you would expect it to be alone.”
Dr. Plaff says the mixture of Phenothrin and S-Methoprene increases the toxicity by 10 times. Dr. Ahn from the Hartz says he’s never heard of anything like that.
“The data that we have supports that this is a safe and effective product. The data that we have that we shared with the EPA,” says Dr. Ahn.
Reminded that the EPA found the Hartz testing unacceptable, Dr. Ahn says, “Well, again, as I said, this is a matter of discussion.”
After watching his cats suffer, discussion is not enough for Brian Hiatt. “I’d have to believe they understand what is going on with their product and what the chances are.”
While, the product label meets federal regulations, Hiatt and his vet say pet owners should be warned about these incidents.
“No mention anywhere that this product could cause reactions to the central nervous system or potentially kill your pet,” says Dr. McCaully.
Hiatt says, “There’s no indication of anything that severe even in a small percentage of cases.”
It goes no further than saying that some animals may be sensitive to flea and tick products. According to Dr. Ahn, “That is correct.” But It doesn’t mention that animals may suffer muscle tremors and full body seizures and potentially die. “Well…” says Dr. Ahn, “we are always looking for ways to improve our products.”
Hartz is adamant that the EPA’s findings are simply preliminary and are open to discussion. But 11 News has learned that in addition to the product review, the EPA is also conducting an investigation into the specific Advanced Care Products for cats.
A spokesperson for Hartz told 11 News that they are unaware of any additional EPA investigation and “are confident in the safety and efficacy of our product.”
In the meantime the product is still registered with the EPA and on store shelves.
8 Austin – video included
3/7/2002 5:32 PM
By: Kelly Kyle
The year-long federal investigation into Hartz flea and tick products has been completed by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Thousands of cats and dogs became ill after using some of Hartz flea and tick drops raising a red flag with the EPA. They released information that gives specific reasons for the review into the Hartz Mountain Corporation that lead to the investigation.
All four of the Hartz products in question will remain on store shelves until the EPA decides what kind of action to take.
Among several of the findings, permethrin toxicosis was the cause of death in the majority of nearly 300 cases involving cats. It is an ingredient found in Control One Spot for Dogs. Most of those deaths were cats treated directly with that product or cats exposed to dogs treated with that product.
The OPP found evidence of a possible packaging mix-up.
“I can’t really comment on that aspect of this document except to say when I look at the wording, they use the word possible,” said Dr. Albert Ahn of Hartz Mountain Corp.
The OPP criticized Hartz Mountain Corporation for five of their animal safety studies. Three of those studies were found completely unacceptable.
“The studies that they’re refering to, again, I’d really like to see what their interpretation is,” said Dr. Ahn.
The review listed several recommendations to the EPA on what actions should be taken to prevent further deaths or illnesses of cats and dogs.
The EPA’s Office of Enforcement should sample products from markets around the country.
The packaging problems between the different cat and dog products should be thoroughly explored.
The Advanced Care Flea & Tick Drops for Cats should be re-evaluated for safety.
There should be label revisions for permethrin products to warn pet owners of possible side effects.
The Hartz Mountain Corp. maintains the review is a preliminary internal document and that this is a regular post-marketing survelliance all flea and tick companies go through to continue registering their product with the EPA.
Since September, the EPA began an investigation into whether federal laws were broken. It is unknown what that investigation found or what actions may be required of the Hartz Mountain Corporation.