Hartz killed my two Persian Kittens and lied about it


My litter of Persians was born on Sat., May 6th starting at 11:30 in the morning and I was there to help the new mom deliver 3 adorable fluffy kitties. Two males and a female. The runt (I named him RuggleRat) was the cutest and was my personal favorite – constantly on my lap and with me everywhere I went in my house. He was a genuine love sponge!! He was my baby and yes, he was small being the runt! Unfortunately, a few of my older cats had gotten out of my house and when they finally returned, they had fleas which infested the rest of my cats and kittens. So, I purchased Hartz Advanced Care 2 in 1 Flea & Tick spray along with Hartz Longlife 90 day flea collars to use on my cats and kittens. These were purchased at a WalMart in Springville, NY on Aug 2nd. I used the flea spray crap on my cats and kittens on Thurs, Aug 3rd but only sprayed my kittens with a few sprays, I think 5 sprays, instead of the recommended dosage. After spraying, I applied their flea collars. This was done at 4:30 in the afternoon. Since I had to design a flyer for a friend, I was working late on my computer with RuggleRat on my lap, his usual spot. I happened to notice quite a few fleas crawling around his head and eyes (around 8pm), so I took him in the kitchen. and with the water running, started pulling fleas off and running them down the sink. Around 1am in the morning, all of a sudden, my kitten started meowing and screaming like crazy, something I have NEVER seen before in my life and then it pooped (diarrhea) itself. He was also spasming and then went totally limp in my arms. Scared that something was happening to him from the flea spray or collar – I immediately took the collar off ALL my cats and gave RuggleRat a bath in hair shampoo to try to remove the spray. This didn’t seem to help and I spent the next three hours watching my little baby die a horrible death. I tried calling the number on the Hartz packages to get a pre-recorded message stating that their office was closed and to call back at 9am EST. I did research on the internet for cholinesterase inhibition to find all the symptoms my kitty was going through and trying to find ANY type of help to save him. The good info I did find is located at the bottom of this post. I put him under a heat lamp and kept talking to him and petting him. For most of the time he was limp except for when he spasmed. He would all of a sudden start screaming and spasming and then it would stop just as sudden. He pooped (diarrhea) himself a couple more times during these spasms. After 2am he started breathing funny and then would stop breathing altogether unless I rubbed or pushed on his chest then he would gasp for air. I had to keep checking his eyes to see if he was still alive. My poor baby died at 4:10 am on Aug 4th after a final screaming spasm.

At 9am I called Hartz to tell them what their crap did to my kitten. They told me they would do a necropsy and settle with me about the death of my kitten. They gave me a different toll free number and a case number and told me I could call the phone number she gave me any time 24 hours a day to see what the status was of my kitten. They told me they would cover the cost of the expense of having him shipped to the University of Illinois, College of Veterinary Medicine, Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in Urbana, IL. They would also cover the vet costs for them to ship him out. I also told them I wanted my kitten back so I could bury him here on my property so I could visit him and they said they would have him returned. Now, how do you settle for the loss of your beloved pet that you helped deliver and was your baby?? What a joke!! But, what was even a bigger joke is what happened next!!

I called around to find a vet willing to send him to IL as Hartz had wanted. I found one that would work with me and his body was sent out around noon on Aug. 4th. Before sending him, the vet warned me that this was just a cover and they would find some way to cover up the actual death of my kitten. This is EXACTLY what Hartz did.

On Aug 8th, my vet was faxed an interim results report on their initial findings as to the cause of death of my kitten of which he gave me a copy. The presumptive morphologic diagnosis was Mild Acute Diffuse Edematous Colitis. After talking to the vet, they said it was fluid in the colon. After trying to find into about in on the web, I came to the conclusion that it was a swollen colon with fluid. These were a few of the symtoms I had already read about on the one website while I was researching ways to save RuggleRat while he was still alive. The report also said that they had retained sampled for toxicology testing. The report said histopathology, virology, parasitology and bacteriology were pending. Fecal flotation came back as nothing found. The vet said the toxicology report usually takes about a week to come back and she thought it was a good idea to call the University to see what toxins they were testing for and to tell them to look for tetrachlorvinphos which was chemical in both the flea spray and collar. She also advised me they had faxed a form to release my baby and have his body sent back to me and that she would call me when he got back.

So, when I called the phone number listed for the University (217) 333-1620 – It’s a phone company! I tried calling 3 different times and got the same recorded message. It DOES NOT go to a University!!

I got a call from the vet on Aug 10th saying my kitten was back and that it was nasty. Questioning what she meant by nasty she told me they sent it back with no ice and that he was partially rotted and he smelled terrible. So, they had put him in the freezer to keep the smell down. She could not believe they sent him with no ice and in the condition they did. I went down and got what was left of my baby. He was in 3 pieces and his body was turned inside out. I know what an autopsy is but I was definitely not expecting my kitty to be torn apart! Anyways, I buried what was left of my baby under my new weeping willow and planted a peony over him.
On Aug 24th, I called that special toll free number Hartz gave me and was told that that number was only for human health questions and that she could not give me any information on the case. I would have to call Hartz back in the morning at the number shown on the packaging. Another of their many jokes!!

The next morning, Aug 25th, Hartz called me probably because I had complained so much to the woman the night before. The lady said she could not go over the case results with me because she did not have them. What a lie! I told her I had part of the results already and wanted to know if the rest of the tests had come back and asked again what they had found with the toxicology test. She said she didn’t have it but would fax what they had to my vet. I asked her to fax me a copy which she refused. This is MY kitten, why can’t I have a copy??!!
This morning, I got a call from my vet telling me that the report had gotten faxed to them and that they were trying to say my kitten died of pneumonia and because he was slightly underweight. He was the runt – usually runts ARE small, that is why they are called runts!! Also, anyone who knows Persians knows they are a small build cat which both parents are. Pneumonia symptoms are the biggest symptom of cholinesterase inhibition – it is easily mistaken for pneumonia unless you know you had been subjected to a pesticide! He also said it was a shame and that he would make me copies of what he had of the report. He also told me of this website which is why I am here now.
My second kitty who I was trying to bond with died a few days later. I do not know exactly how she died as I was not home when she did. All I can say is that she had poop (diarrhea) all over her tail the same that my RuggleRat did and I fear she died the same terrible death that he did.

This is what I had found on one site: “The adverse reactions recorded in the clinical trial were related to the cholinergic effects of the drug. The most common adverse reactions recorded were vomiting, excessive salivation, pupillary contraction, dyspnea, watery diarrhea, muscle fasciculations, abdominal pain, ataxia, and general weakness.”

This is a GREAT site about cholinesterase inhibition. This site tells what it is, what chemicals cause it, how it works and how it kills. You will have to copy and paste the link in your web browser to view the entire page, but it is definitely worth reading. http://extoxnet.orst.edu/tibs/cholines.htm
These are the sypmtoms of which my kittens had and died from. This following info is copied and pasted from their website.


Overexposure to organophosphate and carbamate insecticides can result in cholinesterase inhibition. These pesticides combine with acetylcholinesterase at nerve endings in the brain and nervous system, and with other types of cholinesterase found in the blood. This allows acetylcholine to build up, while protective levels of the cholinesterase enzyme decrease. The more cholinesterase levels decrease, the more likely symptoms of poisoning from cholinesterase inhibiting pesticides are to show.

Signs and symptoms of cholinesterase inhibition from exposure to CMs or OPs include the following:

In mild cases (within 4 – 24 hours of contact): tiredness, weakness, dizziness, nausea and blurred vision;
In moderate cases (within 4 – 24 hours of contact): headache, sweating, tearing, drooling, vomiting, tunnel vision, and twitching;
In severe cases (after continued daily absorption): abdominal cramps, urinating, diarrhea, muscular tremors, staggering gait, pinpoint pupils, hypotension (abnormally low blood pressure), slow heartbeat, breathing difficulty, and possibly death, if not promptly treated by a physician.

If you do not want to go through the same pain and loss as I did, DO NOT USE ANY HARTZ products as they will cause your pet a horrible and painful death. My vet said that trying to save an animal that has been poisoned by this stuff is expensive to treat and is almost impossible to save.

Peggy Frangione
Arcade, NY 14009

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