Consumer Reporter at CBS Affiliate in Philadelphia Needs Hartz Stories!


Hi, it’s Val from FelineOwnersAgainstHartz
and co-author of the online petition against Hartz products at

Received this wonderful email from Jim. He did a similar story a few months ago at a station in Columbus, OH and is now working for the CBS affiliate in Philadelphia. We certainly appreciate Jim’s support!

Here’s his message:

I am the consumer reporter for the CBS television station in Philadelphia. I am interested in doing a story here on the Hartz flea drop problem. I am looking for LOCAL victims in Philadelphia or South Jersey for my report. Thank you for your consideration.


Jim Donovan
CBS 3 On Your Side Reporter
[email protected]

My Orphan

3 1/2 months ago I came home from work and upon opening my front door I saw that someone had wedged a small bundle of rags in between my sceen and front doors.

The little bundle fell to my feet and to my surprise a tiny newborn kitten rolled out from inside it.

It was so young that it’s baby eyes were not even opened yet and I was at a loss as to what I should do with it.
I didn’t have the heart to abandon it somewhere so I committed myself to raising it at least until it was old enough for the humane society. I am a single man in my late 40s and have recently re-entered college to complete my long ignored education and a cat was not in my plans.

Things didn’t work out the way I planned.The cat just sort of grew on me and I guess you could say we bonded. I grew to love my little cat and she has provided me with hours and hours of fun, amusement and a warm unconditional love that I didn’t know was possible from a mere cat. She is now almost 4 months old and as I write this she is lying on my easy chair trying desparately to cling to life. It is silly for a man of my age to feel like crying over a mere cat but the tears are hard to supress as I type this statement.

Two weeks ago I noticed that my little “Gata” was scratching like crazy and I checked her out. Fleas sure as can be! Must have picked them up out in the backyard.

I went immediately to the H.E.B. grocery store and bought the most expensive flea remedy they had to offer, Hartz Mountain Flea and Tick Drops For Cats(advanced care type). I applied the drops as instructed on the package and three days later my gata was scratching fleas anew even though I hadn’t allowed her back outside! I applied another little bottle of Hartz.A week later I had to leave town for two days to work and when I got home my little cat was acting strange.

She walked like she was drunk and she couldn’t seem to stand up straight!She couldn’t run to greet me as is her custom to do and at one point she actually crashed into the wall head on as though she couldn’t see it in front of her! She seemed to had lost weight also. I searched the house for anything she may have gotten into but couldn’t find anything at all. Then I noticed that the 2 1/2 day supply of food and water I’d left for her had been barely touched! I became very alarmed and took her to the vet the very next morning(one week ago today). He was baffled but said it appeared to be some kind of toxic reaction. I insisted that I had checked my house from top to bottom and there wasn’t a single toxic substance she could have gotten into and I keep all my cleaning fluids and such in a secured area in my pantry closet.

Then he asked me “have you flea dipped her or put any kind of flea preparations on her lately?” I told him I had and it was a good brand and it seemed to work fine (after the second application).Then he dropped the bomb on me, he said “You didn’t use Hartz did
you?” My mouth fell open and I began to get a sinking feeling when I told him “Yes I used the advanced stuff”.

He told me that Hartz was known to kill cats on a regular basis and he couldn’t guarantee that he could help my cat! I was just in shock but I told him to do what he could and He went to work. Blood tests and medications and massive amounts of saline to stimulate kidney functions. Shots to help her liver and hours went by before I could take my little baby home. Two more visits to the vet since then and now my little orphaned bundle who was so energetic and happy two weeks ago is lying on my easy chair unable to walk or even eat and is about to leave me for good. Cats have an 8 to 12 year average life span, mine is not yet 4 months. It was through my ignorance that I did this to my beautiful little orphan but it was through the corporate greed and dishonesty of Hartz Mountain that it was able to happen in the first place. My cat is crippled and will soon be dead because of those people and their lust for profit and you can bet that I am angry about it . So angry that I would like to cripple and poison a few of those bastards with my own hands.

But all I can do is try to make my little orphan’s last hours as easy as possible. Thank you God almighty for the wonderful love my little cat gave to me. And forgive me for the harm I did to her.

Write Walmart To Remove Hartz Product

Write or Call the central offices of Walmart to remove the dangerous Hartz product. Do this over the next few weeks so the impact is all at one time.

Write to the CEO Lee Scott at:

Lee Scott
Wal-Mart Stores Inc
702 Southwest 8th Street
Bentonville, AR 72716
Phone: (479) 273-4000

Walmart will react. Tell them your stories and they will put BIG pressure on Hartz to pull any unsafe product.

Other key executives at Walmart are Bob Connolly and Doug McMillan at Sam’s Club. Write to the same address and it will get to them.

Itchy and Scratchy

Sorry to admit, but my poor Sammy has also fallen victim to a Hartz Flea and tick collar. I removed the collar nearly a month ago when I noticed my cat doing a lot of scratching. Upon closer inspection, I noticed the entire area around his neck was broken out and raw.

He is still scratching and I don’t have enough money righ now for a trip to the vet.

Guess I’d better stick with the high dollar flea drops from the vet.

More saved!

Sender’s Name: Pat Shields
Sender’s Email: <withheld>

Message: I have a brand new spray bottle of Hartz "Control" for
cats. I was going to use it in a couple of days on my four cats, and my favorite
cat was going to be first.  I just happened to land on this web site first,
thank GOD!  My 20-year-old cat died recently, probably from cancer or a
heart attack (he was so old that the doctor did not want to hurt him more by
investigating to find out) and it would have been more devastating to know that
I hurt the little ones by trying to help them.  As soon as I read some of
the letters here, I called my dog in and took off his Hartz flea collar. 
He has had it on for two months, but I don’t want to take ANY chances. 
Just because he isn’t acting sick does not mean that he isn’t enduring something
he can’t tell me about. 

And you know, my old cat was sick anyway, but not too long before he died I
used Hartz flea shampoo on him.  I hope to high heaven I didn’t push him
over the edge.  I will never know, but you can be sure that I won’t make
that mistake again!  Thank you for the information, and my cats thank you. 
Now of course I will be racking my brain to try to remember if my old cat’s
seizures were related to any flea products I might have used at the same times.

UPDATE: Hartz paid!

I wrote back in October that Hartz flea and tick drops nearly killed our cat, Samantha and we racked up $500 in vet bills. well, we wrote Hartz a letter and submitted all of our vet documentation and bills and just today we received a check from Hartz for the full amount along with a letter of apology. though this doesn’t change the fact that that poison is still on the shelves, I’m glad they did the right thing and paid us back.

Our Response From Hartz

A few months ago, we had our very own Hartz Horror Story with Apolo, our kitten. I sent a letter to Hartz detailing our experience. A few days after that I saw a news story and found this website.

Hartz requested I send them all of our information including the vet’s diagnosis, an itemized bill, and any unused portion of the Advanced Care Flea & Tick Drops we had. I sent all the information via UPS so that I could track it.

Once I saw the package had arrived, I waited one week and then emailed my contact at Hartz. I was able to state in my email the exact time the package had arrived, as well as the name of the person who had signed for it. I received a return email saying my case was still under investigation.

Fast forward to today, when we received the following letter from Hartz Mountain Corp.:

“Dear ________,

We are deeply sorry to hear about the unfortunate experience that took place with your kitten, Apolo. We understand how people become extremely concerned when their pets experience problems of any nature.

Advanced Care Once a Month Flea & Tick Drops For Cats is approved by the EPA and has undergone multiple safety and efficacy studies. The EPA will only grant registration to products that are able to satisfy their strict safety guidelines.

Hartz understands the relationship that develops between a family and their pet. We are truly sorry about Apolo’s unpleasant experience with Advanced Care Once a Month Flea & Tick Drops For Cats. As a gesture of goodwill, we are enclosing our check to reimburse you for your veterinary expenses and for the remaining product.

We are constantly improving and updating our product line, and your comments are important to us. The suggestions of concerned and caring pet owners are taken into account during product review.

We hope that we have been of assistance and that we can be of continuing service.”

Included was a check for the full amount of our veterinary bill and the unused drops I had returned.

This in no way makes up for what we went through, or what other people have endured. It also does nothing to change my opinions of the company and their products. I am grateful that we had a positive resolution, but I know that had we lost Apolo, no amount of money in the world would have made it better. I intend to continue being an advocate for animals everywhere, and sharing my Hartz story at every opportunity.

My Poor Freak

I have a very small kitten whom I have cared for since he was 4 weeks old. His mother pushed him aside, along with three of his littermates because they were sick. These poor kittens had contracted a virus. Two of them unfortunately didn’t make it and the lone survivor was named Freak. It took Freak a long time to begin to get healthy again. Now that he’s healthy, I decided it was time treat him for his fleas. I purchased the Hartz Advanced Care Flea and Tick Drops. Within hours of applying them, Freak began to have tremors. I have washed him with soap and lots of water, and I am getting ready to wash him again. He seems to be improving, but I do not know what else to do for him. I live in a small town, it is Saturday night, and there is no vet until Monday morning. So here I sit with my fingers crossed, searching for some answers and getting angrier at a company I had trusted for years. I will never again use a Hartz product on any of my animals. I also used the drops on my three dogs, and now i’m terrifed they will get sick too. Wish my poor little Freak the best.

Mary’s Story

I had a kitty girl named Mary who was 14 years old. I took good care of her and loved her for 12 years. She was my best friend and I loved her with all of my heart.

The first week of October, 2003 I purchased Hartz flea drops to rid her of her fleas. I put the drops on her, following the directions, but stupidly ignoring the warning about elderly cats – I used Advantage all the time and it was fine for her. I wish I knew about the “real” issues in using it. Here, on the net, were all these warnings that I never knew about.
She started to act “under the weather” but being 14 sometimes she did get blue. We were preparing for a week long trip away from home, so being busy was a big mistake on my part, as I didn’t think that there was anything serious going on. No convulsions or anything to determine she as really ill.

I had a neighbor looking in on and feeding her twice a day while we were gone, like dozens of times before.
Upon our arrival home, Mary was weak and lethargic and had lost a lot of weight. I took her to the vet the next morning (we got in at midnight) and they examined her. I brought the Hartz package with me and she said, “oh, that’s bad news to use on cats” but that was all she told me. She didn’t say it was possibly fatal. They kept Mary all day and when I picked her up, Dr. Z told me she had a low temp and they warmed her up and gave her fluids. She was also constipated really bad, so they fixed that too. I had just learned from my neighbor that she hadn’t eaten all week. (why she didn’t get taken in by them is beyond me and another story) But we figured since she was so blocked up, that’s why she didn’t eat much.

The vet never said anything about pesticide poisoning. I wonder now if she was trying to spare my feelings and concerns about what I possibly had done to my girl.

Her blood tests came back normal: her kidneys were okay for her age and her liver enzymes slightly elevated, inconslusive for the time being, we’d check again in a week. Her blood test did not indicate severe damage caused by pesticides.

We chalked it up to her being upset that we’d left, had a digestion problem, but should be alright in a couple days.
So we headed home and she was okay for a few days but over the weekend, she lost interest in all food, could barely walk, couldn’t drink water and basically was withering away. I thought she had a virus that she was trying to kick, but she kept getting worse.

On Monday morning, October 20, 2003 I took my baby, who was barely alive into the doctor’s office for the last time. I sent Mary to heaven with the help of her doctor.

After reading the testimonials from other pet-lovers, I’m not convinced that Mary died of natural causes. Although her symptoms were far less severe from that of others, I believe the poison slowly killed her over the course of 2 weeks, rather than so suddenly as others. She felt sick while we were gone, did not receive immediate attention from a vet, her digestive system was compromised and ultimately she could not shake it.
As my mom saw it, her system was trying to work the poison out of her, but she wasn’t as strong as the poison was. She almost made it. I of course regret all that I unknowingly did to cause her death.
This was all recently brought to my attention when I told my mom about the Hartz. (it’s been 2 months since Mary went to heaven and I can’t get over it) She asked me if my vet knew and I said yes. She suspects that Dr. Z was trying to ease my fears and in the end tried to spare my feelings of guilt and despair by not telling me I had a hand in her illness and death. I’ll be talking to the vet to make sure that what I suspect is true about the product. I need to know if it was a coincidence that she got so ill after the use of Hartz, that it was something of a different nature, or if I did in fact kill my Mary by using an over the counter poison on her.


our cats (3) were mistakenly poisoned today because the plastic vials of flea medication looked exactly like other tubes that we have used in the past just for cats & kittens (which instead were for our huge dogs). There was no labelling on the products to indicate that it was lethal or deadly or any sort of indication to NOT use on anything other than dogs. All three cats are now on IVs and anti-seizure medication at the emergency vet clinic. These vials were made by BioSpot which I believe is made by Hartz … other vials of flea medication for myST. Bernards is in large tubes (duh) and the labels are easily read (frontline) …however, these three small tubes were virtually illegible as to any labels but with a magnifying glass, we could read (after the fact) that it was for dogs 60 lbs and over, etc. …. still nothing said about cats. However, we immediately began cleaning and tryign to remove this product from the cats’ coats; all to no avail, within 5-7 hours, they all began exhibiting symptoms of toxicity. Is there any kind of suit that can be brought against Hartz for this negligent labelling that causes such accidents to occur?

any help you can give us woudl be greatly appreciated. so far, after 10 hours of the occurrence, they are hanging on for their life, but just barely. please let me know if there is any help or advice from others.

[email protected]