Consumer Relations Department
Hartz Mountain Corporation
400 Plaza Drive Secaucus, NJ 07094
Dear Consumer Relations Person,
Re: Complaint via documented phone call regarding Hartz Advance Care Once-a-Month Flea & Tick Drop for Cats and Kittens 10lbs. & under.
My husband and I brought home a seven-month-old kitten on Sunday, December 15, 2002. The kitten (Jade) was playful and affectionate, but because the previous owner had other cats in the house, we bought Hartz Advanced Care Once-a-Month flea & Tick Drops (For Cats and Kittens under 10 pounds) at our local Wal-Mart store located on U.S. 41, Punta Gorda, FL. On the afternoon of December 16, 2002, following package instructions, we applied one dose to Jade (7 months old ? 6.7 pounds.) That evening she began behaving strangely: shaking and twitching and hiding. The advisement to wash the cat was given in regards to skin irritation. There is absolutely no warning on the packaging that mentions, twitching, seizures, convulsions or possible death. At that time we washed her, as directed on the package, and called The Animal Clinic for emergency care at 3300 Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte, FL and were advised to bring her right in.
Upon examining Jade the vet stated that she had seen many cases like ours caused by your product (which she advised us never to use again.) She said the cat was suffering from a neurological disturbance brought on by the product ingredient Phenothrin.
As the emergency ward closes on Monday morning, we transported Jade to our Veterinarian, Dr. Beckman, at Burnt Store Animal Hospital, 11002 Nathan Ct. Punta Gorda, FL. He confirmed that the cat was, without question, suffering as a direct result of the Phenothrin. A blood test revealed that there is liver damage (test results included) and future testing is necessary to determine if this damage is permanent. Later that day, when the Burnt Store Animal Hospital was closing, we again transported Jade back to The Animal Clinic for further observation due to seizure activity.
Thereafter we visited with a management employee at Wal-Mart and told him of our complaint. He said that he had received many such complaints about Hartz Flea control and had reported them to his management and asked that they be removed from Wal-Mart shelves. This, he said, had unfortunately not been done.
Two things are clear:
1. Wal-Mart has continued to sell a product which it knows has had reported side effects far beyond those indicated on the packaging, and
2. Hartz has continued to sell a product that is clearly seriously miss-labeled and falsely advertised and promoted. No doubt the product is chemically flawed and needs to be recalled and revised (based upon opinions we have received from three respected veterinary groups as well as confirmation of complaints from Wal-Mart.) We bought your product because of the respected Hartz name and relied upon your advertising and promotion, which assured us of its safety. Nowhere in any documentation was it even faintly suggested that a cat could possibly suffer neurological side effects from its use.
1. That all Wal-Mart stores remove the product from sale.
2. We respectfully ask Hartz to remove the product from sale.
3. We ask you for an immediate remedy as to the expenses incurred as a direct use of this product.
Attached you will find:
1. The remaining unused product, and the receipt.
2. Copies of the bills from both the Burnt Store Animal Hospital and The Animal Clinic along with documentation from both veterinarians.
We look forward to hearing from you.
James A. Konides, Esquire
Faruqi & Faruqi