My Hartz Story
On 02/11/01 I became brutally aware of Hartz flea products after using Hartz flea and tick drops on stray cat I had taken in. That day and the next few will forever stand out in my mind. I joking refer to that time as my 'Hartz awakening'.
I was caretaker to a feral cat colony, so I was used to having ferals show up. One day I heard a cat crying outside. I went out to investigate and saw a young black cat I'd not seen before. I tried to approach the cat and he ran, which is typical of ferals. What is not at all feral like was the cat crying continually. That told me this cat had been raised around humans.
Ruckus eventually calmed down and wanted to come inside for pets and food but not stay inside.
I had noticed Ruckus was covered with fleas. I was out of the Advantage I used on my two house cats and picked up a package of Hartz Flea and Tick Drops for cats at the store. Having grown up seeing the brand name "Hartz', on almost everything associated with pets I had no qualms about buying it to use on Ruckus
A friend of mine who is an RN and a cat lover was visiting and offered to help bathe Ruckus. We took him to the laundry room closed the door and gave him a bath. We dried him and then applied the flea drops.
We'd managed to make a mess of the laundry room and I was cleaning up. Ruckus was running around checking out things as cat do. Within 20 minutes of applying the flea drops we noticed that Ruckus was acting odd. He was running in circles on the floor. My friend said we should wash the flea drops off the cat, which we did. He was thoroughly bathed and dried again. However he still was acting odd and his breathing seemed to be labored. So off to the Vet we went. A few days later and a few hundred dollars later, Ruckus was alive and came back home.
Unfortunately, the damage had already been done to his neurological system. He held his head tilted to one side which meant he was looking off to the side of which ever way he was walking. He could not jump or climb. When he'd yawn you could see his tongue would twist in his mouth to one side. When he went to lay down his body would make a very odd unnatural twisting motion in order to lie down.
He managed to deal with these problems and eventually after years could jump and climb. His head slowly returned to a more normal position. He still lies down very oddly, but all in all has had a relatively good life.
The Vet wouldn't say it was the Hartz flea drop that had caused all of this directly. He did warn me not to use over the counter flea products when I picked Ruckus up. I was just happy the cat was alive.
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|Welcome to Against Hartz
This web site is dedicated to informing the public about the dangerous of Hartz and other over the counter flea products.
The primary goals and purpose of this web site are listed below.
To inform the public of the dangers that have been associated with the use of 'Hartz', Flea and Tick products for cats and dogs. As well as other over the counter flea products.
To educate the public on what their recourses are should their pets show any reaction to the use of the products.
To enlist the aid of other pet lovers to join with us in our efforts to have these products removed from sale.
To help stop the needless injuries and deaths of our beloved animal companions due to the use of these products.
Since 1999 there have been more than 100 news stories done about the effects of Hartz flea and Tick products. Add to that as many articles written and published. The America consumer spends half a billion dollars annually on products that kill fleas. Many of these products are not only unsafe for animals but also many have toxic effects on humans. The EPA, registers most of these products as safe pesticides. They are not safe.
On 02/11/01 I became brutally aware of Hartz flea products after using Hartz flea and tick drops on stray cat I had taken in. That day and the next few will forever stand out in my mind. I joking refer to that time as my 'Hartz awakening'. I have fought to get Hartz flea products of shelves ever since.
I have "My story", just as every victim of Hartz or other over counter flea product victim does. The stories only vary in the degree of sorrow they hold. Be it from the injuries or deaths of beloved pets these products have caused or to the amount of money paid to save or try to safe an animal after their use. They are all sad and should have never of happened. I have read thousands of them. Sometimes I cry but all the time I get angry. How dare this still be happening. How dare the EPA or other government entity not stop this. How can this still be happening. It's like a bad nightmare you just can't awaken from.
The reason is all too simple, GREED.
I urge you to take action. File complaints, write letters, emails and make calls. Stay angry about this and do something. WE all must come together to put a stop to this. You must take the time to file complaints, write letters and make calls. And perhaps the most important thing of all is to tell people. Tell everyone you know. Tell people you see at the store looking at these flea products. Get the word out. By doing this you may actually help save an animal from injury and /or death. Become an animal advocate. Help put an end to this.
If you have an animal you think maybe effected by the use of an over the counter flea products please use the navigation tab at the top marked, "Help for Your Pet". This page will provide you with what symptoms to watch for and what to do to help your pet. If your pet is already a victim please use the, "What You can Do " tab.This page will tell you who to contact and how to file complaints with the various government agencies.
Why the Web Site
I had been a volunteer online community leader since 1999 with one of the major internet providers. One of the many things I did was to read message boards posts. After my 'Hartz awakening', I began seeing posts on message boards about Hartz flea products. I didn't think much about the first few I read until I read one very moving post. It was from a cat owner who had used Hartz flea and tick drops on her cats. Three days later the cats were both dead.
Little did I know that in reading that post I was catching a glimpse of what the next years of my life would look like. I was truly moved by that post. As I sat at my computer and tried to form some sort of reply to comfort this person, I thought to myself, 'What if Ruckus had died? If I hadn't of washed the same product off 20 minutes after applying it and rushed him to a vet, he'd probably have died. How would I feel then? The answer was like a bolt of lightening striking within feet of you. I'd be in shock thinking I had killed this poor stray I was trying to help. The guilt was over whelming.
I began to see more and more of this type of posts. In some the animals only had to be taken to ER Vets where they were put under heavy sedation to control seizures and put on fluids to try to flush the toxin from their ravaged bodies. Those were the lucky ones. The not so lucky ones were no longer a live. In some of the most heart wrenching posts, young children were the ones to find their pets unable to stand, having uncontrollable seizures or dead. What would you say to that child?
When I had called and written Hartz to complain about what their product had done to Ruckus, it took them four months before actually contacting me. They said if my Vet would write a letter stating that the product was the cause of Ruckus stay at the Vets, and I still had the original package and receipt they'd pay the vet bill. I thanked the rep on the phone and said after all this time I was much more concerned about the product affecting our peoples animals the same way or worse and inquired what Hartz planned to do to ensure the safety of animals the product was used on. The rep on the other end of the phone told me I must be stupid to think Hartz would do anything over a cat for a product they made so much money from. I won't digress into what the conversation then became like. Let's just say most of the rest of it would have to be blipped out.
It was then I really decided I wanted to know everything I could find out about Hartz flea products. I started out doing late night online research. I didn't like what I was finding out and by this time word had spread in the online world that I was the person to contact if you were a Hartz victim. My email was more than depressing. I formed an online support group for anyone who had had a similar experience with Hartz flea products to try to help.
I found out about the class action against Hartz and was delighted at the thought something was going to be done to have these dangerous products pulled. Within months I was notified that the class action was now to be settled out of court. The settlement stated their would be nothing for anyone who's pet had died only those who's pets had lived would be able to have Hartz pay their Vet bills if we would all sign waivers holding Hartz as non responsible for the injuries to our pets. Needless to say many others and I opted out of the class action at that point.
By this time I was receiving 3 or more emails a week from people all over the US whose pets had been affected by Hartz flea products. I knew something had to be done, but what.
I had discovered that the EPA regulated Hartz flea products rather than the FDA. The FDA has control over such products as Advantage and Frontline. They are listed in the FDA's 'Green Book". So why did the EPA have control over Hartz products?
By reading the various EPA documents pertaining to this issue that are available online, you will see that Hartz told the EPA that the reasons for the numerous complaints made by consumers were not due to using the product but the inability of American consumers to:
1. Choose the cat version of the product rather than the dog version
2. The inability of the American consumer to read and correctly follow label directions for use
3. A possible mix-up of the two versions in a certain batch
The EPA responded to that information in 2001 by having Hartz recall the Flea and Tick Drops product to "re-label" it. In my opinion based on the numbers of posted stories since than, the re-labeling did little good to ensure the safety of our animal companions
In 2001, despite being forced to re-label the product, a legal action, over 20 news stories and over 33,000 complaints made by consumers across the nation, Hartz was still selling this preparation to unsuspecting, pet-owning American consumers.
What many consumers discover after applying Hartz Flea and Tick Drops is that instead of helping the pets they care for, these preparations cause serious injury and -- in far too many cases -- death. Besides the horror of watching a beloved pet suffer, which is obviously the main reason these products should be banned, consumers incur the high costs of extensive veterinarian, hospital and emergency room services needed to save or attempt to save the lives of their pets.
The degree to which Americans love their pets is shown every year in the money spent to provide for them. Although I don't have the figures at hand, the "Pet Industry" is certainly making record profits.
Hartz obviously is only interested in "profits" -- not the well being and safety of the many pets its product continues to harm and kill.
To this day Hartz refuses to admit any wrong doing, that their products have ever harmed animals or that they purposely misled the EPA. It is all too apparent that they have no intentions to do anything but continue to sell a lethal product to make a profit.
Josh's site many thanks for all you have done to help fight this
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