Sourced Truth About Pet Food
Written By: Susan Thixton
2-28-2011
Contacts:
Consumer Inquiries:
(877) 227-9587

Media Inquiries:
Claire Burke
Hunter PR
(212) 679-6600

WELLPET LLC VOLUNTARILY RECALLS CERTAIN LOTS OF CANNED CAT FOOD
No Other Lots, Products or Dates Affected

Tewksbury, MA (February 28, 2011) - WellPet LLC announced today it has voluntarily recalled certain lots of Wellness® canned cat food.

While recent laboratory testing found that most lots of Wellness canned cat food that were tested contain sufficient amounts of thiamine (also known as Vitamin B1), some of the lots listed below might contain less than adequate levels of thiamine. However, out of an abundance of caution, WellPet has decided to recall all of the lots listed below.

Cats fed only the affected lots for several weeks may be at risk for developing a thiamine deficiency. Thiamine is essential for cats. Symptoms of deficiency displayed by an affected cat can be gastrointestinal or neurological in nature. Early signs of thiamine deficiency may include decreased appetite, salivation, vomiting, and weight loss. In advanced cases, neurologic signs can develop, which may include ventriflexion (bending towards the floor) of the neck, wobbly walking, circling, falling, and seizures. If your cat has consumed the recalled lots and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian. If treated promptly, thiamine deficiency is typically reversible.

The lots involved in this voluntary recall are:

Wellness Canned Cat (all flavors and sizes) with best by dates from 14APR 13 through 30SEP13;

Wellness Canned Cat Chicken & Herring (all sizes) with 10NOV13 or 17NOV13 best buy dates.

Consumers who still have cans of cat food from these lots should stop feeding them to their cats and call us at (877) 227-9587 Monday through Friday, 9:00 am – 7:00 pm Eastern Time. Consumers with further questions should visit our website at www.wellnesspetfood.com or call us at this same number.

WellPet discovered the lower thiamine levels during independent testing conducted together with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in response to a single, isolated consumer complaint received by the FDA. Although WellPet has received no other reports concerning thiamine in its products, WellPet has taken additional steps with the manufacturer to ensure that this does not happen again.

“As a pet parent myself, I’m concerned for the health and welfare of all pets, and as a company we are committed to delivering the most nutritious natural pet food,” said Tim Callahan, chief executive officer of WellPet, the maker of Wellness products. “Even though the chance of a cat developing a thiamine deficiency is extremely remote, we are voluntarily recalling all of these lots of our canned cat food as an extra precaution.”

The following is a letter also provided by WellPet...

Dear Pet Parents,

My name is Tim Callahan, and I’m the CEO of WellPet, makers of Wellness® natural pet food. Over the years, we at WellPet have worked hard to earn the reputation of being a company that does everything possible for the pets that depend on us.

WellPet is committed to delivering the very best in pet food nutrition, as nothing is more important than the well-being of our dogs and cats. So when we found through product quality testing that specific product runs of our Wellness canned cat food might contain less than adequate levels of thiamine (also known as Vitamin B1), we decided to voluntarily recall them.

Please know, the vast majority of products tested had the appropriate levels of thiamine; however, with the number of recipes we offer, we did not want to make this more confusing. Therefore to avoid confusion and in an abundance of caution, we have decided to recall all canned cat products with the specific date codes noted below. Cats fed only product with inadequate levels of thiamine for several weeks may be at risk for developing a thiamine deficiency. If treated promptly, thiamine deficiency is typically reversible.

Though the chance of developing this deficiency is remote, withdrawing these products is the right thing to do and we are removing it from retailers’ shelves.

The lots involved in this voluntary recall are:

Wellness Canned Cat (all flavors and sizes) with best by dates from 14APR 13 through 30SEP13;

Wellness Canned Cat Chicken & Herring (all sizes) with best by date of 10NOV13 and 17NOV13.

If you have cat food from these lots, you should stop feeding it to your cats. You may call WellPet at 1-877-227-9587 to arrange for return of the product and reimbursement. For further information, please visit our website at https://www.wellnesspetfood.com.

No other Wellness products that your pets currently enjoy are impacted, so you can continue to feed your pets Wellness with full confidence. This is an isolated situation, as we have had only one reported issue. We are taking all the necessary steps to ensure it does not happen again.

Speaking on behalf of our entire Company, I apologize for any concerns this may have caused you. As a parent of a yellow lab named Hope, I understand the sense of responsibility we all share for our dogs and cats. Rest assured, product quality and safety will always be our top priority.

Sincerely,

(Signature of Tim Callahan)

Note: Late this evening I received an email from Greg Kean of Wellpet asking for a phone number to contact me this evening. Because of the hour, I replied via email if we needed to speak or if what he needed to share could be sent in an email. He asked to speak to me directly. What he shared was the above recall information. This phone conversation was before the Associated Press release went public.

I thank WellPet for being more than prompt of letting us know about this recall. Although this is unfortunate circumstances, I appreciate the effort made by WellPet in this recall.
Susan Thixton