Here is information about our campaign to urge retailers to remove jerky treats imported from China from store shelves. Beginning with Black Friday, but there more…much more.
It begins on Black Friday. It begins with Walmart. Click Here to view our letter to Walmart. But it’s going to go much further than that. We’ve come up with a plan that hopefully will have great power, not only to show retailers how serious we are about removing jerky treats from China from their shelves, but to show support to those that don’t sell the risky treats.
Let me start by sharing with you my personal plea for your participation. I’ve been fighting this war on unsafe/unhealthy pet products for a few years now. Sadly, I must tell you that ‘we’ don’t win many battles. ‘We’ have been kicked to the curb time and time again. One step forward, two steps back. The fight is hard, time consuming, frustrating and very often futile. There have been countless times I have wanted to throw my hands up in the air and give up. But then I hear from one of you. I hear your gut wrenching story of how you were forced to put your baby down because their kidneys were destroyed; you KNOW this was caused by a pet food or treat. I hear the pain and sorrow and helplessness you feel. And I know we can’t ever stop.
I understand that going to Walmart on Black Friday is not on your preferred list of things to do – it’s not my favorite thing to do either, but I’m hopeful you will go regardless. It should take no longer than 30 minutes. It is important to have many people at many Walmarts; we want corporate Walmart (which won’t return my phone calls) to know there are many of us that want the treats removed.
For Black Friday for Pets
Things to bring – notebook, pen, camera/cell phone with camera.
November 23 – 11 AM will be the “meet” time at Walmart – nationwide.
To make this easy for people to connect, arrive at 10:45 AM and wait for others at the far right side of the front of the building (if you are in the parking lot facing the building – the right side facing the building) – on the sidewalk to be out of the way of traffic.
Take a picture of yourself/your group with a Walmart sign in the background.
Enter at 11 AM, and ask the Walmart Greeter to speak with the manager.
When the manager arrives, introduce yourself. Tell him/her you have some concerns regarding several products being sold at Walmart; ask permission to video tape your concerns/this conversation. Don’t worry if they say no (most probably will). But you MUST ask permission if you are going to video this (you can use your cell phone if you don’t have a camera).
Get out your notebook and pen – take notes as you can. Document the managers name.
After this, your conversation can go like this…(if you wish, even print this little script out and read it)
“I’m very concerned about the chicken jerky pet treats being sold here. In recent months, the FDA has received over 360 reports of pet deaths linked to the treats. The most complaints received by the FDA have been Waggin Train and Milo’s Kitchen – both sold here at Walmart. Now to get to my question, last December Walmart pulled an infant formula from store shelves nationwide because it was thought to be linked to an infant’s death. There was no recall of the product – just like with these jerky treats. Walmart did the right thing with this baby formula, acted out of an abundance of caution and pulled the baby formula just in case. So I have to ask you, isn’t 360 pet deaths in recent months enough for Walmart to act out of caution again? Does Walmart have the same concern for pet product safety as they have shown to have for human product safety?”
Allow them to respond. Most likely, they will tell you that they have no control over this – this is a Walmart corporate decision. Then ask…”Well, how are you personally going to feel when a pet owner walks into your store and tells you their pet died? Will you at least report my concerns to the Walmart corporate offices? Will you tell them about all of the FDA reports of pet deaths? Will you personally help me get this message to corporate Walmart?”
Leave them with this statement: “I spend approximately $ (your own amount) on holiday gifts for family and friends, much of that I have purchased at Walmart in the past. But this year, myself and thousands of pet lovers are purchasing our holiday gifts only from Jerky Treats from China Free Zones. Thousands of us are choosing to spend our money with companies that care about the safety of pets. Should Walmart decide to listen to the concerns of thousands of pet lovers, let me know – I’ll become your customer again. Until then, thank you for talking with me today.”
As best you can, take notes and/or try to remember what they said. When you get home (or back in the car) write down in as much detail as possible what the manager told you. Send that information back to Mollie Morrissette or myself OR post it on the Black Friday for Pets Facebook page. And send us your picture (post your video on YouTube if they allow it) of you/your group in front of Walmart.
If you’d like to hand out leaflets to shoppers (your decision), click here to view/print.
For any pet lover in Clearwater, FL – here’s where I’ll be on Black Friday…
Walmart Supercenter #2796-Oldsmar
3801 Tampa Rd
Oldsmar, FL 34677
Meet me there – 10:45 AM.
Our next step.
I understand that our Black Friday event will probably not do much to urge Walmart or any retailer to remove the jerky treats from store shelves. Ahh, but we pet lovers are the determined type; this is just step one. Step two will hit on the two things that big retailers pay attention to; sales (money) and their competition.
Jerky Treats from China Free Zones
This next month is THE busiest shopping time of the year. Imagine if 1,000 consumers take their holiday shopping dollars to Best Buy or Radio Shack or Sears (Jerky Treats from China Free Zones) – instead of Walmart or Target. Let’s just say each of those 1,000 consumers spend $100.00 in one of the ‘Jerky Treats from China Free Zone’ stores – that’s $100,000.00 lost by Walmart and/or Target. Now imagine if the 74,000 signers of (just) one jerky treat petition did the same? That would mean $7.4 million dollars lost (at only $100 per person) because Walmart or Target or others refused to listen to us.
It will be important to keep a running total of all purchases made in Jerky Treats from China Free Zones – I’m committed to do that. The running total of lost sales will be a significant visual for retailers to see…what they are losing. Plus, we’re going to keep a list of stores that are Jerky Treats from China Free Zones; stores we want to support.
And then, we’ll also turn to social media. We’ll Tweet, Facebook, and Google+ our shopping purchases at Jerky Treats from China Free Zones (again and again and again).
If you are not familiar with Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ – here’s a brief lesson on how these sites will help our cause. With Facebook or Google+, when you make a post and mention, let’s say Walmart, Walmart receives a notice their name was mentioned. Example: If I post on Facebook or Google+ “I’m heading to Walmart on Black Friday to ask them if they care about the safety of pet products” – Walmart gets a message that says something like “Susan Thixton just mentioned you”. On Twitter, a hashtag must be used (# – this is a hashtag). So on Twitter it would be “Heading to #Walmart to ask if they care about safety of pet products sold there”. And again, on Twitter, Walmart will receive a notice something like “Susan Thixton mentioned you”.
So imagine if 1,000 of us (2,000, 5,000 and more!) Tweet after each purchase we make in a Jerky Treats from China Free Zone – “I just spent $150 in Best Buy instead of #Walmart because Best Buy is a Jerky Treat from China Free Zone”. Imagine a thousand or so posts on Facebook and Google+ several times a week – “I just purchased the kids a great gift at Macy’s instead of Target. I won’t return to Target until they are a Jerky Treats from China Free Zone.”
I will soon have a page on TruthaboutPetFood2.com that is specifically for Jerky Treat from China Free Zones. This page will include the graph – updated regularly – of your purchases made in stores that are Jerky Treat from China Free Zones and a form for you to submit me the dollar amount of purchases made in Jerky Treats from China Free Zone Stores. Yes, it will be a chore for you to send me this information, and it will be a huge task to manage, but needs to become very public that pet lovers are taking their shopping dollars to stores that listen and care about our pets. This has to stop; jerky treats from China need to be removed from store shelves until they are proven safe.
For hundreds of thousands of beloved pets killed or permanently sickened by a pet food or treat…go to your Walmart on Black Friday. Shop in Jerky Treats from China Free Zone Stores. Share with others and share on social media. Please.
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
Pet Food Safety Advocate
Author, Buyer Beware
Co-Author Dinner PAWsible
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