Momentum is building for Black Friday for Pets. Food and Water Watch drafted a fabulous letter to the CEO of Walmart formally asking him for the removal of the imported pet treats, which is being sent via certified mail as we speak.
Susan Thixton of Truth About Pet Food has been working feverishly, putting together a fabulous video for the event and she has garnered the support from some of the country’s top vets and pet news channels. News about the event will be unfolding and broadcast all week. So, stay tuned!
Before the Event
Post on Black Friday for Pets Facebook Page and your own Facebook Page and Tweet which Walmart store you plan to visit on Black Friday and ask your friends to join you!
If you are up for holding a sign – make your own. Foam core, cardboard & craft paper, a yardstick, some strong tape or a staple gun, a picture of your dog, and a big fat pen are all you need to make one. If you need inspiration view Gramps (Charlie Averill) demonstrate how to make your own picket sign on YouTube! (optional).
Print out the Black Friday for Pets jerky treat warning flyer made available here for download (optional).
Sign our letter to the CEO of Walmart on Change.org (optional).
Finally, relax & take a deep breath. Remember, the reason you are participating is that you care about animals. For me, it is because I don’t want other pets and pet parents to suffer the agony that these toxic pet treats have caused them.
Time & Place
Day: November 23, 2012, aka “Black Friday”, time: 11 AM Walmart locations nationwide. Find a Walmart location nearest to you here.
What to bring to the event: Your wonderful self, a cell phone or video camera, some jerky treat flyers, a picture of your pet & just a smidge of courage. Extras such as T-shirts or signs are entirely up to you. If you or your group leader feel comfortable with that – great. Just know – you are not alone – because all over the country, people just like you, are at Walmart stores are with you in spirit helping to make a difference.
- Arrive at your local Walmart at 10:45 AM. Wait for others at the right side of the front of the building (on the right if you are facing the building).
- Take a picture of yourself/your group with a Walmart sign in the background.
- If you are planning to demonstrate, you must do so on public property because sometimes Walmart owns the parking lots. The safest option is to stay on the sidewalk near the entrance, but not blocking the entrance.
- If you feel comfortable, tell shoppers why you are there, about the danger the treats pose to pets, and how they affected you. Or, if you like, just hand them a flyer if they seem interested. Do whatever you feel most comfortable with.
- At 11 AM, enter the store and ask the Walmart Greeter to speak with the manager (preferably without a picket sign!).
- When the manager arrives, introduce yourself and politely inform the manager why you are there. Tell him/her you have some concerns regarding several products being sold at Walmart.
- The following is an example of what you might want to say to them. If you wish, you may print this script to follow as a guideline and read it to them:
“I’m very concerned about the jerky pet treats imported from China being sold at Walmart stores. In recent months, the FDA has received over 360 reports of pet deaths and 2,200 illnesses linked to the treats.
Most of the complaints received by the FDA have been Nestle-Purina’s Waggin’ Train and Del Monte’s Milo’s Kitchen jerky pet treats – two brands both sold here at Walmart.
Last December, Walmart pulled an infant formula from store shelves nationwide because they believed it might have been linked to the tragic death of an infant. Even though there was no recall of the product –Walmart acted ‘out of an abundance of caution’ and removed the infant formula – just in case.
Is the illness and death of over 2,560 pets a good enough reason for Walmart to act ‘out of an abundance of caution’ again? Does Walmart have the same concern for pet product safety as they have shown to have for human product safety?”
Finally, leave them with this statement:
“I spend approximately $ (enter your own amount) on holiday gifts for family and friends, much of which I have spent at Walmart in the past. However, this year I, along with thousands of other pet lovers, will be purchasing our holiday gifts only from retailers that are jerky treats (from China) free zones.
We are choosing to spend our money with companies that care about the safety of our pets. Should Walmart decide to listen to the concerns of thousands of pet lovers – we will become your customer again.
Until then, thank you for taking the time to listen to me today.”
8. If you like, you may hand the manager a copy of the letter addressed to the CEO of Walmart.
When it’s all over, give yourself a great big pat on the back! If you can, send Susan Thixton or myself a brief description of your participation in the event and post it on the Black Friday for Pets Facebook page. We would love to see a snap of you & your friends in front of Walmart on Black Friday!
Join me at my local Walmart on Black Friday for Pets in Ukiah, California! See you there!
If you have any questions, concerns, tips or high-fives to give me please eMail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Tony Buffington, the Ohio State University Veterinary Medical Center’s veterinary nutritionist, created a poster to display in the hospital for companion animals to warn clients of the potential risk of feeding their pets chicken jerky. The poster reads in part:
“Until a cause or explanation can be found, we urge our clients not to purchase or feed chicken jerky products to your pets. There are many other ways to express your love for your pet; play, petting, teaching tricks … contain all the love without the calories or the risks associated with these snacks.”
Buffington explained in a VIN News Service in an article, that when he was asked to speak to local press on the subject, he reviewed the issue to refresh his knowledge and was surprised to find the treats still available for sale. “While it seems incredible to me that anyone would continue to sell them with so many other snacks on the market, I thought that the least I could do was to warn our clients,” he said.
Below is Dr. Tony Buffington’s poignant poster.