Why we need consumer advocates in the pet food industry

UPDATE: I have no association with Susan Thixton of Truth About Pet Food, either personally of professionally, or the Association for Truth in Pet Food.

Seldom does a day pass without a pet food horror story splashed across the media: Ones that make you recoil in disgust, of rendering plants where pet food ingredients are made and whose stench defies description. The disbelief at the epidemic of pets plagued by foodborne illness and disease. And sadness, when we hear the tragic stories of pet parents, forced to seek redress in a court of law. And anger at the pet food companies who categorically deny any responsibility and the government agencies who complain of a lack of funding and inadequate laws to protect pets.


You wouldn’t know about most of these stories, except for the tireless persistence and dogged commitment of pet food safety advocates that help expose the atrocities by keeping the critical issues in the media.

The pet food industry, once a cloistered and secretive world, has begun to feel the unrelenting pressure from pet food safety advocates. And with it, there has come a gradually, sometimes imperceptible, shift in attitude and they have realized the necessity of including us in the dialog from a consumer perspective.


When I speak of ‘us,’ I refer to my two colleagues in this important work: Dr. Jean Hofve and Susan Thixton. Dr. Hofve, of Little Big Cat, whose work inspired me to look further into the pet food industry, has become one of the most important people in furthering my work by being instrumental in having me appointed advisor to two American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) Committees, the Pet Food Committee and the Ingredient Definitions Committee. And my dear friend Susan Thixton of Truth About Pet Food, whose support has been incalculable in giving me the confidence, the encouragement, and the will to continue this difficult, but rewarding work.

Today, the pet food industry has shown us they are willing to accept us by allowing us a seat at the table, in government meetings and industry events – I am proud to say – we are there.


Hi, I’m Mollie Morrissette, the founder of Poisoned Pets. For those of you who don’t know already, I am this country’s only not-for-profit pet food safety advocate. I am proud to say that Poisoned Pets is an independent site, in that it is not financed by the pet food industry or by any other private or public institution. I do not accept government or corporate funding, nor do I sell, promote, or otherwise endorse any pet products. Because Poisoned Pets accepts no advertising, it is entirely free from commercial influence.

This is an important distinction, because my work is dedicated to enhancing pet food safety by revealing the corruption and betrayal of trust by powerful pet food industry lobbyists, interest groups, and feed associations by using the tools of investigative journalism.

I conduct investigative projects that explore the interaction between private interests and government officials and its effect on animal health and welfare. By providing thorough, thoughtful, and objective analyses, I serve as a provider of information to inspire consumers to demand a higher level of accountability from its government, elected leaders, and corporations.

Instead, Poisoned Pets relies on the generosity of readers like you to produce top-notch investigative reporting in the public interest. Investigative journalism in the animal food sector is not only rare; it is priceless — but it is not free.


None of this work can be done without you. Your contribution is vital to the work of Poisoned Pets. Without it, I cannot continue this work without your generous support. It makes the difference between being able to continue this vital work or having it die out for lack of support. Many have come and gone, but with your help, the work I do will continue to improve the safety of pet food for generations to come.


If your gift is in honor of or dedicated to the memory a beloved pet, please send a photo along with a short message, including the name of your pet and it will be posted to a special tribute page dedicated to them on Poisoned Pets if you wish.

In addition, a personal letter of gratitude will be sent to every donor, thanking you for your generous support. With your support, pet parents like you, will continue to receive the benefits of the invaluable work to protect your pets from unsafe pet food and unscrupulous pet food manufacturers.

Unfortunately, donations are not tax-deductible at this time. However, that will change, when I begin the process of filing for a 501(C)(3). Until then, you can be assured that what little funding I receive is spent entirely on running this website. Special events, like attending AAFCO meetings, require additional fundraising efforts, as there are not enough donations to support my regular attendance to those meetings.



If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask me for my help.

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Poisoned Pets | Pet Food Safety News remains free (and ad-free) and takes me many, many hours of laborious work to research and write, and thousands of dollars a year to sustain. Help keep Poisoned Pets alive by making a donation. Thank you.




Mollie Morrissette

Mollie Morrissette, the author of Poisoned Pets, is an animal food safety expert and consumer advisor. Help support her work by making a donation today.

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