Independent Democracy

Thought provoking commentary

Shame on PetSmart – Using Menu Foods pet food recall tragedy to increase sales

I received an unsolicited email from PetSmart the other day that really aggravated me. I may have ordered from them at some point in the past but not anything in at least a year or more. I’ve never ordered any canned pet food from PetSmart or any other store for that matter. So why did PetSmart CEO Philip L. Francis send me an unsolicited email using the disguise of the Menu Foods recall to encourage me to click on one of the links to their website? They did it, even after knowing that I’ve never orderd canned pet food from them, for the simple reason to try and drive traffic to their website and increase sales.

To be sure of my order history, I called them today to see when the last time was that I placed an order from them. I had only one order on file, placed on 12/15/2004. I ordered a pet bed for my dog Buddy just before Christmas.

The email (shown below in original format,) has exactly 9 links in it that take me to some page or other on the PetSmart website. You can read it yourself but they basically use the disguise of the recall and say how much they care about my pet and encourage me to “Click Here” and be whisked away to their website. This tactic to drive traffic to their site is absolutely despicable. This company cares about profits, not my pet. Since they obviously didn’t check my order history to see that I’ve never even ordered pet food from them, they’re sending me a pet food recall email not even knowing what kind of pet I own, if I even own a pet. For all they know I have pet mice that I breed to feed to my boa constrictor. Yet they felt compelled to send me this “Important Pet Food Recall Information” email. Hey, if I have email, I no doubt have access to any thousands of sources of news on the internet. Chances are 99.9% that I’m already aware of this recall. Do they seriously think that their email is going to be the first time I’ve heard about this recall? It’s been on the news everyday for more than a week!

The email has PetSmart Chairman and CEO Philip L. Francis in the signature block. If you agree what they did was inappropriate, mail a letter, email (, or call Mr. Francis and tell him that you don’t appreciate their company sending out unsolicited emails that use the pet food recall tragedy as a disguise for driving traffic to their website. I sent him a snail-mail letter today, I’ll post his reply, if he ever sends one. Here is a copy of the letter I sent to him. Note: I removed my personal info and my signature block.

Petsmart Inc.
19601 N 27th Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85027
United States – Map
Phone: 623-580-6100
Fax: 623-395-6517

If you are having trouble reading this PetSmart® email, please click here.
Dear Valued PetSmart customer:As you have probably heard, Menu Foods, a national manufacturer of pet foods, issued a voluntary recall of canned and pouched wet dog and cat food manufactured in two of its facilities between December 2006 and March 2007. Again, this is a recall of a specific type of wet pet food made by Menu Foods. Other wet pet foods and all dry pet food and treats are not impacted by this recall.Menu Foods initiated the recall after receiving reports that some of its foods may be the cause of reported illnesses and kidney failure in dogs and cats. Menu Foods distributes these products to supermarkets, mass merchandisers and pet specialty stores, including PetSmart®, under a variety of brand names.Click here to see a complete list of PetSmart products that are part of the recall, as well as their respective UPCs (also referred to as the bar code). The bar code can be found on the product label; the UPC is under the series of bars. As a reminder, the items listed are the only items that PetSmart carries that have been affected by the recall.In the meantime, we have pulled all recalled products from our store shelves and have a process in place to help ensure they’re not restocked or distributed in any way.If you have purchased any of the recalled items, you should discontinue use immediately. We recommend you contact your vet if you have any concerns that your pet may have been affected. Symptoms may include:

  1. Vomiting (this is usually the first sign)
  2. Refusal to eat
  3. Fatigue
  4. Abnormal increase in water consumption
  5. Abnormal increase in urination

If you’re interested in finding out more about what kinds of tests vets recommend to make a diagnosis, click here.

Additionally, if you are looking for a recommendation for your unique pet food needs, please visit our Smart Nutrition Selector on our website. Or, if you need additional assistance while in the store, feel free to ask an associate. If you know of any other pet parents that are in search of more information, please share this with them.

If you have food that is a part of the recall, you can bring it back to PetSmart for a complete refund. Or, we’ll exchange your items with any dry food or alternative canned or foiled pouched wet foods that we have in stock.

Please remember, this recall affects only specific wet pet food items. All dry pet food and treats are not impacted by this recall.

We also encourage customers with concerns or questions to contact any of the companies listed below:

Authority – 1-866-738-7375
Award – 1-866-738-7375
Eukanuba – 1-800-882-1591 (
Grreat Choice – 1-866-738-7375
Hills/Science Diet – 1-800-445-5777 (
Iams – 1-800-882-1591 (
Menu Foods – 1-866-463-6738 (
Mighty Dog – 1-800-778-7462 (
Mixables – 1-303-768-8400 (
Nutro – 1-800-833-5330 (
Sophisticat – 1-866-738-7375

At PetSmart, we’re very concerned pet parents too, and we will do everything in our power to help. Please visit for the most up-to-date information. If you have any additional questions about the Menu Foods recall, please call our Customer Service line at 1-866-738-7375.


Philip L. Francis
Chairman & CEO, PetSmart, Inc.

Please do not reply to this email as we are not able to respond to messages sent to this address. You can find answers to your questions or contact us through our Customer Service pages. Let’s stay in touch! To make sure you continue receiving PetPerks emails (and that they don’t go to your bulk or junk folders), please add to your email address book.In the future, if you need to change any of the personal information that is linked to your PetPerks savings card, such as email or home address, just call 1-866-PetPerks (1-866-738-7375).Your privacy is really important to us. For details about how we handle your personal information, see PetSmart’s Privacy Policy.If you prefer not to receive PetPerks promotional emails in the future, click here to unsubscribe.PetSmart Customer Service, 1989 Transit Way, Brockport, NY 14420.© 2007 PetSmart Store Support Group, Inc./PetSmart, Inc. All rights reserved. PETSMART & Bouncing Ball Designs, PETSMART.COM, PETSMART CHARITIES, PETPERKS, PAWSPECTIVES, and STATE LINE TACK & Designs are registered trademarks of PetSmart. PetSmart disclaims any proprietary interest in intellectual property other than its own.


March 25, 2007 - Posted by | Animals, Current Events


  1. Well my humans seem to think that what PetSmart did is the right thing. Unlike what any of the other retailers of Menu Foods products have done.

    Being a Dog Chow dog they were unconcerned until Purina waited until late Friday night to recall the Alpo they feed me along with my Dog Chow. If anyone should be scorned it should be Purina because what they did was obviously stock price driven.

    Arfity woof!

    Comment by Moon Dog | March 31, 2007 | Reply

  2. It would be foolish of Petsmart to assume that you ONLY buy products online and that the history of your online purchases reflects EVERYTHING you have bought from them. Instead they are making an effort to contact everyone they can with the rescources they have – e-mail happens to be the fastest and most executable method of contacting the greatest number of people. You should send them an e-mail and ask them to remove you from any future e-mailed product warnings, that way if you buy something from their store and your pet suffers a unusually painful death you will at least have the peace of that unsent e-mail not being in your inbox.

    Comment by Tom Smith | April 6, 2007 | Reply

  3. This is not a comment on the recall. However, it is a comment on treatment of animals by PetsMart.

    I am appalled to hear that Petsmart continues to breed and sell animals while millions are euthanized, abused, abandoned and neglected each year.

    I have 3 dogs and shop at PetsMart quite often. I will no longer be shopping at PetsMart until PetsMart stops these practices.

    Comment by Dorothy Roche | March 4, 2009 | Reply

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