“As an expression of our empathy” – $500.00 to your veterinarian – Truth about Pet Food

Is Hill’s vitamin D recall reimbursement to veterinarians “empathy” or is it damage control?

On February 4, 2019 – four days after the vitamin D recall – Hill’s Pet Food sent veterinarians a multi-page notice. The notice included suggested treatment protocols for dogs experiencing excessive vitamin D symptoms and information about an opportunity from Hill’s to reimburse the veterinarian for expenses incurred by pet owners to diagnose and treat pets suffering from excess vitamin D symptoms.

To read the full notice from Hill’s to veterinarians, Click Here. (Provided by a veterinarian friend of TAPF.)

Quoting from the Hill’s notice to vets (bold added):

“To support veterinarians in their relationship with their clients and their pets and as an expression of our empathy for pet parents, Hill’s will evaluate on a case by case basis, requests for reimbursement of veterinary fees including specific diagnostic tests and treatment for dogs who have eaten the voluntary recalled diets and the veterinarian recommends diagnostic tests and treatment for vitamin D Hypervitaminosis.”

Your clinic will receive a reimbursement per the details provided in the ‘Patient reimbursement request form’ (up to a maximum of $500 per patient) as soon as possible after receipt of the forms if you are a Hill’s customer.”

What do pet owners think…

Is it appropriate for Hill’s to reimburse veterinarians and not the pet owners who incurred the expense?

Is this veterinarian reimbursement program from Hill’s actually a trust building program for vets (to maintain veterinarian trust of Hill’s products)?

Unlike how Hill’s has handled this situation, if a pet food company announced they would take full responsibility for their manufacturing error – such as publicly announcing they will pay for all testing and all treatment of sick pets (even if that treatment lasts a lifetime), would that influence you as a pet owning consumer?

Opinion: Hill’s and the other companies that recalled pet foods for excess vitamin D had ample opportunity to test their products and ingredients – prior to manufacturing and shipping the pet foods out to stores. But, not one pet food manufacturer bothered. The Hill’s website bragsScience has driven the creation of our nutrition since 1939“. Where was that science in testing ingredients when they came into the plant or testing finished pet foods? A simple quality check on incoming ingredients could have prevented the illness and deaths of an unknown number of pets. There is no excuse.

Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,

Susan Thixton
Pet Food Safety Advocate
Author Buyer Beware, Co-Author Dinner PAWsible
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