On March 16, 2007 Menu Foods announced the recall of 60 million cans of its food products for cats and dogs – the largest pet food recall in US history.
On July 4, 2007, Linda Rheinstein launched the iDoggiebag Foundation to help ensure that such a tragedy would never be repeated.
The Foundation exists to promote safe food for pets and people through research, education, and dedicated donations. Your donation to the foundation supports our continuing efforts to educate and inform people about food safety and includes your very own iDoggiebag bag.
The iDoggiebag Story
“Have you had any recent trauma to the right side of your body?” It is September 6, 2007. I sit in an exam room at Cedars Sinai Medical Center, stunned. I have just been told that I have breast cancer. I look at the doctor and answer, “Yes.”
Flash back to Christmas week 2006. Nipper, my 12 year-old cat and best friend, is suddenly hospitalized with life-threatening kidney failure. Christmas Eve I begin feeding Nipper’s unused IAMS wet food to the “outside” menagerie: 2 feral cats, 4 raccoons and a bunch of possums. Nipper comes home in early January 2007 but he must go back to the vet daily for fluids. As for the outside critters, the feral cats refuse to eat the food and the raccoons disappear. At the end of January I find one of my possums, dead. The animal control officer says it looks like it was poisoned.
In March 2007, the horrific news of the pet food recall hits. ALL of Nipper’s IAMS wet foods are on the list. My vet says there’s a good chance that Nipper is one of the poisoned animals, including several others in her care. On May 22, 2007, during a seizure at home, Nipper bites me in the right arm and then on my right hand. I rush him to the vet where she makes me promise to go straight to the ER, not home. I spend 2 days at the hospital, followed by 6 weeks on hardcore antibiotics for the powerful infection from Nipper’s bites. And truthfully, from then on I never feel 100% “right.”
Nipper died the day I was released from the hospital. It was his terrible suffering and unnecessary death that literally galvanized me to create a movement in his honor, to make sure we have safe food for everybody, pets and people. To that end I launched iDoggiebag with my family on the 4th of July, 2 months before my cancer diagnosis on September 6th 2007. Stage 2 Breast Cancer with “Lymph Node’s Involved”.
It’s now Christmas 2008, I have had 5 Surgeries, Endured 16 Weeks of Hard Core Chemo. Followed by 8 weeks of Radiation followed by continuing Drs visits and “oral chemo” but I am more than blessed to say Today I am Cancer Free and starting my 5 Year 98% Cured mark. My trademark Long Blonde Hair is coming back, well Curly and “Grey Blonde” my girlfriend Shari calls it a “Poodle Cut”, oh well at least it fits the Cause.
So here we are – eight years later – later and iDoggiebag still retains it’s mission to help ensure the safety our Food Chain even more so as I totally get what a “compromised immune” system is now…As my AWESOME Team of the Top Dr’s in The Cancers and Breast Field based out of Cedars have come to determine that my Non-Family related slow growing breast tumor was exasperated to “a Stage 2 Lymph Node Involved Cancer”…meaning I got to get the Killer Chemo and Double the Radiation and have a chance it’s anywhere in my Body…as opposed to the cancer just being in my Breast which involves a WAY less aggressive treatment than what I am having to go through.
“The Smoking Gun”: When I had my Surgery to take out my Lymph Nodes guess what they found next to the Cancerous Tumor…Yup the infection from the Cat bite right next to the Cancer…So basically as the “Storyline goes”…
Fed my Middle Aged Healthy Cat Nipper the Poisoned Procter and Gamble Iams Pet Food (which I did not know until well after I had fed it to Nipper). Nipper went into Kidney failure, kept him alive for 6 Months with Daily Vet Visits, he had a seizure from the Kidney Failure and bite me inadvertently on my wrist and fingers, I got “Cat Scratch Fever” almost died only to get better to be diagnosed with Breast Cancer “Exasperated and Spread” due to the Cat Bite compromising my immune system!!
So iDoggiebag is producing Eco-Friendly Bags in hopes not only to help rid the world of the “Plastic Bag” but to also help raise monies to maintain and update a Contaminated Feed and Food Alert “The Nipper Alert”
You also might be asking why I did not “sue” IAMs and their related corporate entities, bottom line we need to do something now and my hope is that the court of public opinion will help to cause corporations such as Proctor and Gamble, Menu Foods and the like to step up and help us do this right.
So Please JOIN US NOW. Carry your iDoggiebag and become part of the iDoggiebag generation. Together, let’s ensure that something like this never happens again.
Thank you in advance for your Support
Very Sincerely Yours,
Founder iDoggiebag Foundation