Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Message from Dr. Greco, DVM...regarding Chai and the Pimple Ball

Just wanted to post this comment for all to see. From veterinarian Dr. Charles Greco, regarding Chai's story.
My name is Dr. Charles Greco. I’m a veterinarian in New York.

I came across your blog about your dog Chai. I wanted to extend my well wishes for a speedy recovery. I own 6 dogs, 2 cats, 4 birds and 3 tortoises, so I know how much a pet can become a part of the family. I was shocked to learn that the toy that hurt poor Chai came from Four Paws Pet Products. I have used many products from Four Paws from Wee Wee Pads to toys and dental products and I have always found them to be of the highest quality.

I personally contacted Four Paws today and talked to some lady in the customer service department that told me that the toy that hurt Chai was the result of a manufacturing defect in one shipment of the pimple ball with bell toy. She explained that the defect, which is very difficult to see with the naked eye, is caused by a blockage in a small hole in the ball that is critical to regulating the suction inside the toy. She also told me that when Four Paws learned of the injury to Chai they immediately stopped shipping the product to distributors and retailers. She also said that Four Paws asked any retailers that had this toy in their possession to remove the toy and send them back to Four Paws.

She told me that Four Paws is individually inspecting everyone of the pimple balls in its inventory in order to identify and discard any that are defective. She also said that Four Paws will also be changing the packaging of its pimple balls to make it easier to inspect them for potential defects. I was surprised when she told me that the Executive V.P., Barry Askin, was so deeply moved by the injury to Chai that he is personally visiting the manufacturer next month to inspect the manufacturer’s operation and to make sure the defect has been corrected and that procedures are in place to make sure the defect has been corrected and that procedures are in place to make sure it will not happen again.

It was reassuring that this company is not sitting by idly but is taking an active role in making sure this terrible accident never happens again. I would just urge any pet owner who may already own one of these toys to check carefully to see if the second small hole in the ball is blocked. If they have any doubt whether the hole is open they should not let their pet play with the ball.

I also went on Four Paws’ webpage, On the webpage they state that they will replace any defective toy. Again, all the best to you and Chai. I hope the two of you can share many years of happiness ahead.


Lynne said...

It would be nice if Four Paws would offer some assistance to the owners of those dogs injured by their product. I can't imagine how time-intensive the care for pets like Chai must be.

Shilo said...

Just saw this on the RSS feed for Snopes... here is the link to the article:

Poor Chai, my heart just goes out to the poor dog.

Bev said...

Yes, it is nice to see Four Paws finally (emphasis on finally) reacting - interesting to see what happens when the pressure created by a ground swell of concerned people is put to bear - and the potential negative impact to a bottom line (which I suspect is what really has "so deeply moved" Mr. Askin).

If they had done this in 2005, when they were first told about it, we would not be hearing about Chai today. It is apparent that all responses from the company are from a carefully worded damage control statement written by their lawyers (what is on their web site, and what others, including myself, have received from them in response to our emails).

The Customer Service lady said it was a manufacturing defect "in one shipment?" More from the "lawyer's script"? They told the owner of the dog that died in 2005 that they would change the design to prevent it from happening again. What is the truth here? A manufacturers defect in one shipment in 2008? Or a design flaw from 2005?

Four Paws would do much better if they simply stepped up to the plate - admit their wrong doing, apologize, and give fair compensation to all affected.

What they have done so far, in my opinion, is "too little too late". I am not at all reassured by their response, and the only checking of this toy I have done is a check to make sure the garbage can lid was open as I threw it away.