Mass Mail of the Day: Cocoa Mulch and French Target
Submitted by Shepherd on February 19, 2009 - 10:14
Letter here. Response below.
Please tell every dog or cat owner you know. Even if you donâ€™t have a pet, please pass this to those who do.
Over the weekend the doting owner of two young lab mixes purchased Cocoa Mulch from Target (A French owned Company) to use in their garden. They loved the way it smelled and it was advertised to keep cats away from their garden. Their dog Calypso decided that the mulch smelled good enough to eat and devoured a large helping. She vomited a few times which was typical when she eats something new but wasnâ€™t acting lethargic in any way. The next day, Mom woke up and took Calypso out for her morning walk. Half way through the walk, she had a seizure and died instantly.
Although the mulch had NO warnings printed on the label, upon further investigation on the companyâ€™s website, this product is HIGHLY toxic to dogs and cats.
Cocoa Mulch is manufactured by Hersheyâ€™s, and they claim that â€˜It is true that studies have shown that 50% of the dogs that eat Cocoa Mulch can suffer physical harm to a variety of degrees (depending on each individual dog). However, 98% of all dogs wonâ€™t eat it.â€™
This Snopes site gives the following information:http://www.snopes.com/critters/crusader/cocoamulch.asp
Cocoa Mulch, which is sold by Home Depot, Foremanâ€™s Garden Supply and other Garden supply stores, contains a lethal ingredient called â€˜ Theobromineâ€™. It is lethal to dogs and cats. It smells like chocolate and it really attracts dogs. They will ingest this stuff and die. Several deaths already occurred in the last 2-3 weeks. Theobromine is in all chocolate, especially dark or bakerâ€™s chocolate which is toxic to dogs. Cocoa bean shells contain potentially toxic quantities of theobromine, a xanthine compound similar in effects to caffeine and theophylline. A dog that ingested a lethal quantity of garden mulch made from cacao bean shells developed severe convulsions and died 17 hours later. Analysis of the stomach contents and the ingested cacao bean shells revealed the presence of lethal amounts of theobromine.
PLEASE GIVE THIS THE WIDEST DISTRIBUTION!!!
Thank you for the heads up. Why is it relevant that Target is a French-owned company? It isnâ€™t, by the way â€” see http://www.snopes.com/politics/military/target.asp for details. Weird that this e-mail starts off with a Snopes-debunked falsehood and then returns to Snopes to confirm that cocoa mulch is bad for dogs. So, by the way, are Poinsettias. I dread next Christmas and an inbox flooded with messages about the deadly red flower from Target (teh FRENCH CUMPANY) that kills kitteh!
If cocoa keeps cats away, why is there a danger of cats eating it? Who were this unnamed couple, and why is one of them â€œMomâ€? Is this letter written by one of their children, and if so why do they start off writing about their mom and dad in the third person?
Why in Godâ€™s name would a â€œdotingâ€ set of pet owners stand there while their puppy eats â€œa large helpingâ€ of mulch? Itâ€™s mulch! If my dog (I do not own a dog, but there is a nice beagle in my mind named Baxter that is my imaginary dog in such scenarios) were to start eating weird chemically scented mulch, I wouldnâ€™t be standing by going â€œhey, check out my mulch-eating dog!â€ I would be saying â€œFor the love of God, Baxter, donâ€™t eat mulch! Itâ€™s full of dead leaves and sharp twigs and pointy things and is probably not good for dogs!â€ Letting your dog eat cheap artificially scented mulch from Target (French owned Company) moves you right out of the â€œdotingâ€ category, in my book. â€œA dumbass let their dog eat mulch and it got sickâ€ isnâ€™t much of a story, but for Peteâ€™s sake, itâ€™s mulch. Mulch is not food.
And who in the world would want a garden that smells like cocoa? â€œI love my garden! The only thing that could make it better was if it SMELLED LIKE CHOCOLATE!â€ What? I like my couch, but I donâ€™t want it to smell like baked beans. I love my bicycle, but I donâ€™t want it to smell like bacon. Why in the world to people want chocolate-scented gardens? Shouldnâ€™t gardens be kind of flower-scented anyway?
This whole thing smells like a scam, and if it werenâ€™t for the Snopes link Iâ€™d think it was more spamfakery. The blatant anti-French slur (Target is a FRENCH company and therefore obviously CANâ€™T BE TRUSTED) off the top kind of stinks. The whole thing is super weird.