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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

My Opinion

By now most of you have read the Unsafe Toy Alert e-mail that has been making the rounds on the internet. I've received copies from friends, it's been posted on the breed lists I subscribe to and it's shown up on a number of blogs. There are a few things about this particular warning and others like it that bother me.

If you've read my blogs you know that I love my dogs. I'm concerned for their health and safety. You also know that I buy stuffed toys at thrift stores for them to play with. When I first read the alert now circulating I was alarmed, but now that I've read it a dozen times, I have some concerns about the alert itself.

First, there are no specifics in the alert. Remember from high school writing classes, ask who, what, where and when? This alert addresses none of these. Who wrote the alert. Why on earth wouldn't you sign your e-mail if this was true? Who is this veterinarian you reference? Maybe my vet would like to contact him or her for more information on what to watch for, but you don't give a name or location. When did this happen? Was it last week or was it a few years ago? What was the toy exactly? You say a teddy bear. Was it a Beanie Baby or a big stuffed bear won at an amusement park or something in between? Who was the manufacturer. You say the vet contacted the manufacturer, so who was it? Why didn't this vet contact the appropriate agencies such as the Consumer Protection Agency or the FDA or anyone else about this safety threat?

I have trouble believing that the manufacturers of dog toys are being more careful than the manufacturers of childrens toys, especially since most of each type are manufactured in China. And what about the toys that are being marketed for children and pets?

I wouldn't want my toddlers playing with toys that have this very toxic filling, so should I now buy dog toys as baby gifts?

I have a lot of trouble believing these non-specific warnings that appear out of nowhere on the internet and spread like wildfire. I feel it's cowardly to put something like this out there to scare people with no specific information and no names attached. Whoever started this, if it's true, sign your name to it.

So what do we do now? I'm not taking the toys away from my dogs. Will I buy more in the future? Yes. I will watch them when they play with their toys, but then I always have. If and when someone comes up with specific answers to my questions, I'll reconsider, but till then I choose not to give in to this type of scare tactic.

The opinions expressed above are my own and I will take responsibility for them and sign my name to them.
Sue Wilcox-Hall
Springfield Missouri

Late Edition: You can read about this on Snopes site.


  1. And I Lynn Jennings Spencer agree wholeheartedly with you. I don't give my dogs a toy unless I'm around to monitor it. And as soon as it's unstuffed it gets a new home - the local landfill. I'm more concerned about dollar store toys than I am children's toys. Truthfully, IMHO, you can't beat the tug of war toys - but if you have a Scottie, don't get the ones with the tennis balls - they will strip that ball down in about 2 seconds flat!

    And if you want more support - check out -

  2. And a bit more - dogs are dogs -they will destroy anything if left to their own devices. They need to be monitored, even if they are eating a steak! And as responsible pet owners, that's what we do.

    I hit post before I was through - WOW! imagine that happening - it's just like closing my mouth before I was through talking - LOL!

  3. Hi Sue:

    I have not seen this Alert you are speaking of.
    Do you have a URL for one you saw?

    I do think your words today are very well written and I agree with you. Its cowardly to send out some frightening words about toys and not saying Who You Are.

    I'll be interested in reading this, I Google for it but all I came up with were old alerts, 2005 and so on.

    Cheers and hugs,

    Jo and Stella

  4. Many thanks for the Snopes link. That's always the first place I go.

    There are no perfect toys. We don't do ANY kind of rawhides in our house... or didn't, even before the great allergy diet came to pass. The Knight had to drag one too many out of Fred's throat, and that ended that. However, I don't judge anyone electing to use rawhides in their pets' routines...

  5. Yes, in total agreement here too. We saw the original and we saw the snopes. Guess there is a bit of truth to it, but the bottom line is that we have to use your smarts and take good care of our babies.

  6. I guess I am one of the guilty ones who forwarded that email to you. Sorry. I didn't even think of looking at Snopes before forwarding that email around - I just read a horrifying story and wanted to pass it along as a caution to any dog owners. Now that I look at Snopes, it sort of confirms the fact that people toys are not good for dogs. In my mind, anyway. As with anything, of course, good common sense is key in protecting these precious souls entrusted to our care.

    I will be the first to admit that I go a little overboard. Since the dog food scare in the Spring of 2007, I no longer feed them anything manufactured for dogs. Nothing. No dog food, no dog treats...nothing. My family calls me a wacko, and my vet insists that there are safe, good quality pet foods on the market, but making it myself makes me feel better about what my babes are eating. Their bloodwork is perfect, so I know they are getting all of the essentials, and I figure better safe than sorry.

    Signed: Dianne Wood, the wacko from Pittsgrove, NJ

  7. Whenever we go to the Pet Store with mommy, we always see a zillion things we want! And we think she is being mean cause she won't buy out the whole store. And we say, mommy, we want that and that butt then she explains, I don't think that toy is very safe.

    We're sooo glad that we have a smart mommy like you. Thanks for spreading the word.

    Deprived in Texas,
    Riley and Star.

  8. Well we don't feed greenies or rawhides since they pulled what appeared to be rawhide out of Beau's gut. I do however buy kids toys at thrift stores, garage sales and "after holiday sales." Beau's favorite big bunny was just killed. I don't take the toys away when he unstuffs them, because he's happy as a clam to carry a carcas around for months. g

  9. I went straight to Snopes as soon as I started seeing that spread like wildfire thru all the rescue newsgroups and stuff. Like you, I had the same speculation and questions... if it were a real warning, it would have had answers to all our questions!

  10. I had not seen this one yet. Interesting. I think the key is supervision and common sense. If your dog is literally consuming any toy then they need to not have it.

  11. Well written my friend.
    Off to walk the Cricket in the rain. Can't complain the weather in Chicago has been lovely this week.

  12. I totally agree with you. Chica, Ernie, & Sasha have toys (baby stuffies) we have bought at the thrift store. They are monitored when they are playing with them & if they get ripped too bad so they can't be sewn/surgeries then they are thrown in the garbage. I got the warning from someone who meant well but it made me feel very bad. Very well written. Good Job.
    Ernie, Chica, Sasha's Mom Barb


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