Complaint Form Letter to Pet Product Manufacturers
When your pets are harmed by products that should not have been made or marketed as they are, don't just sit back - do something!
©1996, 2000 Melissa Kaplan
One of the major problems those of used working to ensure the health and well-being of reptiles in captivity, especially the ever-increasingly popular green iguana, is that people whose animals have suffered injury, disease or death as a direct result of using products that are inappropriate or unsafe for reptiles, or that have been misleading packaged, marketed, or pushed by pet stores, fail to write letters of complaint to the manufacturers (or stores, especially corporate superstores). Thus, stores and manufacturers claim to know nothing of any problems...and animals keep getting burned, suffer from fatal impactions, or end up at the vet's costing hundreds of dollars to correct metabolic bone disease.
Ferry's Complaint Form Letter
Mr. or Ms. [company
Dear [insert name of company rep or company here],
I purchased a [pet product] for use with my iguana, made by [company name] and used it according to the packaging instructions [make sure you used it according to packaging instructions!]. As a direct result of your product, my [reptile species], [your reptile's name*], received [describe injury] and had to undergo treatment consisting of [describe treatment].
Not only was this a painful experience for [your reptile's name], but it was also costly for me to provide the veterinary care necessary to save [your reptile's name] life. I have since found that a number of people who participate in an [e-mail discussion list dedicated to [iguanas, snakes, geckos, monitors, etc.] and/or computer online service message board and/or Internet newsgroup], have mentioned similar injuries, and [company name] comes up repeatedly in conjunction with products that are known to cause these injuries [or illness] in the animals they are used with. This discussion [list/message board/newsgroup] has an international readership of several hundred, and many of our subscribers participate in an Internet newsgroups related to reptile and amphibian care that have an international readership in the millions. In short, the recurring problems with your product lines marketed for herps have not gone unrecognized amongst people who keep reptiles and amphibians.
I urge [company name] to examine its products and to fix or discontinue those that are unsafe for use with reptiles, and to provide clear and visible guidelines and warnings for use of these products on the packaging when necessary.
[Or, if you are a victim of the pseudo-full spectrum phenomenon, use the following paragraph:
I am obviously only one of potentially thousands of people who have been similarly victimized, as evidenced by such reports as I have discovered in the reptile veterinary, biological, herpetological, and herpetocultural literature. Clearly, this must stop before other animals are hurt.
Furthermore, I ask that [company name] reimburse me for the costs I have accrued as a result of injury to my pet, including veterinary office visit, diagnostics, and treatment. Attached is a copy of my receipt [or statement from veterinarian] for these expenses [remember to attach these!].
cc: [Send copies to the following people and agencies, indicating as such in the "cc" portion of your letter. Getting the word out to as many Powers That Be as possible is the first step in making a change.]
* Note: repeating your reptile's name serves to "humanize" it to people who may otherwise not acknowledge that reptiles can also be loved. This is actually a basic courtroom/jury technique.
Yvette's original letter was specifically for iguana owners. I have modified it somewhat to encourage its use by all reptile and amphibian owners.
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