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Boiling Down Dead Pets Is Not Uncommon

January 20, 2002

Re "Outcry Over Pets in Pet Food," Jan. 6: While the practice in St. Louis of boiling down euthanized pets is certainly horrific, it is by no means unique. Most shelters in Orange County, including the county shelter, and veterinarians send their euthanized pets to a rendering plant right here in Orange County. I have no doubt that the final destination for these much loved pets is the food bowl of Fido or Kitty.

Consumers should be as vigilant about reading pet food labels as they are about their own food labels. Beware of any label that says "byproducts," which means anything from hoofs, beaks or the beloved golden retriever you euthanized because of old age.

The only humane way to handle euthanized pets is to have them cremated. Large shelters, such as Orange County's, should have their own crematory.

Many veterinarians offer crematory services for a fee, and your pet's ashes can be returned to you in a nice urn or box. This is the only way to have peace of mind and ensure the humane treatment of your pet's remains.

Karen Chepeka

Huntington Beach

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