How is the pet food and supply industry doing? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Today, Bill James, Senior Vice President, Grocery Manufacturers of America (Industry Affairs) spoke and answered questions on CSPAN about the confidence of large interests in the food industry. However, neither he nor did any callers address the question of the pet food and supply industry and its readiness for Y2K. As a pet owner, I am very concerned about the readiness of this industry and its business partners. No one seems to be asking this question, or there is an assumption that pets are either toast or will be abandoned and become feral. Does anyone have the scoop on this seeming neglected subject?

Sincerely, Stan Faryna

-- Stan Faryna (, August 31, 1999


speaking of "scoop" -- i am stocking six months worth of pet food and kitty litter. meooooow. and i am still concerned. if they aren't worried about people--you gotta wonder if they are worried about pets? plus my vet is totally clueless. i guess i wonder why pet food industry would be any different than the food industry, which according to gartner looks abysmal if you consider the report that was recently published.

-- tt (, August 31, 1999.

I am stocking pet food too. If there are any food supply problems, pet food will not be a high priority to ship. Petco sells air tight containers which will hold 10, 20, or 50 pounds of dog food - necessary here because of an overabundance of ants.

-- Lynn Ratcliffe (, August 31, 1999.

* * * 19990831 Tuesday

I'm sure the "pets for food" supply will pick up post-Y2K! ;-)

Kidding aside... While serving in-country Vietnam, we had to keep a locked-eye on our furry, 4-legged "eyes and ears" at all times. We had a couple disappear during my 1-year tour! In poor, agrarian societies, dogs/cats are a cheap source of meat and protein. ( Some cultures still idolize their bovine species in the face of or on the brink of, starvation/malnutrition. Dogs and cats breed relatively quickly and don't have religious sanctions against them as a source of consumption.

Pets are a luxury. A mean, trained "junkyard" dog capable of detecting intruders, effectively attacking same and/or able to assist in the hunting party will become a necessity. They'll earn their meals the old fashioned way.

Don't get too attached to your current pets. Be prepared to psychologically let them go, so to speak. Survival is the end-game.

Regards, Bob Mangus

* * *

-- Robert Mangus (, August 31, 1999.


I don't. I know that I will have quite a bit of food for my cats (5..). Same for my German Shephard puppy.

However, the dog will eat anything (he fights the goats and pigs for "sweet feed") and a couple of the cats are a lot better mousers than the rest.

The animals that can't learn to eat scraps and scrounge for the rest won't make it.

-- Jon Williamson (, August 31, 1999.

Pet food will be plentifull after 1-1, what else you gonna do with corpses. sick

-- CygnusXI (, August 31, 1999.

Having already had some supply problems this summer in getting the dog food we feed, I was already leaning toward stocking up (pre-gi). We were able to find another store with the feed, but the shelf dates (best if used by) are only out until Nov. I'm not sure why the store isn't stocking fresher product-- and each time I'm in, it doesn't look like there's much movement of it either. :-( I'm starting to suspect that we're the only ones buying it-- or else there warehouse if filled with older product and thus the shelfs are filled that way.

Lynn-- Nearest Petco to us is about a 90 minute drive. Do you have a name or mfgr. of the air tight containers? And approximate pricing for the 50 lb ones? Bugs and pests and attracting bugs and pests is a concern of mine when trying to store extra amounts of dry pet food. And after that is the nagging question 'how much is enough?'

Bob-- Sorry, already too attached...

--winter wondering "A righteous man regards the life of his animals." Proverbs 12:10

-- winter wondering (, August 31, 1999.


Could you provide the product descriptions, manufacturers, sizes, prices of the air-tight food containers that are being sold at Petco or other distributors? Your assistance would be much appreciated.


One of the questions in my mind is if it is appropriate to anticipate longer disruptions to pet food and supply than human food and supplies in the light of this subject being less important than human food and supply and feed and supply for animals such as cows, chickens, etc. If I am preparing for 14 days for myself and human family, is it prudent and wise to prepare for 4 months for my pets?

I think Lynn is correct in assuming that the transportation of pet food and supply will be a low priority and may be bumped in favor of things needed for the survival of people and businesses in general.


While dogs and cats may seem to be a cheap source of protein, I would argue that fish, rats, and rabbits are cheaper than cats and dogs and offer tremendous return on investment if you plan on eating furry things.

It would be wrong to assume that all pets are simply a luxury. Working dogs (whether they catch rodents or burglars) are one example of how animals can be good citizens and are worth far more than their weight in meat. They may be worth their weight in gold (or toilet paper)!

Sincerely, Stan Faryna

-- Stan Faryna (, August 31, 1999.

A few minutes ago, I spoke with a Purina representative. I asked them [1] if Purina had made an inventory of manufacturing equipment that may be vulnerable to Y2K technology problems, [2] if Purina had contacted vendors regarding their Y2K readiness, and [3] if Purina had made contigency plans for Y2K with special attention to the increased production and delivery of their products in the Year 2000.

Lee (she would not give her last name to me) said that they have tested and remediated systems in the administrative and manufacturing departments, but she could not describe any specific systems that were updated. Nor could she provide or direct me to any press releases on such efforts. Lee said that they have contacted vendors and all are Y2K ready, but was not able to name any vendors or provide or direct me to any press releases reflecting such confidence. She also said that delivery would be no problem, but she was not aware of any special measures being taken to stock pile raw materials, increase production, or make special arrangements with transportation of goods.

Lee said that it was the responsibility of retail stores to ensure that there was sufficient stock of Purina products for customers, and that we should contact retail stores regarding Year 2000 concerns.

Sincerely, Stan Faryna

-- Stan Faryna (, August 31, 1999.

Name for container is "The Vittles Vault". It is made of food grade plastic by Gamma Plastics, Inc. Their phone number is 1-800-842-6543

I plan to store at least 1 year of dog food. Additionally, I have found a company which provides dog food which is vacuum sealed - shelf life does not begin until the package is opened. They sent me a free sample. I am considering whether I want to buy an additional year of dog food from this company.

-- Lynn Ratcliffe (, August 31, 1999.

I'll bet 'lee' has a string on the back of her neck that cues the same response for the same question, no matter who's asking it. lol

As a person who feels relatively comfortable with facing Y2K in a rural setting, I should like to make a request of all pet owners in high population areas. If for any reason you find yourselves unable to continue caring for your pets, would you please consider putting them down as opposed to releasing them to fend for themselves? My father is a Veterinarian and I am fully aware of how painful a decision this would be for we animal lovers (4 dogs, three cats myself). If we find ourselves facing dire circumstances of starvation and disease, this will be a decision many of us must face. If need be, I'd feed my dog food to the starving children next door and wouldn't want to risk adding to the already forming 'packs' of starving fifi's running around. Think of it as Cujo control. We anticipate packs of domestic dogs running into the countryside attacking anything that moves. Rabis shots are a yearly necessity. Just something to think about.

-- Will continue (, August 31, 1999.

Stan and others.

Here is the latest 10 - Q for Purina Mills

This is not a good disclosure, and it would seem they are still at work.


FILED AS OF DATE:        & nbsp;      19990813

YEAR 2000

Many computer systems and software applications, including most of those
used by the Company, identify dates using only the last two digits of
the year.  Without corrective action, programs with time- sensitive
software could potentially recognize a date ending in "00" as the year
1900 rather than the year 2000, causing many computer applications to
fail or create erroneous results.  Year 2000 problems could affect many
of the Company's processes, including production, distribution, research
and development, financial and administrative operations.

The Company has reviewed its computer systems and hardware to locate
potential operational problems associated with the year 2000.  The
Company has implemented a process to either replace or modify all of the
Company's current computer systems and software applications.  New
software has been configured and implemented at 49 feed mills and the
Company's corporate headquarters; the Company expects to complete the
entire project by September 1999.  The Company currently estimates that
its costs to enhance its information systems beginning in 1997 and
through the year 2000 will approximate $27 million, of which $2 to $3
million is yet to be incurred.  The Company is also working with its key suppliers,
customers and financial institutions to obtain assurances that their
systems are year 2000 compliant.

The Company believes that all year 2000 problems in its computer systems
have been or will be resolved in a timely manner and have not caused and
will not cause disruption of its operations or have a material adverse
impact on its financial condition or results of operations.  However,
failure to correct a material year 2000 problem could result in an
interruption in, or failure of, certain normal business activities or
operations.  Such failures could materially and adversely impact the
Company's results of operations, liquidity and financial condition.  Due
to the general uncertainty inherent in the year 2000 problem resulting
in part from the uncertainty of the year 2000 readiness of third- party
suppliers, customers and financial institutions, the Company is unable
to determine at this time whether the consequences of year 2000 failures
will have a material impact on the Company's results of operations,
liquidity or financial condition.

-- Brian (, August 31, 1999.

"Lee (she would not give her last name to me)"

As is policy at most companies. Where I work we used to give out last names until a customer stalked one of our employees. Now it is strictly first names.

" said that they have tested and remediated systems in the administrative and manufacturing departments, but she could not describe any specific systems that were updated."

Properity information. It is really none of our business which machines they are using. For all she knows you are from a competitor who wants to know if they are using machine X instead of machine Y

"Nor could she provide or direct me to any press releases on such efforts. Lee said that they have contacted vendors and all are Y2K ready, but was not able to name any vendors or provide or direct me to any press releases reflecting such confidence."

I know this will come as a shock to you all, but some companies have actually done remediation without any concern to folks who have nothing better to do with their time than to call and ask questions.

" She also said that delivery would be no problem, but she was not aware of any special measures being taken to stock pile raw materials, increase production, or make special arrangements with transportation of goods. "

Maybe because they feel everything is in line for them?

"Lee said that it was the responsibility of retail stores to ensure that there was sufficient stock of Purina products for customers, and that we should contact retail stores regarding Year 2000 concerns."

Somehow I imagine she worded this differently and not quite as snide sounding, but we will take your version for now.

There is a real simple solution to this folks, and you have all hit upon it already....stock up. Dog food is not THAT expensive and I have a 6 month supply on hand at ALL times. Why? Because like someone said above, if there was a problem, dog food qould not be a high priority. Plus, in a pinch, you can eat it also.

-- dog lover (, August 31, 1999.

My cat is a DGI. He not only DGI, he has never gotten anything in his furry little life. He is essentially useless and clueless. He chews things he shouldn,t, he seems unable to actually hit the sandbox with neither projectile nor stream, and the closest he comes to demonstrating any awareness of Y2K is that he has occasionally been seen actually rolling over, I suspect that at the stroke of midnight on the 31st of December, I will , as I hold a piece of tuna above his cold and wet little nose, command him to rollover. We will at that time see if indeed he is compliant..

With respect,

-- Dave Walden (, August 31, 1999.

They ALL, "feel everything is in line for them". Unfortunately, when it comes to the complex nature of Y2K, most people couldn't find their own ass in the dark if all five fingers where flashlights.

(thanks Milne)

-- Will continue (, August 31, 1999.

Thanks Dave. Classic. ROTFLOL

-- Will continue (, August 31, 1999.

This "problem" needs a name!

The "Y2k9" problem"?

The "Empetted" problem"?

The "Mewlenium" problem?

-- CD (, August 31, 1999.


I feed my dogs "real food" - whole grains, legumes, vegetables, blackened chicken - having researched their nutritional needs. The diet is based upon the findings of Dr. Richard Pitcairn, as reported in his book, Dr. Pitcairn's Complete Guide To Natural Health For Dogs & Cats.

The meat portion of their diet may be difficult to acquire/afford post rollover. Legumes will pick up some of the protein slack. I've socked away some kibble to help stretch the good stuff. Bingo Jr. will just have to deal with it!

Give me a holler if you wish to discuss this subject in more detail. The e-mail addy is legit.

Best Wishes,

-- Bingo1 (, August 31, 1999.

The vet has recommended boiled beef and rice when the dogs have had stomach upsets. If they have the opportunity, the dogs will eat the chicken feed. (Actually, given opportunity, they will eat almost anything edible, and some things that are *not*)

We are trying to get some dog food ahead, but if we don't find it on sale by that time, we will just share our food with the pets. It's a good reason to add a bit more corn meal and wheat to the stash.


-- gene (, August 31, 1999.

Don't forget squeekie toys, rawhide chews, kittie litter, dental check-ups, vitamins, sweaters and booties, breathe drops, treats, flea and tick control, carpet fresh, pet beds, a lint brush, tranquilizers, scratching posts, worming meds, additional rabies vaccines and an extra bullet.

It's no wonder my dad preferred large animal vet medicine. :)

-- Will continue (, August 31, 1999.

You can forget about veterinarians being 'get its'.....I am one of the few Emergency Vets in one of the 120 largest cities,,,,,and have been trying in vain since last summer to educate the local vets that make up the board of directors of our shareholder owned hospital about the need for some contingency plans (since we will be open during the rollover)...Local vets think it is all nonsense. Can't even get them to update our accounting software to something compliant.......

It would be nice if people talked to their local vet and asked them (if their vet doesn't take the night calls),,,if they know if the local emergency clinic that takes their night calls is ready for possible y2k disruptions with power/water outages...

-- dvm (, August 31, 1999.

Dave and CD,

Enjoyed the humor! Thank you. I needed a good laugh, today.

Sincerely, Stan Faryna

-- Stan Faryna (, September 01, 1999.

My Dad is a GI, but retired. You'll be busier filling in for the MDs who DGI. Want to buy a busy practice in Caldwell, KS? That area has been without a vet for 6 months. Those folks would take good care of you!! Sounds like you're in a city. -shudder-


-- Will continue (, September 01, 1999.


Thanks for getting the SEC filing on Purina. It doesn't look like they are ready.

Sincerely, Stan Faryna

-- Stan Faryna (, September 01, 1999.

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