Letters December 2000 Issue

Review Rebuttals

Helpful clarifications from manufacturers of worthy products.

At Halo, Purely For Pets, we love WDJ and have been grateful for all the wonderful things you’ve written about our products, particularly Spot’s Stew for Dogs. In fact, we were honored to make your list of “Top 20 Canned Foods” in the October 2000 issue but we were surprised you inferred it was really Progresso Soup!

Spot’s Stew is the only pet food in the world prepared in a strictly regulated USDA kitchen and is even healthy for humans to eat! To my knowledge, there’s not another pet food that can make that claim. Our healthy homemade food is better than Progresso Soup, as it contains no added sodium, fillers (such as corn, wheat or rice) or artificial preservatives whatsoever. Halo uses only human-grade ingredients, including USDA approved free-range chicken, zucchini, carrots, squash, celery, green beans, peas, garlic, and kelp.

Open a can. You’ll see, smell, and taste the difference our “real food” makes. Every ingredient was chosen for its nutritional benefit, which can truly promote great health, as opposed to just sustaining life!

We really liked Spot’s Stew. It’s
ûjust like soup... we mean, better!

Please help us set the record straight and get everybody’s tails wagging again.

-Andi Brown, Director
Halo, Purely For Pets
Palm Harbor, FL

We’re sorry, Andi; we really thought that by comparing Spot’s Stew favorably to Progresso Soup, we were complimenting your product! (For a commercial product, Progresso is high-end fare, in our house!) We DID open a can of Spot’s Stew, and it looked and smelled good enough for us to eat – although we’re drawing the line at tasting it. Even without a sip, we think it’s great stuff.


While we have the greatest respect for your opinions and the publication as a whole, there were some important misstatements within your rating of our product, the Lupine Combo Collar in the October issue (“Slip Slidin’ Away”). The first, and most worrisome, comes in the “Quality/Durability” section, where you state that the “material is of mid-range quality . . . ” Our webbing is absolutely the strongest and most durable woven nylon available. Originally designed for mountain climbing harnesses, the webbing is made for us in France using a micro-weaving process that incorporates more thread per inch than any other, with a tensile strength of 3200-3500 lbs., depending on the width.

Lupine Combo Collar: Strong
ûenough for the job.

Your impression that the “lower quality nylon is stiff” is incorrect. The high thread count of our webbing may contribute to its stiff feel for the first few days, but it does “break in” much as leather does.

I have enclosed a few more samples, including one from our TrimLine Solids collection, so that you may compare them with the one used in the article. Some of our patterns are stiffer than others when new, but a smooth, flat fit is quickly achieved with regular use, and many will offer this from day one. We offer three size ranges and 12 patterns in 3/4” and two size ranges and 10 patterns in the 1”.

You also expressed concern about our use of the plastic adjustment piece (triglide). When WDJ last reviewed this type of collar, we used the same type of hardware as most other manufacturers. However, our guarantee allows us to inspect used products and enables us to track problems. We were able to see that the majority of Combo collars returned for replacement due to hardware failure were failing at the exact same point: the metal adjustment piece. After six months of testing, we came to find that the Delrin plastic triglide we now use actually outperforms metal, withstanding two to three times as much force as the previous piece. Delrin is an exceptionally strong acetal plastic which remains flexible under stress, even in a very cold environment.

The review also raises doubt about the relative strength of bar-tacking versus box-and-cross stitching. The average strength for a box-and-cross tack and for a single bar tack is the same – about 600 lbs. With the exception of the tack nearest to the adjustment, where most applied force would be absorbed by the hardware, most Combos have two or three bar tacks per space, raising the relative strength substantially. I would also note that people who routinely dangle from cliffs and high rises usually outfit themselves in harnesses that are made using the same bar tacking technique we employ for our products.

Safety is an issue of great concern to us. We constantly monitor our products through consumer and retailer feedback, as well as close inspection of the large quantity of daily damaged returns (usually from chewing!). While your point about the lack of product packaging and information is well taken (and already in development prior to your review), it must be noted that any item that is placed around an animal’s neck represents a potential danger, whether it is a regular flat collar or a martingale, or anything else.

-Tracy McCarthy
Director of Marketing, Lupine, Inc.
Conway, NH

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