Friday, July 11, 2008

Pet Owner Pursues Enforcement Against Chemlawn

Robin Olson sought enforcement by the state of Maryland after her dog came into direct contact with herbicides during a application. After the death of her dog, Robin started researching how Moose's symptoms related to the herbicide's ingredients. Here is a fascinating timeline of her tragic experience, research, and fight for justice.

1. "On Oct. 3, 2006, Chemlawn fails to notify me by phone of impending herbicide application, breaks State law.

2. Applicator arrives. Sprays Chlorophenoxy herbicides towards 12 open windows and wide open front door AND my dog Moose in the yard. Right away, applicator admits to me and later to MDA (Maryland Department of Agriculture), that Moose had full contact with freshly sprayed pesticides, BEFORE I had even the knowledge he was on my property. Applicator informs me that Moose will NOT get sick from exposure.

3. Three hours later, Moose, starts presenting signs of being sick. Refuses to eat, is lethargic, vomits.

4. Oct. 5th, 2006, 48 hours after pesticide exposure, dog breaks down into convulsions, unconscious. Take to Vet, Dr. Marcie Engel, ASAP. Vet states authoritatively: “There is no testing or treatment for pesticide exposure”. She tests for Lyme and other dog diseases. Vet agrees that dog is very ill. I thought he was going to die that day.

5. Start giving 10 pills a day to keep alive everyday until death. For Moose, a long, slow painful descent into liver, kidney and neurological failure. Everyday from spray application to death, I state out loud: “Chemlawn did this to Moose”. If he’d survived one year from incident, the cost from PILLS ALONE would have been $4,380.00.

6. October 17th, 2006 – Chemlawn finally told me pesticide they used, after many phone calls to them. I called EPA for first time to report incident, referred to MDA. Mike Maines from Chemlawn called me and accused me of “not putting my dog inside when he was spraying”. Chemlawn possibly audiotaped this conversation.

7. October 19, 2006, My only contact ever with Corporate Chemlawn: A young girl quickly tells me they will not charge me for application and then she hangs up.

8. Met with Phil Davidson, Dec. 5th, 2006 at my house, he took my verbal report. Moose already 50% degraded from original health status. Huge change between November 15 and December 15th, 2006. By Christmas I realized he was going to die from his pesticide injuries.

9. Jan. 16, 2007, Vet recommends Euthanasia for multiple organ failure. We declined.

10. Feb. 24, 2007, Moose dies at home. We take his remains to Dr. Engel for cremation, she refuses to do a Necropsy.

11. After Feb. 24, 2007, I actively start investigating the chemicals. I start collecting hundreds of pages of epidemiological studies. No doubt whatsoever in my mind what caused Moose’s death. The studies and reports corroborate Moose’s CBC*’s perfectly.

12. Feb. 26, 2007, I inform MDA that Moose has died from his pesticide injuries.

13. March 12, 2007 – MDA gives Chemlawn two lame slaps on the wrist with a wet noodle for not calling me and not filling out the application forms properly. I’m incensed at 2 page letter from MDA, regarding inaccurate descriptions of what happened, downgrading the TGC negligence factor.

14. April 19, 2007, I request the working file for my case from Rob Hofstetter. After reviewing file sent to me, I realize my statements had been changed. I call Phil Davidson at MDA. Davidson admits intentionally altering my official statement. I complain to his boss, Rob Hofstetter and leave msg for Chief.

15. May 30th, 2007, Receive email from Dennis Howard, Chief, Pesticide Regulation Section, agreeing to re-open my case. Dennis Howard told me that the MDA does care about the truth and that their job is to be impartial.

16. February 29, 2008. Chemlawn and the applicator were fined by the State of Maryland for, among other things, applying chemicals in a faulty, careless, or negligent manner, and failing to observe all precautions.

Finally, after all of Robin's efforts, Chemlawn was fined by the state of Maryland. You can read more about Moose and Robin on Robin Olson is also featured in our film "The Truth About Cats, Dogs, and Lawn Chemicals."


umar kk said...

Vet recommends Euthanasia for multiple organ failure. We declined. Broadleaf Weeds

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