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C2006-25

Dear Christopher Cat

My neighbor’s cat escaped from the house and returned the next day. Shortly later, he died of antifreeze poisoning.

We think he drank from the yellow-green puddles of antifreeze beneath some of the trucks in our neighborhood. How can we prevent a similar tragedy in the future?

Christopher Responds

The sweet taste of ethylene glycol antifreeze attracts cats, dogs and children – and it is deadly to all.

It is so toxic that a cat can die simply from licking antifreeze off her coat.

Nearly 10,000 cats and dogs – and many hundreds of children – are poisoned by ethylene glycol every year.

One way to prevent accidental poisonings is to counteract the sweet flavor of ethylene glycol antifreeze with a bittering agent.

Adding denatonium benzoate, an extremely bitter substance used for years in personal care and household products, would increase the cost of antifreeze by only two cents per gallon.

Congress is considering such legislation now. You can help by urging your U.S. senators and representative to support the Engine Coolant and Antifreeze Bittering Agent Act of 2005.

Ask them to cosponsor S1110, the Senate version, or HR2567, the House version.

For a sample letter and contact information for your members of Congress, go to www.americanhumane.org, click on Take Action, Federal Animals, and Antifreeze Safety.

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