Please tell every dog or cat owner you know. Even if  you don’t have a pet, please pass this to those  who do.

Over the weekend the doting owner of two young lab  mixes purchased Cocoa Mulch from  Target to use in their garden. They loved  the way it smelled and it was advertised to keep  cats away from their garden. Their dog Calypso decided that the mulch smelled good enough to  eat and devoured a large helping. She vomited a  few times which was typical when she eats  something new but wasn’t acting lethargic in any way. The next day, Mom woke up and took Calypso out for her morning walk . Half way through the  walk, she had a seizure and died instantly

Although the mulch had NO warnings printed on the  label, upon further investigation on the  company’s website, this product is HIGHLY toxic to dogs and cats.

Cocoa  Mulch  is manufactured by Hershey’s, and they claim  that ‘It is true that studies have shown that  50% of the dogs that eat Cocoa Mulch can suffer  physical harm to a variety of degrees (depending  on each individual dog). However, 98% of all dogs won’t eat it.’

This  Snopes site gives the following information: http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http://www.snopes.com%2Fcritters%2Fcrusader%2Fcocoamulch.asp

Cocoa  Mulch,  which is sold by Home Depot, Foreman’s Garden  Supply and other Garden supply stores, contains a lethal ingredient  called ‘ Theobromine’ . It is lethal to dogs and cats. It smells like chocolate and it really attracts dogs. They will ingest this stuff and die. Several deaths  already occurred in the last 2-3 weeks.  Theobromine is in all chocolate, especially dark  or baker’s chocolate which is toxic to dogs.  Cocoa bean shells contain potentially toxic quantities of theobromine, a xanthine compound  similar in effects to caffeine and  theophylline. A dog that ingested a lethal  quantity of garden mulch made from cacao  bean shells developed severe convulsions  and died 17 hours later. Analysis of the stomach contents and the ingested cacao bean shells  revealed the presence of lethal amounts of  theobromine.