I recieved the following e-mail from my friend, Jolene. It was of special interest to me since I have a dog. Please read this and pass the info along to other pet lovers:
Yesterday one of our dog agility friends
experienced a tragedy and
wanted me to pass a special message along to all
of my dog loving
friends and family.

Please tell every dog or cat owner you know.

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:

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. Just a word of caution, check
what you are using in your gardens and be aware of
what your gardeners are using in your gardens.

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
Please spread the word about this…our pets depend on US for their well-being.