The Pet Psychic: $300 an hour for a phone consultation? Sadly, Yes.

March 11, 2008

Robert Todd Carroll, author of the excellent The Skeptic’s Dictionary: A Collection of Strange Beliefs, Amusing Deceptions, and Dangerous Delusions and the website, recently posted an expansion of his article on “Animal Quackers” that’s must reading for all dog owners.

Carroll defines an animal quacker as someone “who applies quackery to animals, such as holistic massage therapy for dogs and horses; reiki and therapeutic touch for pets; and acupuncture, aromatherapy, Ayurvedic medicine, homeopathy for animals of all sorts, and either the ability to communicate psychically with pets or to do scientific tests that prove the psychic ability of dogs.”

Read about Sonya Fitzpatrick’s incisive, revealing consultation for the Cleveland Plain Dealers‘ Dog Lady columnist, Monica Collins, plus a good collection of links to the explore the topic further.

Fitzpatrick, a former model with no credentials in animal behavior or nutrition, uses her psychic readings to push her line of pet food, Sonya Fitzpatrick’s Omega Natural and HealthGUARD Dog vitamins, was once visited by St. Francis of Assissi, assures you that via reincarnation your beloved pets can return to you, and can do a psychic reading of your dog from a photograph.

That last part I completely agree with: Sonya’s “reading” whether from an in-person, or in-pet interview, or from a blurry snap shot will have precisely the same accuracy and value. (I’m thinking of a round number here, are you psychic enough to read my mind? Why, yes, you’re absolutely correct: Zero!).

For extra credit, send an email to the Pet Parent’s Network and request the clinical trials that support their claims. Two that I found especially amusing were “Encourages Eye Development” and “Promotes Alertness and Brain Function.” How exactly were these results measured? Oh, and of course, their supplements will boost your dog’s immune system, though I defy you to find a single “nutraceutical” supplement that doesn’t make this specious claim.

” . . .the whole notion of ‘immune-boosting’ is seriously flawed: your immune system isn’t a muscle that you can strengthen by exercise or diet. The only remotely plausible step you can take to strengthen immunity is to get vaccinated.”  

This is from Steven Salzberg’s blog entry, Boost your immune system?Why should you take his word over Sonya Fitzpatrick’s?

Well, Salzberg is a Professor at the University of Maryland studying bioinformatics, genomics, and evolution. He’s also the Director of the Center for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology. His Ph.D. is from Harvard University and his bachelor’s and master’s degrees are from Yale University.

Then again, although a handsome guy, Steve was never a model, so Sonya’s one up on him there.


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