Cat-astrophe averted?

Two customers who deposited several thousand dollars for a hypoallergenic cat from a company I linkurl:investigated;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/39383/ earlier this year have written to The Scientist saying they were denied kitties, and got their money back. Lynne Butler, a mathematics professor at Haverford College, received a $5,900 wire transfer from Allerca, Inc after she posted a linkurl:comment;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/52947/ on our website that she had n

By | June 1, 2007

Two customers who deposited several thousand dollars for a hypoallergenic cat from a company I linkurl:investigated;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/39383/ earlier this year have written to The Scientist saying they were denied kitties, and got their money back. Lynne Butler, a mathematics professor at Haverford College, received a $5,900 wire transfer from Allerca, Inc after she posted a linkurl:comment;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/52947/ on our website that she had not received her money back, and urged others not to purchase an linkurl:Allerca;http://www.allerca.com/ cat. 'I forwarded our correspondence to Allerca; by 4 pm the $5900 deposit was refunded by wire transfer,' Butler wrote in an email. Similarly, Paul Williams, CEO of iKarma, received an email from Allerca that his $3,500 deposit was on its way. Both Williams and Butler say they were rejected for owning the cats because allergy tests from Allerca came back unsatisfactory. Butler's husband showed moderate to high allergy to cats, while Williams' came back high. Both customers received explanations from Allerca that read: __The reason behind our decision is based on the allergy levels reported in your sample(s). Specifically: [ X ] Results indicate a level that includes HIGH Explanation: ALLERCA GD cats have proven successful with individuals who are generally regarded as allergic to cats; however, ALLERCA has not conducted trials with individuals who equal a level of HIGH and the company's liability protocols preclude delivery of a kitten to any client where the results are equal to HIGH. Continued research and new trials are expected to positively shift the thresholds and new data is expected by 2008.__ Curiously, Steven May, president of Allerca, told me in October that the best score on the test 'is somewhere between 3 and 4.75, maybe a little above. You're a perfect candidate for a hypoallergenic cat.' Yet according to Lynne Butler's documents her husband scored a 3 on the allergy test, but it was considered too high for an Allerca cat. Are there more Allerca customers who have received a cat? Been denied a cat? We'd love to hear from you. Please email mail@the-scientist.com or post a comment on our website.

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