Roseland’s what? ADVERTISERS DUPED

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 1993:

CHICAGO, Illinois––A 32-page
semi-anonymous, categorical tabloid attack on
humane societies called Roseland’s Sizzle Pet
Shop Edition debuted at the September 10-11
Humane Society of the U.S. tri-regional confer-
ence in Schaumburg, Illinois, leaving the
assembled participants, “Quite astonished,” as
Chicago Anti-Cruelty Society executive director
Jane Stern put it.

Although issued by Roseland Business
Publishers, Inc., from P.O. Box 68458 in
Schaumberg, the Sizzle named only the
American SPCA, of New York City––and that
was in one of the less inflamatory articles. But
what the Sizzle lacked in specificity, it made up
for with innuendo. Offering no documentation
whatever of even one actual case, the Sizzle
charged on page 13, for instance, that “Shelters
normally won’t even consider bathing pets avail-
able for adoption. And shelter conditions, in
general, are filthy and contaminated beyond
belief…The drinking systems at most humane
societies are so antiquated that there is absolute-
ly no way to keep them free from gross contami-
nation…Pets are put into the crematoriums
unconscious but not dead. The heat of the cre-
matorium shocks them back into consciousness
and they suffer cremation completely alive,
alert, and awake…”
The listed editor, the only individual
credited for anything in the Sizzle, was one Joan
Dahlgren. And surprisingly, it carried a full com-
plement of advertising from some of the best-
known firms in the pet supply business, some of
whom do much of their volume with humane
Most of the advertisers were surprised,
too––but two months earlier, when 6,000
copies were mailed to pet stores around the
country and 350 copies went to “distributors
and manufacturers reps,” according to the
highly professional Sizzle sales package.
“There was no indication in the
information that Roseland sent us as to the
type of editorial agenda this publication had,”
said Kristi Stoppleworth, sales and market-
ing manager for Cat Dancer Products, of
Neenah, Wisconsin. Instead, sales literature
said the Sizzle would be “thoroughly delight-
ful…highly readable and cartoon-intensive,”
conveying “a powerful message on behalf of
pet shops through good humor and fun.”
Stoppleworth cancelled her ad contract.
So did Ted Bilocki, of Malo and
Weste, in Linden, New Jersey. “We were
not aware as to the content,” he said. “We’ve
lifted our ads––we’re not fond of being asso-
ciated with a hate publication.”
Added Marion Cepican, creative
director for Valentine Inc., of Chicago,
“Believe me, you will never see another
Valentine ad associated with Sizzle, and our
advertising department will screen each pub-
lication much more thoroughly before allow-
ing our name to be associated with it. The
magazine was misrepresented completely.
Never did we imagine that the entire maga-
zine would be devoted to shelter bashing.
We fully support the humane societies, ani-
mal rehabilitation centers, and like associa-
tions. Always have. Always will.”
Bill Brown of the Rena Corporation
in Charlotte, North Carolina, confessed
some annoyance with strict screening proce-
dures at local animal shelters, but also can-
celled his ad in Sizzle. Of the advertisers
ANIMAL PEOPLE contacted, only James
Gorrell of Critter Outfitters in Chicago
defended Sizzle, criticizing animal shelters at
length in a two-page letter.
Both the sales package and the
Sizzle itself were apparently solo productions
of a Joan Meisenholder, operating from 7333
North Waukegan, in Niles, Illinois, which
like Schaumburg is a suburb of Chicago.
Briefly interviewed by ANIMAL PEOPLE,
Meisenholder claimed to have more than 25
years’ experience in dealing with humane
societies and animal rights groups, but nei-
ther the Anti-Cruelty Society nor Chicago
Animal Control nor the Chicago Animal
Rights Coalition could find any record of any
transactions or conflicts with either a Joan
Meisenholder or a Joan Dahlgren––who pur-
portedly was about to publish another install-
ment, to be mailed only to stores selling live
animals this time. She also accused ANI-
MAL PEOPLE of being a front for People
for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and “the
humane societies,” said she had plenty of
evidence to support everything she’d written
in her first volume, and refused to say any-
hing further.
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