Pet owners who like to reward their pups for showing obedience, doing tricks, or just out of affection may be doing their four-legged charges harm if the reward is jerky. CBS Pittsburgh reports:
[T]he Food and Drug Administration is asking pet owners and veterinarians to contact them if their pet has become ill after eating jerky pet treats.
Several brands of the treats were removed voluntarily from store shelves back in January. The FDA has also sent a letter to veterinarians asking them to send in any materials or evidence that can aid in the investigation.
Since 2007, some 3,600 dogs have been sick and 580 have died from eating tainted jerky. One of the victims was Bella, a pug whose human parent, Robin Pierre, still finds it difficult to hold back tears when Bella’s name comes up. “She was 2-years-old. She was full of life,” says Pierre.
Pierre reveals that Bella suffered fatal kidney failure after eating Waggin’ Train Chicken Jerky Tenders, a product made in China and distributed by Nestle Purina.
“This is something that should never happen in the U.S.,” she laments
Hundreds of consumers have filed complaints with the FDA about the treats and thousands more have signed online petitions. Since the first reported illness in 2007, the FDA has issued three warnings about the products. None so far has been recalled.
Scientists are hard-pressed to known exactly what the link is between the treats and kidney problems in pets. Nestle Purina, despite Robin Pierre’s entreaties, refuses to remove its product from the marketplace, claiming that the treats are safe and that they have tests to prove it.
In a statement, the company said:
We have a dedicated team of quality control experts in China, particularly in the plants where Waggin’ Train products are produced.
If your pet has become ill after eating these treats, you can contact the FDA by calling their Consumer Complaint number: 877-689-8073 (toll-free).