A family from San Diego is suing Petco after the death of their 10-year-old son that had a bacterial infection which the family says came from an infected rat that was his pet. KPBS reported on Feb. 25, 2014, that the Pankey family is seeking an unspecified amount for the suffering endured when Aidan Pankey died on June 12, 2013.
Young Aidan died just hours after he was taken to the hospital with intense stomach pains. His cause of death was ruled as streptobacillus moniliformis infection which is also known as "rat-bite fever." It comes from a person's exposure to an infected rat.
Aidan Pankey's grandmother had bought the male rat at Petco and it was only because the young boy wanted his female pet rat to have a mate. The family had no idea that it was an infected rat
Petco is conducting an investigation into the claims of the Pankey family and they will comment more about the infected rat case once they know more.
Petco did release a statement regarding the situation:
"We are deeply saddened by the Pankey family's tragic loss," Petco said in a statement. "The health and safety of people and pets is always a top priority, and we take the family's concerns very seriously."
The Pankey family was waiting to file the lawsuit until they got back the test results from the lab of the federal Centers for Disease Control to confirm it was an infected rat.
John Gomez, the Pankey family attorney, spoke for them and said that the lawsuit has been filed to "ensure this doesn't happen again."