Thursday, May 31, 2012
Carmel on the Case: Treat Trouble
The government has issued multiple warnings about certain brands of dog treats and their potential dangers. But we found those treats are still for sale here in South Florida. Investigative reporter Carmel Cafiero with a story for all pet owners.
WSVN -- Sasha, like most pets in loving homes is given treats on occasion, but chicken jerky from China turned out to be anything but a treat for her and her owner.
Nancy Morrissey: "I found puddles of blood all over the floor, and big clots and the dog was crying and dragging on the floor. And I thought she was dying before my eyes and there was nothing I could do."
Nancy Morrissey had no clue that back in November the federal government issued its third warning about the treat she gave her pet.
Nancy Morrissey: "When I picked her up I was full of blood myself. I mean she was in horrible pain - she had to be in horrible pain to bleed that way."
Sadie also had a close call after eating chicken jerky from China.
Debbie Snow: "I absolutely thought Sadie was going to die. I mean she basically looked like she had been poisoned."
Doctor Darko Mladenovic treated sadie and says he's treated 10 dogs with the same reaction to chicken jerky treats from China.
Dr. Darko Mladenovic: "The first thing I ask when the dog has the vomiting or diarrhea or similar problems like that, is I'm asking where did they get their treats, is it made in China?"
Since 2007 the Food and Drug Administration has issued warnings about "A potential association between development of illness in dogs and the consumption of chicken jerky products."
Among the products "Chicken tenders, strips or treats" imported to the U.S. from China. The FDA has received 900 complaints in just the last six months, yet there has been no recall.
Debbie Snow: "Why are they still on the market? Why are they still on the shelf?"
7 News found the treats still for sale in stores throughout South Florida.
We found them being sold under seven different brand names and on shelves that contained no warning, no indication that the imports could be a problem for our pets. The FDA says its "Scientists have not been able to determine a definitive cause for the illnesses." But there are reports the agency sent scientists to China to investigate.
Meanwhile, the first lawsuit has been filed. It blames the treats for the death of cleopatra, a small pomeranian in Illinois. The lawsuit charges the packaging has "no warnings" and the treats are "defective" and "dangerous."
Carmel: "Despite the government warnings and news stories about them, many pet owners still have no idea about the risks associated with the treats. The packages we found for sale do indicate they're from China, but in some cases it takes some searching to find that information on the bags."
Nancy Morrissey: "But I think the worst thing we can do here is keep silent and not let other people know."
Debbie Snow: "If I had lost her because I gave her a dog treat, I probably would have felt guilty the rest of my life."
Both Sasha and Sadie have recovered, but since these products are still on store shelves, some pets could remain at risk.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Food and Drug Administration:
Pet Food Complaints: