PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — There’s a new federal health alert for dog owners.
Several brands of the jerky treats were voluntarily removed from store shelves back in January.
Now, the Food and Drug Administration is asking pet owners and veterinarians to contact them if their pet has become ill after eating jerky pet treats.
At least 3,600 dogs have been sickened since 2007 and 580 of those pets died.
The FDA has also sent a letter to veterinarians asking them to send in any materials or evidence that can help in the investigation.
For Robin Pierre, it’s hard to hold back tears when she talks about her pug, Bella.
“She was 2-years-old. She was full of life,” says Pierre of her beloved pet.
Pierre claims belle died from kidney failure and she blames Waggin’ Train Chicken Jerky Tenders, a product made in China and distributed by Nestle Purina.
“Beyond angry,” said Pierre. “This is something that should never happen in the U.S.”
Hundreds of consumers like Pierre have filed complaints with the FDA about the treats and thousands more have signed online petitions.
“You can’t have so many healthy pups die and the common denominator be the chicken jerky imported from China,” said Pierre.
Since 2007, the FDA has issued three warnings about the products, but has not issued a recall.
So far, scientists have not been able to determine exactly what is causing the kidney problems in the pets. Pierre wants the company to take action of its own.
“I think they have misled the consumers into thinking they really care about these animals and they don’t,” Pierre said.
The company, meanwhile, insists 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)