Tainted Dog Food

Pet food recalls have been increasingly on the rise, so much so that many people are starting to become concerned about what they are feeding their pets.

According to WJLA News, there have been recalls of at least 40 different treat types and pet foods so far this year. One widespread recall involved dog food that had pentobarbital in it, a drug that is used to euthanize animals. Three different canned dog food brands contained this deadly drug, and the company that is linked to those brands is now facing several lawsuits.

One such lawsuit has been filed by a family who had one dog die and four other dogs fall ill after the animals ate food made by Evanger’s Dog and Cat Food Co Inc. Their manufacturing company, Nutripack, LLC, is also a defendant in that case. The lawsuit filed states that companies knew their food was not fit for human consumption nor inspected by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) did investigate the dog food from these companies, uncovering the presence of pentobarbital. In the course of that testing, the agency also discovered that the tainted food contained horse meat and that none of the company’s suppliers were ever inspected by the USDA.

Evanger’s Dog and Cat Food Co Inc. sells dog food under its own name, under the “Against the Grain” label, and privately labels food for other brands, including “Party Animal,” which was also part of the recall. As a result, Party Animal has filed a lawsuit against Evanger’s and is seeking $20 million in damages.

Unfortunately, the last decade has seen many pet food recalls, one of which was among the largest in consumer history. In 2007, there was a recall of pet foods from several major brands because of the use of gluten tainted by the chemical melamine by a large supplier. As reported by Reuters, the FDA received more than 8,000 reports of sick animals or animal deaths from pet owners related to the recalled brands. Melamine is used for fertilizer in Asia, but it is not allowed in pet food in the US because it is known to cause illness and kidney failure in animals.

Harmful ingredients is not the only issue consumers have been struggling with in the pet food industry, as there have also been many instances of misleading labeling practices. In 2016, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports there was a $32 million class action settlement from Blue Buffalo over its labels. The Blue Buffalo dog and cat food items stated the food contained no poultry by product, but it was found in tested food samples from the brand. In that case, the pet food company maintained it was the fault of their supplier, who they alleged defrauded them.

Losing a pet to a tainted product is a heartbreaking and preventable death in a family. If your family has been impacted by a tainted or unsafe product, speak to an experienced product liability and negligence lawyer Denver CO relies on today.

Richard J. Banta, P.C. Thanks to our friends and contributors from Richard J. Banta, P.C. for their insight into product liability and negligence cases.