Pet owners concerned about tainted jerky treats

Thursday, October 24, 2013 - 11:10am

Now a safety alert for pet owners, the federal government is issuing a new warning about tainted jerky treats that are making pet sick, thousands of pets have already gotten sick from this, including nearly 600 deaths, NCB's Jeff Rossen reports.

Complaints are pouring in from all over the country, in California, Rachael Chambers gave her dogs jerky treats. Within hours, she says, two of them got seriously sick and her 3rd dog, Cali, died due to her stomach had raptured.

In Missouri, Shannon fed her Chihuahua mixes chicken jerky, she says they nearly died, "Snooki got sick that her heart seemed to stop." and in Pennsylvania, Kristen fed her dog jerky treats also causing her pet's kidneys to shut down.

Now the FDA is issuing an alert and researchers can't figure it out, but they're investigating chicken, duck and sweet potato jerky made in China.

So far, reports of 3600 dogs and 10 cats affected, including 580 deaths. Most pets suffering from stomach issues, kidney failure, even convulsions, tremors and hives.

Veterinarian Brett Levitzke says we need more government oversight of imported pet food, "There are shoddy inspections, there are sporadic inspections so these toxins and poisons are making their way into these treats."

Earlier this year, several top brands were recalled and complaints have gone down, but jerky treats from other brands, imported from China, are still on store shelves. The group representing manufacturers told us the FDA's been investigating for years and "Has found no definitive link that would explain a potential health problem."

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