Petco on Monday said it has pulled all Chinese-made dog and cat treats from its shelves after fears they sickened and killed thousands of pets.
The company said all of its treats are now made in the U.S., New Zealand, Australia, or South America.
The Food and Drug Administration is investigating reports Chinese-made jerky treats sold at Petco and other stores have sickened more than 5,600 dogs, 24 cats, and three people. About 1,000 of the dogs died. The investigation is still ongoing and the agency has not yet determined if all of the cases are connected to the tainted treats.
“We believe this is the right thing to do,” Petco CEO Jim Myers said of removing Chinese-made treats from its stores.
The FDA said the treats suspected in the pet illnesses were mostly jerky-type ones and included duck, sweet potato, yams, and dried fruits in the ingredients.
Ohio couple Kevin and Candace Thaxton saidchicken jerky treats made in China killed one of their dogs and nearly killed another in 2011.
“It was just devastating,” Kevin Thaxton told ABC News.
The couple said they only learned of the China link after the ordeal.
“I grabbed the bag of treats and turned it over,” Candace told ABC. “At first I saw it said ‘Manufactured in South Carolina’ so I thought I was safe. Then I looked harder and it said ‘Made in China’ and I just said ‘Oh no.’”
The couple wrote their senator, Sherrod Brown (D-OH), who helped spark the FDA investigation.
Photo credit: Mike Mozart via Flickr