A Morgan Hill woman whose dog "Cali" died after eating chicken jerky treats made in China has now started a petition asking the FDA to ban the treats and she's not the only one who wants them taken off the shelves. In fact, thousands of people in the United States have asked to have the products recalled. In fact, the FDA says it put out another warning back in November 2011 and since then, the agency has received over 1,000 reports of illness associated with the products.
Rachael Chambers started the petition drive on Change.org. "I want people to not buy this product until it's proven safe and two, I want a voluntary recall issued by Del Monte and Purina to pull this off the shelves," she told ABC7 News. Del Monte Corporation owns Milo's Kitchen dog treats. Chambers lost her 13-year-old dog Cali in late May, she says, after giving her the treats. Two of her dogs also got sick.
Del Monte continues to say the FDA and other outside organizations have performed a number of tests and have found no connection between illness and chicken jerky treats.
As for the petition, in less than 24 hours, more than 100 people in 23 states and eight countries have signed it. Marta Rico, also of Morgan Hill, is one of them. She refuses to buy them. "I returned mine two weeks ago, three weeks ago, and I specifically told them there was a reason I returned them, that I was afraid that something would happen to my dogs," she said.
The FDA has received so many complaints that in November, it put out an advisory. Sick dogs display fanconi-like symptoms, a condition affecting the kidneys causing them to leak electrolytes out of the body. Pet Food Express in San Jose decided to warn clients. "We don't want to seem like we are hiding anything. Everything is transparent and out on the table," employee Kellyn Fuller said.
A dog owner in Ohio has actively gathered 65,000 signatures asking the FDA to recall the treats. That prompted Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown to take up the cause. He issued a statement saying, "The FDA must be as aggressive as possible to find the source of this contamination."
"I can help save other dogs by just bringing awareness," Chambers says. The FDA is awaiting the results of a second toxicology report on Cali. Those results are expected to be complete on Thursday or Friday.