Cleveland: Are your dog treats making your pet ill?

12:47 AM, Feb 4, 2012   |    comments
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CLEVELAND -- Dog treats that could be fatal to your pet are still on store shelves.

Pet owners are asking why and an Ohio lawmaker is taking steps to hold the FDA accountable.

"He was 9 years old. We got him, he was a rescue," says Terry Safrenak.

Samson was Terry's first dog.

"When we first got him, we thought, oh boy, he's a little wild."  So when Samson seemed a little down over the holidays, Terry started to worry. "I realized, he really wasn't eating. So, I took him - I thought maybe something with his mouth or something. But the doctor took blood tests and said, no, he's in kidney failure."

Samson ate something toxic, something like antifreeze, but Terry couldn't figure out what he got into until she saw a similar story on the news and realized it was his Chicken Jerky treats.

"And I thought, oh my God, that's what he ate. That's the last thing he ate in fact."

Terry found a group on Facebook called "Animal Parents against Pet Treats made in China."

It's made up of hundreds of people whose pets also died after eating chicken jerky treats and a list of dozens of brands. But when it comes to identifying the problem, it's almost too little too late.

"Once a pet starts to consume these products brought in from different countries or any new product, then you see a population of animals getting sick, its hard to determine what it is so it's a very slow process," says Dr. Brian Forsgren.

Dr. Forsgren is on the team of Ohio leaders urging the FDA to make changes to their recall policy.

On Monday, Senator Sherrod Brown will announce he's pushing for the FDA to look into the issue with the treats, and call for stores to get them off the shelves.

He also wants the feds to handle pet recalls the same way as human recalls.

If you have Chicken Jerky treats in your cupboard, the safest move is to just throw them away.


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