FDA: Are Pet Owners Out of Luck?

Who will take a stand for Pet Parents?

Senator Sherrod Brown of (D-Ohio) made a move on behalf of Pet Owners in Ohio and across the nation, by urging the FDA to take quick action regarding tainted chicken jerky treats from China.

Press Release and Statements Feb 6th, 2012

Brown reacted to Kevin Thaxton’s story, whose 10 year old pug, Chancey passed away unexpectedly from unknown causes. Later, A new 5 month old puppy given to the Thaxtons, suddenly contracted life-threatening kidney failure.

There seemed to be no connection except for the fact that these things normally don’t happen to healthy pets.

After seeing notices online about tainted treats and the FDA warning, Thaxton realized that the new puppy and ten year old Chancey had eaten the same thing: Chicken jerky treats – from the very same bag.

The Thaxton’s had no idea that there was any danger from a $6.00 bag of treats that were purchased in a typical pet store. They had seen no notices, and had no idea until they began investigating online.

Reaching Out

Candace Thaxton wrote to their Senator in anguish over their loss and to have some one seek action by alerting the public.

Senator Sherrod’s website also noted another case involving a fox terrier by the name of Samson, that died suddenly in January, and owner Terry Safranek connected her dog’s death with tainted chicken jerky treats from China.

Brown Urges FDA

Brown acknowledged that the consumer needs to be protected and that action on the part of the FDA needs to be more pro-active:

“Today, I’m calling on the FDA to step up its investigation of the importation of pet food—especially from China, where the possibility of food contamination is high,” Brown continued. “Nationwide, approximately 62 percent of U.S. households own a pet. For so many Ohioans, including the many dog owners here today, caring for one is very personal. Families need to know that food and treats they purchase at local retailers are safe for their pets to consume.”

HSUS Joins Effort

Karen Minton, Ohio State Director – Humane Society of the United States, joined with Brown and had this to add:

“The pet food recalls of 2007 exposed serious issues in our pet food supply. At HSUS alone, we received over 6,000 calls to our hotline in a short period of time from panicked pet owners who were concerned about what they were feeding their pets,” stated Karen Minton. “While progress has been made, regular recalls of contaminated or unsafe pet food and treats continue, leaving pet owners concerned about which products they can trust. We commend Senator Brown for continuing to push this important issue to protect pets.”

The FDA’s Current Role

There has been one update as of December 13, 2011, a month after the initial warning with the FDA continuing to caution pet owners regarding Chicken Jerky Products. There are no further notices about actions being taken or products listed that have been involved in pet deaths.

The website seems to infer that there is a connection between Chicken Jerky Products and Kidney failure in dogs that are sickened, but has not pinpointed the exact cause.

Australia was noted as having formed a recall against a manufacturer, but the company was not named on the FDA website nor was the product listed.

FDA Caution to Dog Owners about Chicken Jerky Products




Below is the full letter to the FDA from Senator Sherrod Brown courtesy of the Senator’s Official Website:

The Honorable Margaret H. Hamburg,
U.S. Food and Drug Administration

10903 New Hampshire Avenue

Silver Spring, MD 20993

Dear Commissioner Hamburg:
It has come to my attention that certain pet treats may be unfit for pets to consume.  Some pet owners in my home state of Ohio have reported that certain chicken jerky treats, particularly those made in China, have caused their dogs to suffer from symptoms such as decreased appetite and activity, vomiting, renal failure, and in some cases, death.


I understand that the FDA is examining complaints from consumers and veterinarians and is working to determine the contaminant in these treats. To date, the FDA has not identified a contaminant and therefore they remain on the shelves of grocery markets and pet stores across the country.  The concern over pet food contamination is not without basis.  In recent years there have been sizable recalls of foreign-made pet food products due to contaminants including salmonella and melamine.


I urge you to promptly pursue efforts to find the contaminant in these pet foods, alert customers of the dangers of these products, and make sure the products found harmful are pulled from the retail market.


Additionally, in your response, please explain the FDA’s current procedure for notifying consumers, retailers, and manufacturers of pending investigations into possible pet food safety breaches.  Would a consumer who goes to the store to purchase dog treats have any way of knowing that a particular product is under review other than scouring the FDA’s website? How are retailers and manufacturers notified of potential concerns and what action is required on behalf of each party in response?


Thank you for all your efforts to protect public health and the safety of our nation’s pets.  I look forward to your swift actions and response.



We urge all concerned citizens to contact their representatives in Congress or the Senate and ask them to take action like Senator Sherrod Brown. No more pets should be sickened or die, and no more pet parents should have to go through this kind of turmoil.

Contact your representative in Congress
Contact your Senator

See more information about Tainted Chicken Jerky Treats on this website:

Update Jan 21 st – Tainted Chicken Jerky Treats and Fanconi Syndrome

Warning: Dec 6th – Tainted Chicken Jerky Treats from China and Symptoms

Senator Brown’s Website and Press Release:

Also See more information on Senator Brown’s Story and Letter posted in it’s entirety on Dog’s Naturally Magazine:

This entry was posted in FDA Warning, pet emergency, Pet Health, pet information, pet safety, Pet Stories, Small Dog Health. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to FDA: Are Pet Owners Out of Luck?

  1. KG Thomas says:

    check out this link about updates with the FDA and 400 new reports of dog treat poisoning – and No Recalls:


  2. Pingback: Health Problems That Haunt Small Dogs

  3. Pingback: Safranek

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