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The Worst Horror of Pet Food Confirmed in Spain

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  1. Wendy

    I’m so glad I prepare my cats’ food myself!!

    1. So

      what do you put inside?

  2. Kathleen

    As disgusting as this news is, I cannot thank you enough for the work that you do. Animals and the people that love them are so indebted to you.

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      Thanks Kathleen – it’s not just me, this is teamwork!

      1. Martha Clausen

        I am playing a bit of catch-up, but this is horrid, and used to happen more, but now it is less used today in our heavily advertised dog and cat kibbles.

        Maybe that term ‘dried egg product’is what this means.

        Sorry, I am being very sarcastic today.


    2. Boston Holly

      Agreed, Thank you. I’d rather be disgusted than mourning after going broke at the vet’s . Again. And Again.

  3. Mirsades

    Susan…..Thank you so very much for all the hard work you do to bring us the latest information about what is in pet food and feed that is fed to livestock, which eventually WE eat. I first learned about what happens to pets that are left with the vet to be put to sleep (June 1999) when my cat Groucho developed cancer. I had him cremated and brought him home. My cat Kitty was cremated (2001)and brought home and my precious cat Mungkee, my heart and soul, breast cancer (Oct 2010), was also cremated and brought home. They reside on my headboard near my head. I only wish I knew earlier so I could have all my other pets that have passed on with me. I tell as many people as I can about you and the work you do to bring us information. Please keep up the good, no wonderful, work you do.

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      Thank you Mirsades. I don’t get the opportunity to thank everyone for their support – but I do thank you – and thank all else out there. This is teamwork – you guys out there help so much by sending me stories and sharing my stories posted. We are a team! And we won’t quit.

  4. cathy

    Its so hard to read things like this but there is a price to it. I keep beating myself up….WHAT THE HELL WAS I FEEDING MY DOGS?


    1. Susan Thixton Author

      Cathy – Please don’t beat yourself up. You were lied to. You were mislead – you did not knowingly feed your dogs euthanized animals. Until FDA starts enforcing the laws as they are written, and until AAFCO develops clear pet food ingredient definitions, many more pet food consumers will be lied to and misled. It has to stop and awareness is the beginning.

      1. cathy

        Thanks Susan…..You are right, it does have to stop but we can’t wait until the dog food companies decide to do something voluntarily. They have known there were problems with the food nearly from when they began to sell it. If they haven’t done anything yet, in spite of all the complaints, it doesn’t look like they ever will. No, I didn’t knowingly do this to Gus and Maxx. But until recently, I can’t say I ever read one pet label. Now I do and since I found out Mars Co. was using meat in their Twix Bars, I read nearly everything. Thanks to people like you, it’s a lot easier to learn about the ingredients. Again, thanks.

        1. Pacific Sun

          Say what??
          I’m not a fan of candy bars, less a fan of the Mars Co. and even less of chemical compounds that can’t be pronounced. But these are the ingredients in a Twix bar: The explanation for PGPR is: Not the best addition to any food. When peoople reading comments on this site see something that jumps to a conclusion (like meat in a candy bar!) it makes the site less credible.
          Bottom, line don’t feed a PF with ingredients that aren’t understood, do the research, and feed food as wholesome as possible.

          1. cathy

            Pacific Sun…..

            This has NOTHING to do with liking Mars Co. or not. As I was researching Pedigree Dog Food, I found out they are owned by Mars Co. UK, and I found this:


            With all due respect, I found your comment regarding credibility insulting. Obviously, I am not the one who jumped to a conclusion.

          2. Pacific Sun

            From 1/14/2008, an article from the UK: (“Chocolate giant Mars faces a second backlash after it was found that three of its most popular products still contain an ingredient from calves’ stomachs.
            Twix, Milky Way and Celebrations – among the top-selling chocolates in Britain – all contain animal rennet.”)
            “Animal rennet” is a type of enzyme extracted from cow stomach, which can also be used in cheese. and .. ..
            Is an enzyme produced in a mammalian stomach, one that’s also used in making cheese, the same as “using meat” in a candy bar? Or is the use of this animal derived extract incompatible with a Vegan diet?? You be the judge.
            This site is all too often (erroneously) accused of sensationalism and over-reaction. Comments in the absence of context don’t help.

          3. cathy

            Here is the point, my friend, you jumped the gun by assuming you knew what ingredient I was talking about. Since I am a vegetarian, I don’t appreciate “animal products” of ANY kind in foods I “think” are safe. If you really wanted to know what I was talking about you could have ASKED me. Instead, you tried to make me look foolish by labeling me. I think its amusing you posted the entire article. I put the link up for EVERYONE and although I am new here, I believe the users of this site know how to click a link. IF THEY WANT TO. I am certaintly NOT trying to be a sensationalist but since you keep challanging me, I do have to wonder about your motives. My dog died in my arms from the food I was feeding him. I came here to learn, not to deal with this crap. I have learned to read labels. Not just on pet food but on MY food too. I have known about rennet for long time…in the production of cheese…..but I never expected it to be used in a candy bar. I WAS surprised to discover that. I am NOT the one who is creating sensationalism…..I have absolutely nothing against the Mars Co….don’t confuse the issues and stop trying to change the subject. I don’t see sensationalism of ANY kind going on here. I only see people who have had a horrible loss trying to understand it. I see a woman who has also had a great loss and is doing what she can to stop it from happening to us. It is due to my respect for Susan and her work, that no matter what you say next, I will NOT respond. Although it was very kind of you to give everyone your permission to “be the judge”, I think they are, regardless of our input. If you want to discuss this further, my mail Otherwise, I would like to tell you it was nice talking to you…….

        2. Anna

          the m * m’s candy company uses Shellac on the outside of M+M’s

          Shellac is made from Insects..!

          1. cathy


  5. Eva Martin

    Hello Susan ! We do not know which feed mills bought this garbage or Catalunya or in Spain, I’m back to get this information … is horrible!

  6. Mikken

    The FDA did not find any dog/cat/horse DNA in the foods in 2002…but wasn’t that because the DNA was damaged by they rendering process? Is current DNA testing (considerably more advanced than it was ten years ago) able to detect that DNA now?

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      From what I have learned about DNA testing (talking with a scientist at a DNA lab) – no the DNA would still be there regardless of damage in the rendering process. When I was speaking with this lab (probably 2 years ago), this scientist contacted the FDA and asked them for their procedure – laboratory procedure they followed for this testing. The FDA refused to tell.

      The FDA tests were completely inconclusive – the part that bugs me is based on tests that never located the animal source of the euthanizing drug, the FDA made statements ‘pet food does not contain dog or cats’. FDA claims they are science based – yet they made statements based on inconclusive science and then would not provide a fellow scientist with how they performed those tests.

      1. Mikken

        Hm. I wonder why that is?

      2. orfan

        Is this type of DNA testing something a private citizen or company (not connected to the manufacturer or the FDA) could have done? Could it be arranged and paid for? Has it?

        Thanks for the great work you do – this article will help me continue to try to get people off nasty, cheap, low-quality foods/treats.

  7. Eva Martin

    I think … (maybe I’m wrong) that DNA may disappear after a temperature of over 150 degrees for a while … dry food is exposed to high temperatures several times …..

  8. Larry

    There is now some real scientific laboratory evidence that when our bodies cease to function sufficiently to support consciousness, the “soul” does not cease to exist.
    This gives me hope that there is indeed a “hell” for the souls of these people to go to.

  9. Reader

    I believe this is a potentially explosive revelation. Which if it could be proven regarding domestic based companies, would be the catalyst for ALL consumers insisting on real changes!! Even your average walmart ol’roy’s shopper would never stand for euthanized pets in pet food! And it would definitely get media attention!
    If it can happen in one country (Spain, which you would think is fairly civilized) then why would it not be happening in others (especially China) and in our own as well, in order to make an extra buck? A good question is, what in the world DOES happen to all the poor animals (ALL kinds, including roadkill) that the “animal control” agencies are responsible for collecting and disposing of? And why wouldn’t there be a few people out there figuring it’d be a way to make some extra money, by supplying rendering plants?
    Surely you would think there’d be a whistle-blower out there somewhere, somebody that has witnessed 3rd party deliveries, or worked in plants dealing with such things. But then, maybe those kinds of people, who could stomach that kind of work in the first place, and certainly ones making money off the deals, are of no mind or sanity to be concerned about the “integrity of pet food. The other reader is right, if this is a practice, if it’s happening to pet food, then it’s happening to livestock feed as well. Absolutely. Another reason for the media to get involved.
    I do think this should be “our” concerted effort to uncover evidence, in order to leverage from pet food companies, what consumers really do want. Safety in processing, and healthy ingredients.
    A while back they did do some DNA testing on Evangers canned food, and were able to discern the difference between what the label claimed and what was contained. This kind of testing should be extended to all pet food on a sampling basis. How would we petition the FDA or regulating agency to establish?

  10. caroline

    so very SAD AND CRUEL =people have pets that are part of the family –those unlucky ones have no one but NONE OF THEM DESERVES TO BE IN PET FOOD -AND NO ANIMAL DESERVES TO EAT PET FOOD WITH OTHER PETS IN IT –DUH ===just sick –the FDA (FEDERAL DEATH AUTHORITY ) IS OUT OF TOUCH AND USELESS -and the pet food industry is just as bad –IF YOU DONT SEE IT IT ISNT THERE –if you dont test for it –it isnt there –so many humans and animals are just TEST ANIMALS TO USE FOR FOOD IF POSSIBLE –I have been thru the whole range of pet problems -from the big recall to the diabetic pet that couldnt be tested cause the insurance couldnt pay –and if we had out pet put to sleep it COST US $200 TO GET THE PET BACK —why are they worth that much to sell ?????? they would uthanize but not return without pmt —-so she died in our arms and is buried in our yard –in a secure plastic box with mothballs to keep away varmits ==i guess the way the human animal treats its own is the same as how it treats other animals on this planet —scary —

  11. Ellie

    It’s hard to think that people are so greedy that they would do such things. I know that big business is all about the bottom line but this is just sickening.
    When we had to have our cat put down last year we had to pay an additional fee to have her cremated. If we did not want the remains there would have also been a fee to pay but it would have been less. It is not cheap but shouldn’t shelters be required by law or some sort of regulation to properly dispose of the bodies? Is there any law that states they cannot use euthanized pets as pet food?

    1. Linda

      it’ll set us free right after it RIPs us!

  12. Debra Long

    Unless you feed your dog a food that does not contain any animal protein source you are risking feeding them rendered sheltered animals. Happy Dog Food is 100% human food and contains no meat, you select the meat from your local grocery store to add to our premixes.

  13. Luz

    Hi Susan! I live in Spain but I haven’t found any information about the brands that include dog DNA in thei ingredients. I feed my dog a premium one, NUTRO Natural Dog Food, and wanted to make sure it’s safe. Do you have any info?
    Thanks for your great work!

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      Hi Luz,
      From what I read, they should begin to have test results of pet food testing in a week. I’m sure the information will become public quickly. There is no way to know which pet foods will be effected yet.

      1. trish

        Any updates on the test results yet? Just wondering – I know you’ve been busy… 🙂

  14. Andrea

    I’m beyond horrified at how corrupt the AAFCO and FDA are! Several months ago, our little japanese chin passed away in his sleep. (He had been sick for quite some time.) I was mortified when my mom told me they dropped off his body at the vet. I don’t know why they wouldn’t just bury him on the property. We have other pets buried there. She didn’t believe this particular vet would sell dead pets to a rendering plant…When my cats pass, they’ll either be buried in my parent’s yard, or creamated. Pets are family! We need to treat their bodies with respect. I won’t allow them to end up as pet food!

  15. Gitta

    Susan, you said: Federal law prohibits the burial of euthanized pets (any animal) in land fills

    It seems to me at least some states (did only a quick search), do allow disposal in landfills, however, whether or not a landfill accepts dead animals is another question.

  16. Theresa Nolet

    We only feed our dog food we have cooked ourselves after he almost died two years ago, his liver was shutting down. Long story short, second vet I took him to said take him home, give him these antibiotics and natural supplements, and cook only organic food. feed him the natural supplements for the rest of his life, if he lives. Did not know if he would live or die and it was touch and go for a few days, but he is healthy and alert now. Will never feed processed dog food again!

  17. Gabrielle

    My God, we finally reached a point when pets are eating pets. Many years ago I saw a horrible 1973 science fiction movie “Soylent Green.” I am glad that I am 71 years old and did not have children. May God help us all!

  18. Lynn

    This is disgusting but something we have suspected for a long time. Thank you for uncovering the truth. So glad I have begun the transition to raw food. Much to the chagrin of my vet. Your site is awesome and I have told a lot of my friends about it. If it hadn’t been for sites like this and a few others, I myself wouldn’t have known the dangers lurking in my furbabies food nor would anyone else. Thank you for all your efforts.

    1. Johanna

      I second that… if it wasn’t for TAPF we wouldn’t be hearing about any of this. And thanks for finding those FDA reports on pentobarbitol!

  19. Donna Watkins

    Thanks for the article but “millions of pets are euthanized each week”??? If this were true, pets would go extinct within a year or so. In America, about 2-4 millions pets (mainly feral cats) are euthanized each YEAR.

    1. Lillian

      I know “…millions of …” is often a dramatic figure of speech. But oh please. Let’s use some perspective. Are these published numbers? If they are, the number may (only perhaps) pertain to “all” animals, including livestock, wildlife, vets, zoo’s, and an endless number of other animal related situations. If the number alone pertained only to “companion pets” then the public would be outraged. As there has been a strong effort throughout the last decade to support “no-kill” humane shelters, of which a lesser number of animals actually end up being euthanized. No doubt even that number IS great, and any number is sadly too much. But for the millions being referenced, a system not only would need to be in place, put must be in place, to handle the quantity, in terms of satisfying regulations, including health, welfare and safety. Now if only a fraction of what’s being quoted, is supposedly handled in an expected manner, yet isn’t, due to misguided opportunistic 3rd parties — then that would definitely require investigating, as it would no doubt involve code violations. All these assumptions, particularly in order to put into perspective (not only people’s suspicions at this point) but now it’s also their overwhelmingly growing FEARS, does need to be supported with evidence and foundation. I hope the story will be continued and consumers should demand reassurances.

  20. Marsha

    Thank you Susan. That is so disgusting! But like you said, I have heard this before. Now the truth comes out.

  21. Peter

    CVM declares that these ingredients pose “no risk” to humans or animals. Yea, sure, but it is against the law. As Susan discusses on these pages, The FFD&C Act, as federal law, makes clear that no human or pet food is permitted to contain a poisonous, insanitary, deleterious ingredient or is sourced from a diseased animal or animal that has died other than by slaughter. FDA is charged with authority for administration and enforcement of that law. However, though its own “Compliance Policies,” the FDA instructs its Field Representatives to overlook the Federal law. As a result, pet food manufacturers have been given leeway to violate Federal law.

  22. Maggie

    I believe it was cattle forced to become cannibals which played a major role in Britain’s BSE outbreak. They were given protein supplements from butchered sheep and butchered cattle. Cattle are herbivores, and they were being fed things that are not species-appropriate, to say the least.

    How much would DNA testing of some of the major North American pet food brands cost? Does it have to be left to the FDA to perform the testing? Or could an independent group of concerned citizens take that action?

  23. Carmine

    Thanks Susan.. You would make an incredible “Documentary” if you ever did one on these issues. Have you ever considered making one? I can just picture it being in most of the Film festivals. The people in “Hollywood” are very much pet lovers, so I would Imagine you would get a Ton of support for making one, as well as the support from all of us readers here as well. I know the past few years film makers have done some really good ones on “Human” food, but I’ve yet to see one on “pet” food. Would you ever consider making one? A Documentary is one of the “Best” ways to get the world to open their eyes to these kinds of things.

    Thanks again Susan for you tired less work on trying to change this horrible Pet Food industry

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      Thanks Carmine – I’ve certainly thought about a documentary. But the cost and time to put it together…that stops me.

      1. Carmine

        Susan, I totally understand.. But as far as cost goes, I think you can get people to fund it if you pitch it to the right people, and also I’m sure if this is something you truly wanted to do, you can raise the money if you needed to. I sure know I would chip in as many others on here. Enough is enough with these companies getting away with it. The thing is, most pet owners don’t even know this stuff, so a Documantary would be the “Best” way to get it out. ” The Cove” from 2009 and “Food Inc” is a perfect example!

      2. Samantha

        I’m sure you could get people to contribute via Kickstarter.

      3. dmiller

        I wonder if Michael Moore needs a suggestion for his next documentary.

        1. Carmine

          HAHA! He would be a great person to do one!

          A couple years ago, I posted on here that “Nightline” should do a story on all this. I usually DVR nightline every night and the other night, I saw something that I don’t think I ever saw before. At the end, it said “brought to you by Purina” then another night it said “Nestlé” and even “Procter and Gamble” I thought to myself, Wow! Are they reading these? Lol! I seriously don’t remember all these companies sponsoring Nightline before. Unless I never noticed?

      4. Christa

        As mentioned below, I BELIEVE Kickstarting a documentary about this topic would receive phenomenal support. And that’s not just hyperbole – it’s based on market research stats on a related subject that I handled for a client back in ’02 – even back then, overwhelming numbers.

        This may seem a little off-topic, but bear with me – it’s relevant: I recently backed a poet that successfully funded a Kickstarter campaign for his latest, self-published book of poetry. In addition to raising the funds necessary to complete his project, he also received enough to cover his living expenses during production. He was very upfront about his needs in the campaign. His sole means of support was live performances, which he wouldn’t have time for during the new book production. Through the Kickstarter project, he was able to complete, publish, and sell every copy of a book he had waited 19 years for the opportunity to produce.

        Back to the subject matter: PLEASE – reconsider. Especially after the magic “disappearance” of any information relating to the Spain scandal. I BELIEVE it’s clear that the information *almost* brought to light was VERY damaging. I BELIEVE someone (or something – think major pet food companies) apparently paid a hefty sum to pull off a disappearing act that puts Houdini, David Copperfield, and Chris Angel combined, to shame. We CAN’T let this happen… We were SO CLOSE…

        I BELIEVE you are in a uniquely qualified position to bring the truth of this awful subject to light. I BELIEVE you’re one of the few knowledgeable, honest, and relentless people who have the ability to run down those responsible, get to the truth, and expose them for what they’ve done. For what they continue to do in the shadows. I BELIEVE that only then can we, as educated consumers, vote with our wallets and get rid of the companies that profit from these horrific practices. I BELIEVE the companies that have considered themselves above the law need to be held accountable for what they’ve done to an unsuspecting public. I BELIEVE we have been consciously and intentionally ignored and lied to by those we rely on to protect us – and they have to answer for their actions as well.

        Not all of us are as well connected, have the media’s attention, or have the professional reputation to take this on – but you do. Where some of us might be squished like the proverbial bug, I BELIEVE you are someone with enough of a media following to make something happen. Grass-roots campaigns have certainly started with less, and with much less at stake. Certainly fewer people were affected (not to mention ALL of their beloved animals) by campaigns that have made HUGE changes in our laws and culture.

        I know that the cost and time commitments are overwhelming. But I BELIEVE – if you reached out with a Kickstarter, that you’d find SO MANY OF US that are willing and able to put our money and our time (and anything else that would be of value) right there on the line with you.

        BELIEVE. You can do it. We need you.

  24. Bonny

    Thank you Susan
    Carmine I agree with you “Documentary”

  25. lynn

    thank you! susan, for telling pet parents of this so sad but thruth of pet food no wonder so many sick pets now with such diseae’s tha vet do not know why so many are getting such strange disease.that is why as long as i can being 80 years old… i will home cook for my fur babies.

  26. Annie

    (I sure wish that the comments here would have a ‘like’ button).

    I am wondering how this information stacks up to those companies that signed the Pledge? And especially with respect to ” the FDA allows rendered dogs and cats into U.S. pet food”

    I know you are so very busy- But I am hoping that in the near future this can be addressed in the Pledge too.

    I thank you again.

  27. Priscilla Anderson

    Thank you for all you do. I had no idea what went on until I began to go online about feline diabetes a year or so ago. I have gotten my diabetic kitty pretty muvh under control since my studies, however I learned so much about the industry it has made me sick…….All pet food scares me but I have 18 kitties and so homemade is not an option as I also work full time. I try very hard and have almost stopped all dry food after my study about how awful it is for cats., who can you trust anymore? Please keep us informed, thank you….

    1. Haikukitty


      I applaud you for picking the best food you can!

      I just wanted you to know that I actually started making my food when I used to have 15 cats, because I realized I could make my own for less than the cost of the “premium” foods. I’ve always worked full-time, too, so I got it down to a system that only takes me about 15 minutes to make.

      I buy ground turkey (frozen) at ALDI for 1.29/lb, and add a selection of canned and fresh veggies that I thrown in the food processor. (I also have supplements, I get the weeks supplements set up on the weekends, so I just have to plop them into the food processor each day).

      I used to grind up meat and bones, but that was time consuming and messy. Although my home-made food is not as great as it could be, it’s still better than anything I could buy – and knock on wood – in the 20 years I’ve been making it, I’ve never had a sick cat. My first two live to be 20 years old, and all the remaining kitties are healthy and happy.

      This is not meant to make you feel guilty – everyone has different needs and available time – it’s just to encourage you if you ever decide you want to try it. 😉

  28. Lita and Cookie's Mom

    I can’t wait to hear the names of those “international companies” which figure prominently in this scandal. This is horrific, and just confirms that ethics and integrity have gone by the wayside in so many aspects of our society, and of societies around the globe. Sad.

  29. Terry

    It is not illegal to bury euthanized animals or put them into landfills.

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      Terry – in most U.S. states it is illegal to dispose of euthanized animals in a landfill. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Department pushed those legal changes through because wildlife were dying consuming the carcass of the euthanized animal. In fact there are huge fines if an endangered species dies and they found an animal was not buried properly.

  30. […] Reports have emerged about the use of euthanized pets in pet foods for years now, but there hasn’t been much by way of substantiated claims or cut-and-dry evidence on the matter. […]

  31. Anna

    I feed my Tabby Kitty only cooked tuna fish and Salmon; and Salmon Vegetarian pellets; She is the picture o health

    1. Peg

      Anna, like you, I home cook for my cats……I have 6…..I don’t feed fish at all. Although I don’t agree completely with this web site, please take a look at this info I have especially about the tuna

      “Cats can be addicted to tuna, whether it’s packed for cats or for humans. Some tuna now and then probably won’t hurt. But a steady diet of tuna prepared for humans can lead to malnutrition because it won’t have all the nutrients a cat needs. And, too much tuna can cause mercury poisoning. Remember the saying, “Honest as a cat when the meat’s out of reach.” Your cat will see an open can of tuna next to the sink as a dinner invitation.”

      And I agree with “Reader”…..Susan’s book “Dinner PawsAble” is wonderful!!!!

  32. Priscillalea

    Congratulations on not feeding your kitty dry food. I discovered how unhealthy it is for them. But I am curious, do you include Ash and Taurine in your food for them? I heard they have to have it…Sounds like a wonderful diet for your kitty though, but for me with 18 would get awfully expensive. I do worry about their food after all I have read lately…..Priscilla

    1. Reader

      It’s a wonderful transition to feeding whole food! It’s great to encourage people whenever there’s an opportunity!!
      First, especially for kitty owners, get Susan Thixton’s “Dinner PawsAble” cookbook. The recipes (especially for cats) are SO simple! It’s completely educational. With a great Q & A section.
      Secondly, for a multi animal household, bulk ground turkey (for example) at a big box chain store goes pretty darn far. For cats, few additions (in tiny proportions too) get at a farmer’s market or grocery outlet. Yes, the supplements are important of course.
      For my 2 (15lb) dogs: solid organic protein is $30 (that’s $1 a day!), 3 lbs of Oatmeal, frozen stew veggies/fruit (sweet potato, apple, melon, banana, etc.), bulk yogurt, eggs, and a liquid probiotic (optional). I absolutely hate to cook, but the protein is baked, oatmeal is cooked, and veggies/fruits are lightly steamed. Gets frozen by the month. Portions are dished out every morning. Quick, very easy and so secure knowing exactly what they’re eating. Raw feeding is even easier!!!

  33. Emilia Vannostrand

    Hi Susan, Thanks for the information. After reading your post, i am planning to cook food for the pets myself.

  34. Jess

    Sadly this is also something we need to think about when we make the tough decision about what to do with our pet’s body after they pass away. We may avoid foods that contain these ingredients but there is another part of this we have to keep in mind. Many times for financial reasons we cannot afford to have the ashes back or have no place to legally bury them, so we let the vet take care of the pet’s body. Unfortunately, many vets just pay a service for the bodies to be removed, often times not knowing if they are cremated or rendered. I worked at a vet clinic where the bodies went to a rendering plant if the owner did not want the ashes back. And those of us who own horses have an even more difficult time if we do not own land they can be buried on (if we board them at a barn). Definitely something to think about when we are at that stage of life with our pets, and as gruesome as it may seem, we do need to know where our pets end up after they are passed away, at least I would want to know so I can make an educated decision.

  35. Pacific Sun

    I know this is off-topic, and you’all can beat me up with long strips of Pasta! But here’s an article from the UK ) stating that 60% horsemeat was found in a recalled “Beef” Lasanga product (obviously) intended for humans. So if horsemeat is being used in people food, what in the world would make any of us believe that it’s not going into PF, including much worse?? What I don’t get, is why DNA testing is not a standard sampling practice for all PF period. Compliance policies or not, it is supposed to be the regulation that whatever is going into the food, that it has to at least be labeled accurately. Geez, I must be missing the boat somewhere. Because unless the rules are to be followed, why bother having any at all!

    1. Katrin

      I would have no issue whatsoever with my cats eating horse meat, but I do have an issue with them eating euthanized cats and dogs!!! That’s a big difference for many reasons for me…

      I am appalled that, in a supposedly civilized country as the US, there are still kill shelters – they have been abolished in Germany (and I think many countries throughout Europe) years ago!!

  36. trish

    How can we learn if any of these horrendous “proteins” are ending up in pet foods? As someone who recommends food brands to people it would be valuable to know where there is any possibility of this in a brand/product.


  37. Robert Hudson

    As horrible as this sounds, from a nutrition standpoint this type of rendered meat meets all the nutritional requirements with no detriments. It is recycling. Canines eat carrion, dead animals. In nature, no dead animal goes to waste and is consumed. How is this any different?

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      Actually Robert – according to U.S. federal food safety law – this would be illegal in any food (human or animal) here. And there is a huge difference when a pet food manufacturer portrays prime cuts of meats on the label, yet includes rendered waste in the bag or can. If the manufacturer is using it, the food should be labeled as such. But you never see ‘Made with recycled road kill’ do you? It is very different.

      1. Jess

        Let’s not forget that euthanized pets are filled with pentobarbital– that’s what kills them. No ammount of heat and rendering can denature this toxin and therefore it persists in the pet food. So lets set aside moral issues of feeding dogs to dogs and also how diseased and rotten those carcasses are and realize that you are slowly feelding your dog the very drug you would euthanize him. Does this sound like something you want to feed your dog or cat? And let’s think about the sheer volume it requires to kill a horse and think about that volume being added into your pet’s food considering rendered horse meat is used a lot in “meat meal” and “meat by product”.

      2. Peter

        The dictionary definition of “carrion” is “dead and putrifying flesh,” “rotten,” and “vile.” I feel safe in regarding that as “horrible,” and would not want to feed it to any of my pets.

        1. Ellie

          An animal that is put down is usually either very old or diseased. They do use animals put down at shelters but no one knows what diseases those animals have.
          The reason these companies feel it is fine to do this is because the extrusion process used to make most pet foods is very high temperature and usually kills everything in the pot of goo, including any nutrition that may have found it’s way into the mix.
          When the company bottom line is all that determines the quality of the product then anything goes with these people. Disgusting.

    2. Debra Long

      Exactly the point I was going to make Jess, thank you

  38. Annie

    I continue to be awed by this blog- And so happy that I found you whilst I surfed…

    Yet, (to continue to my comments)…

    This is not about the implication of cannibalism. Ever.
    – – – – After all, most people would be very shocked to find out what exactly is in our own food.

    Nor is it only the pentobarbital, (or whatever other poisons or pithing that killed these animals in the first place).
    *Pithing would cause brain to be forcibly put into meat bearing parts of the body.

    Almost as darkly disturbing concerning is the fact that [many of] these euthanized animals may have been treated with some major antibiotics just prior to their deaths!
    We do not need to be building up any more ‘imposed immunity’ to these drugs as our own beloved pets need to be treated for whatever biologic infection they might incur later. At that point that, even the best, veterinarian, then, cannot possibly treat our pets!


  39. Annie

    I forgot to ask…

    What are Canada’s laws for/against this practice?
    So many brands of pet food are manufactured in Canada…

    Thank you Again-

    1. dmiller

      I just read and heard that the practice is legal in Quebec and that one small rendering plant goes through about 22,000 pounds in a week. To me that sounds like an awful lot of euthanized animals. There are also youtube videos showing the collection and storage of the pets. Collars are not even removed.

      1. Annie

        Thank you DMiller;
        Collars not even being removed? That is so gross. As is the rest of this post of course.
        I have a few cow magnets around… Wonder what will happen if I put a few in the dog food bag whilst it is being emptied…?
        I do believe I will do the same for the cat food as well.

    1. Andrea

      The link doesn’t work, but I do vaguely remember seeing that news segment when it actually aired. (I live near Seattle.) 1997 does sound about right. I knew it had to be well before 2008! (I remember seeing this on our crappy, old television many years ago!)


    glad to say that my Dogs all eat fresh and have never even been near a tin or roll of slop 🙂

  41. Trish W

    So, if the euthanol is in the animals that are being converted into the food and crayons, etc, then the euthanol is going to be found in those end products as well. So the livestock that is being fed the rendered pets with euthanol will now consume the eutanol and that could then be passed on to humans through the milks and eggs from those animals and even possibly from the meat from them. And how many times have you seen kids chewing on crayons? I’ve encountered a lot of homeless people who eats the really cheap, garbage dog and cat food brands to keep alive. And I’ve seen plenty of kids stick their heads in their pets bowl and nibble on some kibbles. I get that the government doesn’t give a flying fig about the lives of animal- but what about all of these potential risks to the human population. Surely this can be used as an argument- especially if you are talking about kids, who are the biggest consumers of dairy products and cannot tolerate chemicals at the same levels that adults can. It has to be stopped! I’m so glad I made the switch to raw a couple years back.

    1. Annie

      I like the way you think.
      Hopefully you are, or will be in public office?
      The world needs more people that honestly can see past tomorrow.

  42. […] what I was refering too: The Worst Horror of Pet Food Confirmed in Spain and the followup: How Crazy is This? […]

  43. Matt

    First I thought Surprise surprise as the link to the whistleblower tip was empty but then I found it. You had a link about belfield’s book on your site in 2009 . I am not sure who read that book but if you did, did you really think from his experience to nowadays anything or that it got worse?!

    Do you really think dog’s / cats are vegans and that’s good for them? Certainly I’ d agree that it’s better than the processed food but dogs are carnivores and cats are even ‘worse’ omnivores so solely meat eaters. If you ‘ve read Billinghurst’s Give your dog a bone book you might not think so. Anyway I think that’s your choice, I wouldn’t do it except my dog couldn’t cope eating meat/bones anymore.

    Thanks a lot for that article, I came across it while searching for anything else but I think will read a bit more now.

    1. Matthias

      PS Sorry need to correct. Mixed it up again. Of course cats are the carnivores and dogs the omnivores with a carnivorous background.

  44. Leo

    Very informative article!! I am sure this is going in the USA. Why is this article targeting Spain? Spain has a very low rate of dog owners. Its like when everyone was blaming China. China is a very organized, safe Country. Cancer rates there are significantly lower. I just wish people can point the finger at who is to blame. USA. Its the corrupt business “leaders” in our country that try to manipulate the system and point the finger at others. Good thing is, everyone has to deal with Almighty God. I just hope truth continues to surface. Why would this be going on in Spain? That is just too random and irrelevant for the to even believe. The pet market is EXPLODING here in the US, as almost everyone now has a dog and appreciates their love in a increasingly hectic world that we live in.

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