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Champion Pet Food Lawsuit Amended – ‘risk of inclusion of Pentobarbital’

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  1. Jill Chambers

    The only way to protect your pet is to cook for them yourself

  2. Pet Owner

    There you go. If the mighty, grand Champion of all Pet Foods can fall, they all can.

    A company proud to charge double the amount for their crap. Thinking if people only paid more (really more!) they’d be convinced the product was the best on the market.

    Thankfully, we quit years ago when both dogs (huge difference in age and breeding) got severe diarrhea from different O. recipes. Company wouldn’t even admit they’d changed formulas (ingredients).

    Let this be a lesson to all PF consumers. Which am sure it is anyway for all those who buy through chain discount warehouses. But at least they have no illusions.

    1. Upstate

      So, if you’re feeding kibble, what would you choose? People feeding this food are most likely feeding the best kibble that they can. I want a kibble that is great for my dog/cat. What’s your recommendation? Kibble, not a raw, lightly prepared or canned food. Go!

      1. Chris

        Upstate, my current kibble rotation is Open Farm and I’ve been feeding Acana and Orijen (so will be watching for updates on this lawsuit while cutting back). I supplement more and more with human grade, such as when I buy raw chicken for a dish to cook myself I’ll buy extra to make separately for my dog. Even that seems to get me shaking my head since the feed chickens and other animals eat most likely has much of the questionable ingredients whether it be plastic from packaging or rendering mysteries such as all those non-slaughter deaths of animals from the recent floods.

      2. bruceandlaurie2013

        I have fed Orijen kibble to my Chihuahuas but they do not like the large size of the pieces, and it offers no small dog formula. Acana is the same way. So for that reason I don’t feed it anymore.

        1. Chris

          bruceandlaurie, the Open Farm selections I’ve tried are all much smaller pieces than Orijen/Acana.

        2. Pet Owner

          Has anybody ever heard of an electric mini food chopper? People chop nuts don’t they Honestly. Grind up the kibble sometimes, mix it with a wet meat, or pour some heated natural (unsalted) chicken broth over the meal. Most dogs love a warm flavorful meal anyway.

          People treat this subject like it’s “rocket science.” How do finicky food eating children ever reach adulthood.

      3. Pet Owner

        Open Farm. But I only use it as a binder (for good stools) and feed cooked (Costco) organic chicken thighs or minimally cooked beef stew chunks for whole, uncompromised protein. I also augment with a half of hard boiled egg, FF cottage cheese or Yogurt, a little bit of pumpkin, a dash of Pet Kelp or Solid Gold supplement (vit/min). So my dog has a mixture of dry and wet food. The supplement compensates for the whole meat portion. At least you know endotoxins aren’t involved. Open Farm is very transparent.

  3. Cannoliamo

    Susan, ….. Would it be possible to get a public statement from Kristen Green related to this matter? I would love to read it.

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      I doubt Kristen Green (Kentucky Department of Agriculture) would provide a statement – BUT, I will file a Freedom of Information Act request in Kentucky and with FDA to see what other information we can be provided.

  4. mark

    Shame on you Susan for stirring controversy without any substantial proof of what you insinuate.

      1. Chris

        Susan, any info on whether the tainted product ended up in stores and if so if they pulled it? I notice they say they only knew because the supplier let them know, nothing about Champion’s testing catching this before kibble was made.

        1. Susan Thixton Author

          No information at this point – I will file FOIA requests to get the inspection documents. We might learn more from those – but it will take months for the documents to be received.

    1. Jody

      Shame on you Mark for trying to justify feeding your dog kibble and making yourself feel better about it by ignoring the facts and not even reading this article. Nice try.

  5. Pet Owner

    Here’s what happens when a company spokesman writes drivel (this letter). It ends up being more confusing than before it was issued. These are all questions:

    1. Where is the letter to be found.
    2. Was it or a similar announcement sent to PF suppliers, distributors, consumers.
    3. In other words who is the “Champion Family.”
    4. Meritless claims, if so, then how.
    5. What’s a relatively small amount, material is either contaminated or not. Contamination reveals the imperfection of the source (chain of custody).
    6. Does Champion’s posture remind anyone of Blue Buffalo’s reaction to a supplier.
    7. They removed the ingredient from production. But did any of the ingredient reach production into a final product.
    8. If so, what were the follow-up steps.
    9. No specifics (details, examples) provided defining their actions taken.
    10. What was the history of the supplier; as doing business with renders.
    11. So this appears to be a letter addressed to their team members.
    12. However corporate is controlling all communication; perhaps a general warning is implied

    1. Janice

      Perhaps not a perfect explanation by Champion, but they did say (re: your #7) that testing confirmed that no pentobarbital was found in their foods.

      1. Pet Owner

        They tested AFTER being notified. Were they randomly testing (sampling) this supplier before the notice? If the supplier has had a clean record, and also notified the company of an issue, then why did they cut their relationship? Details don’t add up.

        1. Janice

          I was addressing your point #7. In answer to that: There was no pentobarbital found in the food. Of course Champion should be testing for it.

  6. Amber Abuja

    So… They have mechanisms in place such that they found out about possible contamination, then they tested it to ensure it didn’t occur. Why this is framed as a problem and not a success, I can’t see.

  7. Arcadio Ruiz-Castellano

    I’m very confused and scare. Should I stop feeding my dog with Origen?

  8. Ms. B Dawson

    Feed commercial pet food, roll the dice.

    This is why I closed my pet supply almost a decade ago. The sales reps and distributors told me what they had been told by manufacturers. They didn’t vet the information, they just regurgitated it in good faith. I had to do my own research, dig through sometimes conspiracy-sounding rumors and push, push, push for answers. Usually what I came up with wasn’t reassuring and it was costing me 20 hours a week.

    I burned out after 10 years of doing that and said “never again”. Susan, I don’t know how you do it.

    I’m glad to know that the drug was found and “removed from production” but it never should have been IN production until the testing was complete. This is where Champion failed. Obviously they are so sure their supply line is pristine that they push production ahead without the critical data. Lesson learned, eh Champion?

    Sorry to be so cynical, but to quote House, MD: “Everyone lies.”

  9. Lynn

    No pentobarbital was found in the food. This is a response from the company. “Independent third party testing confirmed that no pentobarbital was detected in our foods. Any claim stating otherwise is false and is part of an ongoing lawsuit which Champion is vigorously defending against. Visit our website for facts or contact Customer Care 1-877-939-0006.”

  10. Pet Owner

    Testing confirmed no pentobarbital (beef fat) found in foods AFTER the supplier notified them. The assumed conclusion is supposed to be, none of the ingredient got into the production/distribution chain. However what assurance has been provided (within their letter) that they’ve been routinely (consistently) testing that supplier’s ingredients over the course of their business relationship and well before they were notified of the problem.

    In other words, wouldn’t a better #7 explanation be, …. we were confident in using this supplier because our random (sample) testing of their ingredient has always proven to be safe.

    Yet they discontinued doing business with the supplier, even though the supplier warned them of a potential issue which tested negative. The question to ask is, Why?

    That’s why what these companies say to avoid bad publicity, can’t be trusted. Foxes guarding the hen house.

  11. Samantha Clinthorne

    It’s ridiculous that we all jump to conclusions without having enough evidence to back it up. In this day and age of information people jump on the first headline they see and pass it around as fact. Do more research. Don’t just take one article and think it is the end all be all.

    1. Pet Owner

      It’s not an article (in this case). It’s a lawsuit. As well as an issue (meaning the poor reliability of suppliers) which the manufacturer acknowledged in the company letter sent to their own employees. What would be “enough” evidence. A dog getting so sick, it’s being diagnosed with pentobarbital.

      Exactly consumers, do the research, balance the discussion, and don’t take the manufacturer’s explanation at face value.

  12. Zachary Chernik


    If any local fish are being sourced in their product

    Statewide Guidance
    The guidance below applies to specific groups of fish from all Kentucky waters:

    Statewide Guidance


    Statewide Predatory fish 1 meal per month 6 meals per year Mercury
    Statewide Bottom feeder fish and Panfish 1 meal per week 1 meal per month Mercury
    Statewide All other fish No Advisory 1 meal per week Mercury

    Note: one meal is considered to be an 8 oz serving for a 150 pound person.

    Sensitive Populations: Women of childbearing age and children 6 years and younger are advised to eat no more than six meals per year of predatory fish and no more than one meal per month of panfish and bottom feeder fish. The general public is advised to eat no more than one meal per month of predatory fish and no more than one meal per week of panfish and bottom feeder fish.
    Predatory fish include: Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Spotted Bass, White Bass and Striped Bass and their hybrids, Yellow Bass, Flathead Catfish, Blue Catfish,
    Musky, Sauger and Walleye and their hybrids, Bowfin, Chain Pickerel and all Gars.

    Panfish include: Bluegill, Green Sunfish, Longear Sunfish, Redear Sunfish, Rock Bass, and Crappie species.

    Bottom feeder fish include: Channel Catfish, Drum, Carp Sucker, White Sucker, Common Carp, Bullhead species, Northern Hog Sucker, Buffalo species, Spotted Sucker, Redhorse species, Sturgeon and Creek Chub.

  13. Aissa Juarez

    What about orijen cat food?

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      I don’t know if cat food is involved in the lawsuit. You’ll need to contact the law firm to ask that question.

  14. Lo

    What about Fromme family pet foods..I’ve found them so wonderrful…sourced in North America made in small controlled batches by the fromme family in colorado

    1. Zachary Chernik

      Do you mean Fromm from Wisconsin…..from one of their on-line support people just a few minutes ago

      Tracy9:55 am
      We do not give out exact percentages of ingredients in our recipes. What I can tell you, is that our ingredients are listed in order of predominance.

      In this one product Peas are the second ingredient after Beef… how much plant protein is truly in this product?

    2. Reader

      It’s Fromm. Originally it used to be good. Did leave some dogs with dandruff. Another one though, that changed their formula (without it being obvious in the ingredient label) and my dog can no longer eat it. The stools are way too loose. I tried avoiding the pea ingredient (supposedly that leaves only one recipe). However dog still can’t handle it. I suspect once makers start using pea in their blend, they don’t necessarily totally exclude it from other formulas. IMO it’s very hard for these “family” run companies to hold their quality long term, especially when they start giving into trends like “grain-free.”

      1. Zachary Chernik

        trends like “grain-free” is not a trend. Protein….meat protein….is the best for our 4 legged kids…yes you can eat grains but you need typically 3x the amount of grain to come close to the percentage of meat protein but the grains are still lacking all the amino acids of meat.

        As for Grain products with Corn…..I wonder what the long term health is for glyphosate grain for dogs that eat the product everyday….

        Even Germany which is now the HQ for Round-up since Monsanto was bought by Bayer is banning it: Do you trust non-organic grain in your dog’s food?

        Germany: In January of 2018, Germany’s coalition government agreed to begin the process of banning glyphosate. Certain retail stores in Germany have also pulled glyphosate-based herbicides like Roundup from shelves.

  15. mali

    What about acana adult amall breed Is it safe to use??? my dog ate it for years

  16. Mike

    I have used both brands forever. My current three dogs are 14 year old Ridgie, 14 year old Sheltie, and a 13 year old Yorkie. I add water to their kibble and may add a smattering of cheese or some of the canned Chicken by Merrick. I avoid fish diet totally as I am aware of the global issues with mercury. I have no issues with their foods. They like it. I worry more about the lack of carnitine and taurine. If there is phenobarb in it, the dogs exhibit no apparent CNS effects from it. Still pretty active bunch, esp the Yorkie, despite her collapsing trachea. Is there any chance that this lawsuit was silently backed by a competitor who probably also has somewhat tainted ingredients? The whole thing seems kind of bogus to me.

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