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We Told Them, They Did Nothing

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  1. Debbie Latchum

    This has been my entire conversation with Dogswell since July 2011 when I notified them that my entire pack was sick and this had to be the only cause.
    Their responses are also in the order from each inquiry made.
    Hi Debra,

    Thank you for reaching back out to us.

    During routine testing of our products, the New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets (NYSDAM) discovered that a sample of our Dogswell Happy Hips Chicken Breast Jerky contained trace amounts of an antibiotic residue that has not been approved for use in the United States. It is important to note that this antibiotic is accepted for use in other countries (including the European Union), and there is no evidence that products containing trace amounts of this antibiotic pose a health risk for pets or humans. Since we were notified by the NYSDAM the week of July 22nd, we have made the decision to voluntarily withdraw Chicken Breast and Duck Breast jerky under the Breathies, Happy Heart, Happy Hips, Mellow Mut, Shape Up, Veggie Life, Vitality, and Vitakitty brands that are labeled with a “Best Before” date of January 28th, 2015 or any earlier date. The vast majority of these products were distributed before March 1st of this year. No other products are affected.

    Since January, we have been using state-of-the-art testing procedures to ensure that our chicken and duck products do not contain these or other unapproved antibiotics. All chicken and duck breast jerky products with a “Best Before” date of January 29, 2015 and later have been fully tested for and do not contain these antibiotics.

    I can definitely understand your concern; however, based on the FDA’s review of the NYSDAM results, there is no evidence that raises health concerns, and these results are highly unlikely to be related to the reports of illnesses FDA has received related to jerky pet treats.

    If you have any further questions or concerns, please let me know. I would be happy to send you replacement bags or if you have any product involved in the withdrawal I can get a refund sent to you.

    Thank you, Debra.

    Kristin White

    Consumer Relations Coordinator | DOGSWELL®

    Direct | 310.651.5209
    Fax | 866.586.5689

    1964 Westwood Blvd. Suite 350
    Los Angeles, CA 90025

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    From: Debra L[mailto:l……]
    Sent: Friday, July 26, 2013 7:10 PM
    To: Katie DiDomenico
    Subject: Re: real chicken breast jerky

    I see it has taken 2 years for these items to be recalled. I contacted you 2 yrs ago about this issue and my entire pack was sick and I had purchase a lot of 30 which the store would not take back because it had been over 30 days since the purchase date(all where trash). I know my pack and tried to give you a heads up on this issue. I just wonder how many more have gotten sick from these and the owners didn’t relate it back. I have one (rescue)that is only 4 yrs old and is going through kidney failure, I got her when she was 4 months and healthy, she had these treats up until I wrote you in July 2011(she was the sickest of all my pack). The Attending said it must have came from something toxic she ate. She is an inside dog and only gets what I give her. She is on K/D food now for kidney failure.
    I just wish someone would have looked into this when I inquired about the treats.
    I sent the entire conversation so you can review what I sent and your response.

    From: Katherine DiDomenico
    To: Debra L
    Sent: Tuesday, July 5, 2011 6:32 PM
    Subject: RE: real chicken breast jerky

    Hi Debra,

    Thank you for contacting DOGSWELL®. I am so sorry to hear that your dogs became ill, how are they doing now? Our wet food for dogs, our dry food for dogs and our biscuits are manufactured in the U.S. and our treats are manufactured in China . I understand your concern however DOGSWELL® customers can rest assured that they are providing their dogs with a safe and healthy treat. We certify that our products are safe and clean with regular testing and ensure that our products meet high quality standards. Along with an in-depth knowledge of our supply chain, our regular tests assure our customers that we are providing their pets with only the very best ingredients. Tests are conducted at independent, third-party, U.S. laboratories that follow FDA and APPA-approved methodology. We test product from each batch that is produced and have never had our results come back positive for ANY harmful ingredients such as cyanuric acid, melamine, e.coli and salmonella. DOGSWELL® has also never had a recall. We care deeply about all pets and would never include an ingredient that would harm a pet as we feed this product to our own dogs here in the office.

    Are the bags that you have still sealed? We do have a money back guarantee on our product so if you wish to get a refund you can return the product to the store.

    I have attached a Quality Assurance Brochure for your convenience. Please let me know if you have any other questions. Thank you for your time and have a good day.

    Thank you,

    Katie Di Domenico

    Customer Service Coordinator


    1964 Westwood Blvd. Suite 350

    Los Angeles, CA 90025

    310.651.5209 | direct
    866.586.5689 | fax

    From: Debra L [mailto:l……]
    Sent: Sunday, July 03, 2011 10:25 AM
    To: Info
    Subject: real chicken breast jerky

    I have a major concern about your real chicken jerky treats. I have recently purchased a new batch, approximately 30 bags, for my pack and I now I am seeing awful side effects of not eating, diarrhea and sluggish or just sleeping an excessive amount. I have now stopped feeding these treats and the abnormal signs have not gone away. I thought that all of your food was safe and free of harmful ingredients to animals. I now see that these treats are made in China and this is a report that I just received from a Doctor. Please let me know if these items will be RECALLED. Please scroll down to read the report from the Doctor. It has now been over 30 days since these 30 some bags were purchased and can not be returned unless a recall takes place from the manufacture.
    Please reply about my concerns and let me know how these issues can be resolved.
    Notice received by DVM:

    Fanconi syndrome cause by jerky treats

    The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association has sent out this:

    Recently, several veterinarians in Ontario have reported cases of
    dogs that have been showing signs similar to Fanconi syndrome.
    All dogs in the reported cases had been fed chicken jerky treats
    that were manufactured in China .

    Signs of Fanconi syndrome can include decreased appetite,
    decreased activity, vomiting, and increased water consumption
    and/or increased urination. Blood tests may show increased urea
    nitrogen and creatinine. Urine tests may indicate Fanconi
    syndrome (increased glucose). The problem is that this can be
    confused with diabetes.

    If you suspect this condition, please have your pet examined.

    This warning against Chinese-manufactured dog food is one of many
    in recent memory. As a safety precaution, consider avoiding dog
    treats and food manufactured in China .

    What is Fanconi Syndrome?

    This is a significant disorder in the Basenji breed, affecting
    10% or more of dogs. It is also seen in the Norwegian elkhound,
    Shetland sheepdog, and schnauzer.

    In these dogs it is genetic.

    Specifically, the kidney LOSES the ability to do one of it’s key

    Absorption of water, sugars, minerals, and amino acids so that
    these are not excessively lost in the urine. In this disorder,
    there is a defect in a part of the kidney called the tubules;
    this leads to electrolyte imbalances, dehydration, and other

    Jerky treat induced Fanconi syndrome

    The big point in diagnoses is NOT incorrectly assuming the pet is

    The KEY difference is low urine specific gravity,
    (the urine is very dilute) and glucosuria (sugar in the urine)
    with normal blood glucose concentrations.

    Will your dog recover?

    This is unclear. In the genetic disorder, the disease can only be
    managed, not cured.

    In ‘aquired’ fanconi syndrome, your dog may, or may not recover
    from the disease caused by the toxic treats.

    If your dog has eaten these treats, and has any of the above
    clinical sigs, please have them tested.

    Best Wishes,

    Dr Andrew Jones, DVM

    Tel: 1-800-396-1534

    Also, none of my animals are of the breeds listed in this notice. I have pit bull terriers and Australian cattle dogs.
    Please reply as soon as possible on the action taken.
    Thank you , Debra L

    1. Peter

      This dialog is appalling. The company rep tells Debbie, in response to her inquiry, that the firm holds an “in depth knowledge of our supply chain.” So why no reaction upon earlier recalls of products from the very same China manufacturers?

  2. Mollie Morrissette

    Thanks Susan for posting about this pitiful situation. As with many other pet parents, I am frustrated and fed up with our government’s feeble excuse that drug residues do not pose a health risk. I’m sorry, but there is a good reason why laws were enacted to protect consumers from violative levels of veterinary drug residues: They pose a danger to the health of the person or pet eating the drug residues. Two things are of significant concerns: The development of “superbugs” from the overuse of antibiotics and the frightening prospect that certain individuals and animals have an immune mediated response to drugs they are sensitive (allergic) to. Estimates are that 3-7% of the general population is allergic to certain drugs, specifically sulfonamides. I have written enough about this topic on Poisoned Pets to sink a ship, so if anyone wants to know the nitty-gritty about sulfonamide hypersensitivity in dogs that consume contaminated treats — come on over to PP and have a look see. It’s a bit technical, and at times the subject can be dreadfully dull as dishwater, but for consumers whose dogs have become ill or even died as a result of drug allergies in connection with contaminated CJTs, it may answer many of their questions. I tried very hard to make the issue understandable to the general public, in hopes that more people may understand what might very well explain the reason for the tragedy of the drug-laced treats.

  3. Laurie Matson

    Our Government and it’s Agencies are very corrupted.Including the FDA, USDA, AAFCO, Pet Food Institute, Politicans, Congress I could go on and on. why Uncle Sam gets investigated but not these others is beyond me!! Everybody protects each other!!! One day though, Susan, you and Mollie are going to hit on something big that will break the news wide open!! That’s how much confidance I have in you guys!!! Thanks for doing what you guys do!!!

  4. Ann

    Susan, Thank you for all of the work that you and others are doing on this issue.
    My Australian Cattle dog was poisoned by the Nestle Purina Canyon Creek chicken jerky treats made in China.
    Question: Susan, do you know if any of the Canyon Creek chicken jerky treats came from the same Chinese jerky treat manufacturers – Shandong Honva and Yantai Aska?
    Thanks, ann

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      There were five Chinese jerky treat plants the FDA inspected – the one that manufactured for Waggin Train/Canyon Creek (and there might have been two) was not the same as the manufacturer for Milo’s Kitchen or Hartz. However the same sulfa drugs were found in all of the treats – because they are commonly fed to chickens in China. If I’m not mistaken, one of the plants that manufactured for Waggin Train/Canyon Creek was one that was in violation of the Bioterrorism Act (was not registered with FDA).

  5. Dennis Adkins

    2 federal judges agree that there is a link between china dog treats and dogs getting sick or worse.milo’s lost on seven of eight counts in motion to dismiss in Pittsburgh and on 7/30/13 kingdom pets llc lost seven of eight counts to dismiss motion in California. Both class action lawsuits will move forward.the companies selling this crap kept saying the whole time the products were safe as we watched more dogs suffer a slow painful death.botton line don’t feed your family or pets anything from china.thanks for all your hard work susan

  6. Anna

    I want every pet owner to be aware that this company does not care about the quality of their treats. I purchased Dogswell Vitality Jerky Bars “Salmon & Veggies”. My dog started to have diarrhea every evening in the house and occasional vomiting. Our dog never has accidents in the home, therefore, we knew something was very wrong. At first, we didn’t know what was causing this. By the 4th day, our dog had declined. Our vet suggested to do process of elimination with anything new in his diet before this gets worse. Since these treats were the only new product we introduced into his diet, we immediately stopped. By the next day, he was much better and the diarrhea and vomiting had ceased.
    I contacted customer service right away and informed them of what had happened. They took my information and did absolutely nothing about this incident. They said it could have been anything else . . .there’s no proof. They did NOT ask to have the treats sent for testing. I was very suprised for their lack of concern and due diligence. I asked, Leslie, the person of contact, to please have management contact me. Also, I had further researched the company online and discovered that they have had a recall on another one of their treats where many dogs became very ill and/or died. Furthermore, it’s been months, after several calls, no management has contacted me.

    1. Peter

      Anna, I hope that your dog recovers. I’ve had a cat poisoned by a high-end food… a couple of times checking him, I thought he had already died. Although I isolated the food as the cause specifically, the company absolved themselves of responsibility. I recently contacted them about repeated incidents of short-weighting their products, and again, it gets dropped. I am not surprised at all, about your experience attempting to involve the manufacturer in a dialog.

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