The FDA is investigating Big Heart Pet Foods, makers of Meow Mix, Milk Bone, Kibbles’n Bits, 9 Lives, Natural Balance, Pup-Peroni, Gravy Train, Nature’s Recipe, Canine Carry Outs, Milo’s Kitchen, Alley Cat, Jerky Treats, Meaty Bone, Pounce and Snausages. Nikki Mael and her family. had a miserable New Year’s Eve when after feeding their 5 dogs, the dogs began collapsing all over the place. They rushed the dogs to the vet’s. They were told one dog named Talula would not make it. They sent the dog food out for testing and took the lifeless body of their beloved Talula to a testing facility and what they found was alarming.
The contaminate in the dog food was pentobarbital: A lethal drug, most commonly used to euthanize dogs, cats and some horses. It is so powerful, it can never be used on any animals in the food chain because it can be passed on. The local TV station heard about the incident and they teamed up with Ellipse Analytics, a lab that specializes in testing food for contaminants and they tested 62 samples of dog food and Gravy Train consistently had at least some traces of the poison in 9 out of 15 cans or 60%. Pentobarbital is not allowed in dog food at any concentration. That is what killed Talula.
The Big Heart website touts “high-quality food” that meets “rigorous evaluation and testing requirements.”
So how is pentobarbital, a drug not allowed to be used on animals or intended for food, getting into the food?
“It comes from euthanasia of animals using that euthanasia drug,” said Dr. Nicholas Dodman, chief scientific officer for The Center for Canine Behavior Studies and former director of the Animal Behavior Program at Tufts University. “So, these animals could be dogs, they could be cats, they could be horses – but how is it getting into the pet food? If they say it doesn’t come from dogs, cats and horses where does it come from? It doesn’t come from outer space.”
If you have Gravy train in your house, you may want to take note of this story.