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Tag: chinese

PetSmart and Petco to pull China-made jerky treats off their shelves — finally

Chinesjerky

After thousands of reported illnesses and 1,000 dog deaths, PetSmart and Petco have announced they will stop selling all dog and cat treats made in China.

What took the retailers so long to reach the decision, and why it will take them seven to ten months more to purge store shelves of such items, remain questions worth asking.

So too is why the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which has been investigating the treats for years — without determining what about them is making dogs sick — can’t tell us much more than “CAUTION,” with an exclamation point.

PetSmart said it will pull from the shelves all of the China-made treat it sells by March 2015.

Petco said it will accomplish that by the end of this year.

Both retailers have about 1,300 stores nationwide.

The two national pet retailers’ decisions came after seven years of complaints to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration about jerky treats from China making pets sick, or worse.

“We know some pet parents are wary of dog and cat treats made in China, especially chicken jerky products, and we’ve heard their concerns,” said Jim Myers, Petco CEO, in a statement.

A PetSmart spokesperson, meanwhile, told USA Today it has been working toward this goal “for some time, and feel it’s the right thing to do for pets and our customers.”

Taking questionable Chinese-made treats off the shelves strikes us as a pretty simple task, as opposed to “a goal to work toward.” You just pick them up and put them in the garbage. And while “hearing customer concerns” is commendable, it shouldn’t take three or four years for them to sink in.

The move comes as sales of Chinese made jerky treats diminish, amid increasing public concerns about them.

Five years ago, 90% of the pet industry’s jerky treats were made in China, said Lisa Stark, spokeswoman for Petco. Currently, about 50% of the jerky treats sold by Petco are from China.

Since 2007, the FDA says it has received about 4,800 reports of pet illnesses, and 1,000 dog deaths, possibly related to the consumption of jerky treats. The FDA, while issuing warnings, says it has yet to establish any direct link between the pet illnesses and the China-made treats.

Most of the complaints involved chicken jerky, but others included duck, sweet potato and chicken, according to the FDA.

Tainted dog food suspected in China

A Shanghai distributor of a popular brand of dog food said Monday it had suspended sales of the product following reports that dogs who ate it died from poisoning.

While China’s recent food safety scandals have centered on locally made products, it wasn’t immediately clear whether the suspicious dog food was local or imported, the Associated Press reported.

A customer service manager at Shanghai Yidi Pet Co. said the company stopped selling Optima brand dog food last week after reports that more than a dozen dogs who ate it had died from aflatoxin poisoning.

A report Monday in the Shanghai Daily newspaper said at least 20 dogs in four Chinese cities, including Beijing, had died since the end of November from liver complications from aflatoxin.

It wasn’t clear who makes the Optima brand involved in the complaints.

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In memory of Gus, “World’s Ugliest Dog”

Gus, the irrepressible, one-eyed, three-legged, nine-year-old Chinese crested who was named the World’s Ugliest Dog at the 20th Annual Sonoma-Marin Fair in northern California, has died of skin cancer.

Gus, from St. Petersburg, Florida, was rescued by his owners, Jeanenne Teed and her daughter Janey, after they learned that it was being kept in a crate in someone’s garage.

When her pet won the contest in June, Teed said the prize money would be put toward the dog’s radiation treatment. Gus, who lost an eye in a fight with a cat, was also missing a leg that was amputated because of a skin tumor.

When Gus accompanied Janey to school one day, frightened teachers corralled him into a bathroom with a broomstick. He had a long, skinny rat tail, and looked as if he had been in a fire.

“He was the most hideous thing I had ever seen,” Jeanenne told the St. Petersburg Times, which ran an excellent story yesterday on the demise of Gus.

Recently, the cancer that took his leg returned, appearing in his spine and pressing into his abdomen. By September, he was too weak to walk. Jeaneanne, a certified public accountant, used his prize money, and her mortgage payment for October, to pay the $5,000 bill for chemotherapy.

Gus was buried in a tiny grave in the family’s backyard. Next to it, Jeaneanne planted a Butterfly bush with golden flowers.

“Something beautiful,” she said, “to grow out of all that ugly.”

The monkey on Sai Hu’s back

An orphan monkey at a Chinese Zoo was being bullied by bigger primates, so zookeepers gave the little fellow his own personal guard dog.

Keepers at Jiaozuo City Zoo said the monkey was always being picked on, and that they had intervened to save his life several times.

“So we put a dog in the monkey cage, hoping he can protect the orphan,” a zoo spokesman told the China News Network.

The zoo said the dog, Sai Hu, does his job well.

“Whenever the baby monkey gets bullied, he dashes up and drives the others away. And the baby monkey is also very smart. Each time he smells danger he runs to jump on the dog’s back and holds on tight.

“The alpha male monkey has been really unhappy since we sent in Sai Hu. He tried to organize several ambushes on the little monkey, but they all failed because of the dog,” added the spokesman.