Darwin’s Dog Food has some serious problems with their pet food: Consumers report finding large pieces of shattered bone, plastic bags and metal in their food.
This week, an anxious consumer contacted me, alerting me to the problems – problems she documented – dating back eight months. Concerned for the welfare for pets, and frustrated by Darwin’s lack of action, she reached out to me for help.
She sent me detailed records: multiple photographs, showing dozens and dozens of pieces of shattered bone, a plastic bag and a piece of metal she found in Darwin’s dog food.
She sent copies of numerous messages, beginning in October of last year, between herself and the owner of the company who vowed to fix the problems with their food. When the problems continued, her level of frustration and anxiety increased, when every promise to correct the problems never materialized.
Worse, was what happened when her dogs – including one that weighed only 3 lbs (Mabeline, pictured above) – tried to eat the food and nearly choked to death.
On several occasions, she had to manually extract the bones from their throats. The pieces, some sharp enough to pierce the esophageal tissue and the intestinal tract, were too large for them to swallow. Had they managed to swallow the pieces, it’s possible they could have caused a perforation of the digestive tract causing internal hemorrhaging, leading to serious illness and death.
Obviously, the problem with feeding pet food with splintered bones in it are many, including:
- Cuts and wounds in the mouth or on the tonsils
- Bleeding from the rectum, and
Dogs are notorious for eating all sorts of icky and sometimes, even downright dangerous things. They don’t know any better, but pet food manufacturers do.
And when pet food manufacturers find out there are things in their food that shouldn’t be there, it is their responsibility to issue an immediately recall of the affected lots of food. Not only is the right thing to do, they’re legally obligated to do so.
I understand, manufacturers can have quality control issues, and, yes, accidents can happen – even in the best of facilities (which is why they have metal detectors in them, for example), but when a company has known for eight months about egregious problems with their product – that have the potential to cause harm, and possibly even cause the death of their customer’s pets, they have an ethical and moral responsibility to take direct, meaningful action. Darwin’s should issue an immediate recall and stop production until they can get their “quality control” under control.
So, when companies fail to do the right thing, their customers come to me. That’s when I get on the phone and fire up my laptop and shoot letters to the Department of Agriculture in the customer’s state, and contact the State Department where the food is manufactured and ask them to start an investigation.
Today, the State Department of Agriculture in Washington, where Darwin’s is located, is taking action.
Finally, companies like Darwin’s have no business continuing to sell – and make a profit from – dangerous food, particularly because they sell a product that will be eaten by our most innocent and vulnerable population: Animals. Particularly, because that food will be eaten by dogs and cats who can’t tell their pet parents when their tummy hurts, or when they have cuts in their mouth or when they have a sharp piece of bone stuck in their throats.
Thank you, Michelle, for bringing this to my attention. Because of you, you probably saved many pets lives due to a dangerous food.
To report a problem with a pet food or treat, please visit FDA’s web page on “How to Report a Pet Food Complaint.”
To report it the State Departments of Agriculture, visit USDA’s website.
To find AAFCO Members by Regulatory Organization in your State, visit AAFCO’s website.
If you need help with any of these steps, please contact me.
The innocent victims, Michelle’s precious fur babies