Milo’s Kitchen hit with second class-action lawsuit over deadly dog treats

Grieving pet parent Lisa Mazur filed a federal class-action lawsuit in Pennsylvania Thursday against food giant Del Monte and it’s subsidiary Milo’s Kitchen for the chicken jerky dog treats from China that she is convinced caused the tragic death of her dog.

Riley Rae, a happy-go-lucky pup and the light of his pet-mom Lisa Mazur’s life says her healthy 7-year-old dog suffering from kidney failure and had to be euthanized in less than one month after being given the treats.

She says the only change in Riley Rae’s diet that month was the addition of Milo’s treats, which says “were unsafe, defective, and dangerous, culpably misrepresented as safe and healthy, and did not conform to applicable implied and express warranties.”

Following the death of her beloved dog Lisa decided to take on food giant Del Monte, one of the nation’s largest producers and distributors of pet products and foods, and sue them on behalf of her dog and other pet parents whose dogs have suffered illness and death due to the toxic treats.

According to Del Monte’s annual report, the corporation generated approximately $3.7 billion in net sales in fiscal 2012.  Their pet food and pet snacks brands include well-known household brands such as Meow Mix, Kibbles ‘n Bits, Milk-Bone, 9Lives, Pup-Peroni, Gravy Train, Nature’s Recipe, Canine Carry Outs, Milo’s Kitchen and other brand names.

Lisa claims that Del Monte and Milo’s Kitchen “intentionally concealed known facts concerning the safety of their dog treats in order to increase or maintain sales”, although an oblique reference to the FDA’s cautionary warning does appear on the FAQ section of Milo’s Kitchen’s website, she insists “a purchaser will not see it unless the access the web site and click through the questions.”

Yet Del Monte and Milo’s Kitchen despite the continued scrutiny of the media, pet parents and even the FDA, have not recalled their high risk products, nor put warnings on the packages. “No reasonable person would feed dog treats to their dogs knowing that there was a substantial risk of death or illness from doing so,” Lisa states in the complaint states. “Plaintiff, and other consumers, did not learn of the FDA warning, until their dogs had consumed the treats and either became sick or passed away.”

An ongoing investigation by the FDA continues into the chicken jerky treats and a clandestine inspection of chicken treat plants in China by federal inspectors is still under wraps, yet Milo’s Kitchen website states that “We believe dogs deserve treats made with the same quality of ingredients and care that you want with your food. We’re pet parents too. That’s why we make each treat with the love and care your dog deserves.”

The arrogance and indifference to consumers Del Monte has stubbornly refused to acknowledge there is a problem and has refuses to take steps to remove the product from the market out of an abundance of caution.

Last month another pet parent filed a class action lawsuit against Milo’s Kitchen and Del Monte in Los Angeles, because her dog came “close to death” from kidney failure because of the deadly jerky treats.

Lisa’s lawsuit seeks punitive damages for the class, for common law fraud, unjust enrichment, negligence, product liability, and unfair trade, breach of warranty, failure to warn, and defective manufacture or design.

The lead counsel is Clayton Morrow with Morrow & Artim. This is a class action brought by plaintiff Lisa Mazur, on behalf of all consumers who purchased certain dog treats manufactured, marketed, distributed, or sold by defendants. Those who wish to join the class action should contact Morrow & Artim.

Clayton S. Morrow
MORROW & ARTIM, PC
304 Ross Street
7th Floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
(412) 209-0656
www.pacreditcardlaw.com
clay@PaCreditCardLaw.com

Click here to read the complaint

FDA Q&A regarding chicken jerky treats (updated July 18, 2012)

Mollie Morrissette

Mollie Morrissette, author of Poisoned Pets, is an animal food safety expert and advisor to AAFCO. Help support her work by making a donation today.

Comments (22) Write a comment

  1. Garlic and Onion, 2 ingredients in their Chicken Meatballs, both TOXIC to dogs. This company kills animals with no remorse.

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  2. Our dog, Ginger, just recently passed away. Had to be put down because of kidney failure. She was 8 years old and a Pom mix that we rescued a little over 15 months ago from Pima County Animal Control. We knew she was a special needs dog due her dental issues. No other issues were in question or disclosed. We knew she was an owner surrender. We had her teeth cleaned. We later found out, she was deaf (confirmed two weeks after we got her). We we giving canine carry outs treats to our dogs. We had 3 dogs all Pom/pom mix. They all started vomiting. Had bad bowel movements too. Ginger, being older than the other two apparently couldn’t handle it. We’ve sonce stopped giving those treats to our dogs. The remaining two dogs are okay now, but we lost Ginger. I believe these treats had something to do with her demise. How can I find out? Can I have those treats tested? Who can I turn to to get answers? I’ve called the distributor listed on the pkg’s. They say nothing wrong with them. I say bs. I’m reading all sorts of bad things about them. I don’t know what to believe. Why haven’t they been recalled? May others say (on Internet posts) that they have had similar experiences.

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  3. I have also been very concerned about the treats made in China. I have found a new bake-at-home treat mix that has no preservatives, sugar or salt and is easy to make. My dog loves them! You can check it out here http://www.pupolicious.com

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  4. It is a sad state of affairs in this country with the ongoing recalls. Over three years ago I found a company and brand that I could trust. Their food and treats have never been recalled and they have been in business since 1999. Dr. Jane Bicks is the vet formulator and she actually talks with customers. Ingredients are sourced carefully from the U.S. (not China) and everything is tested rigorously. The food is shipped directly to your door and it is fresher than the food sold in stores. It is high quality and affordable! I started recommending the products as I believe in them so much! http://www.petfoodlady.com

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  5. Ms Mazur has my condolences over the passing of her lovely companion Riley Rae. That said, it’s been well reported for several years that buying any processed product for your pet represents a considerable danger – particularly when that product is outside the realm of immediate USDA restrictions (which is not to say the USDA would do much to protect your pet from a domestically processed product … but I digress). And that’s just ‘the media’ coverage. For a much longer time, it’s been well shared by anyone and everyone who’s ever had a pet that the bane of a companion animal’s existence is any processed ‘pet treat’. Want to give your companion a ‘treat’? Make it something you were about to eat, yourself – a piece of roasted chicken, perhaps, or better still, a piece of raw carrot. The best treat to give your companion? YOUR TIME! Steer away from ‘food’ treats, and share yourself with your pet.

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    • Well said Beverly! I agree 100%. However, I would hate to suggest that because a pet parent chooses to purchase a pet food or pet treat that in turn harms or even kills their pet, is not to suggest that they did something wrong, are personally responsible, or were lacking in their due diligence to know everything there is to know about the safety or risk of a commercial product.

      It is the manufacturer who, by law, is responsible for making sure their products are safe. When they fail to do this, the government can and will stop them, when they can. Thus, the crux of the problem with the treats – no one has determined what the cause of the adverse events are, therefore the FDA, legally, can do NOTHING to protect consumers.

      It is the manufacturers themselves whose moral duty it is to remove the products from the market out of an abundance of caution and concern for the health and well being of their consumer and their pets. It is the failure of the manufacturers, not consumers. The manufacturers attempt to shift blame to consumers with their so-called “feeding guidelines” is a classic example of the corruption endemic in the industry. The amount of treats fed to a pet are irrelevant. The toxic substance in the treats is the issue. How much poison is fed to a pet, will not minimize the problem, only shifts the blame to consumers. The poison is there, make no mistake about it.

      It is truly tragic that manufacturers rely on the implied trust and faith that consumers have for products sold on the market. That is not the failure of consumers, it is the failure of manufacturers.

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      • I agree, and I do think manufacturers have an implicit legal responsibility to the consumer to offer a safe product, and to rectify any problem asap, regardless of the cost/effect issue. I did not mean to cast any of the responsibility on the pet owner where commercially available yet poisonous products are concerned. I guess what I’m trying to say is, we need to be less inclined to offer ‘treats’, and recognise it’s not ‘treats’ that our companion animals crave … it’s us! Most ‘treats’ for any animals are a bane to their overall health. IMHO, anyway. I never give my dogs or cats – or even horses – commercial ‘treats’ – I do give occasional apples, carrots, etc. I do admit, however, to using a commercially available prepared food for all my critters, excepting my flying squirrels … perhaps I’ve just been lucky, but my animals have never had a food-related illness.

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        • I certainly didn’t mean to imply that you were critical of pet parents – I just wanted to make it clear that they are not at fault.

          Consumers are brainwashed and brandwashed by powerful persuasive methods pervasive in industry.

          I cannot blame the consumer for their ignoranc when they are under the influence of Big Food.

          For most, that includes yours truly, it takes a disaster or a health crisis to shake you out of your dillusion. I educated myself and eventually learned “the truth”.

          That is my mission, to help others on their path to a new way of looking at the world, inspiring them to do their own research and to question the authority of Big Food, Big Ag and Big Government.

          Thanks Beverly for your comments! I love them.

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  6. I have been giving my rescued pit the Waggon Train Chicken Jerky for over a year with no problem. I just found out about the treat recall yesterday….she does not like any of the other treats on the market & she looks forward to these treats every morning. I have been making her dog food myself for a while with chicken, rice, mixed vegetable, sweet potatoes and either summer squash or zuchinni squash…i add fresh cranberries when they are in season…i guess now i will buy a food dehydrator and make my own chicken jerky treats. The dog food companies need to start making the food in the US and put AMERICANS back to work! Hopefully that could solve two problems…the health of our pets and the economy of our country! I would be devastated if anything happend to my loyal companion.

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  7. Are Milo’s chicken meatballs okay? All 3 of my dogs–Great Pyrenees, Goldendoodle, and Pomeranian–have been eating about one meatball per day. They have not been sick. The bag says “made in the USA.” I keep these treats in the refrigerator.

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    • No. No. And NO! All that crap comes from China. and I would steer clear of any duck and sweet potato/yam treats as well (also all from China). Doesn’t matter what brand it is or where it says it was “made”. By law, they DO NOT have to list the Country of Origin (COO) of ANY processed meats. So buyer beware!

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  8. My dog, Wendy is 18 1/2 years old. She loves dog treats and because of her teeth I tried the Mylos Chicken Meatballs. After one package over a couple of weeks I noticed her drinking an increased amount of water. She then began vomitting. I know she is very old and has a short time left and I do not wish to kill her with those poisonous treats. I have thrown them in the trash and will tell every pet owner I know how poisonous the treats are to their pets. Wendy is doing better today and I hope I did not cause any damage to her. We are looking forward to making it to 19! She is still spunky and spoiled and we love her very much.

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  9. Well that’s enough info for me, I was feeding my dogs Milo’s Kitchen products, like the chicken jerky and the little meatballs. Both my dogs would throw up late that night after having these treats. I only gave them one a day. It’s a good thing I stopped. I will never buy the Milo’s Kitchen treats again. Thank you for the heads-up. I am so sorry for the other dogs and their parents who were not so lucky. I also pray for a quick resolve of this problem. Take the stuff off the shelves in the pet stores and the grocery stores immediately! That would solve one of the problems with this class action law suit.

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  10. I am praying Milk Bone products are exempt from their food problems… Lord I hope so. I give our dog flavor snax and Milk Bones. He seems okay. Will not buy those Milo treats. Sorry to others who have had such awful events.

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    • Dog biscuits are so easy to make that its really not necessary to feed your dogs commercial treats – you can do it in one afternoon. I don’t feed any commerical treats to my 2 labs. In fact, my dogs don’t get anything (besides their high quality grain free kibble) but homemade treats and antlers to chew on. I don’t feed a lot of treats (just a few at night before bed) so about once a month I bake a double batch of this treat recipe and keep them in the refrigerator.
      Easy Grain Free Treats
      1 (13.2 oz) can pate style grain free dog food – such as Nature’s Logic or one of the 96% meat varieties
      2 cups REd Mill Gluten free all purpose baking flour (or if you don’t care about grain free you can use whole wheat flour)
      1 egg
      1 tsp baking powder
      Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a baking sheet with olive oil or cooking spray
      Mix all ingredients together. From there you can do several things: 1. use a Tablespoon to drop bits of dough (make them appropriate size for your dog) onto the baking sheet and use a fork to press down each dough ball. Bake for 17 – 20 minutes. If you want a crunchier biscuit, turn oven down to 200 degrees and return to oven for 4 hours. 2. Spread the dough in a layer on the baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven cool slightly and turn out onto large cutting board. Use a pizza cutter to cut into bite size squares. Divide the squares between 2 baking sheets so they are spread in an even layer. Turn oven down to 200 degrees and return to oven for 4 hours I follow this procedure if I want to make training treats. 3. Knead in enough extra flour to make dough stiff enough to roll out on a floured work surface. Cut out with cookie cutters in desired shape. Place on baking sheet and bake 17-20 minutes. If you want a crunchier biscuit, turn oven down to 200 degrees and return to oven for 4 hours.
      Store in refrigerator since these have no preservatives.

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  11. This makes me wonder…..I have been giving my yorkie a piece of Milo’s treat in his food everyday for months. Last month he got very sick, it was as if he had been poisened but I am with him 24/7, I knew there was nothing he could have gotten into. First he became very thirsty, then threw up for days. We had all kinds of bloodwork done that showed no tick bite etc but very,very low platelet count. I gave him papaya leaf extract, shown to improve platelets, and after 2 more sets of bloodwork ~ he is normal again. It is a mystery to my vet and naturpathic vet as to what it could have been….I am throwing away all Milo products. Thank you for this post! (I feed him Core dog food which I know to be a good brand)

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