Ol’ Roy Dog Food Withdrawn For Deadly Drug Contamination; Pentobarbital Found In Canned Dog Food

Today, we learn of yet another national brand of dog food was found to contain the lethal euthanizing drug sodium pentobarbital: Walmart’s brand Ol’ Roy canned dog food. Walmart, the nation’s largest retailer, is now in the process of quietly removing it from all 4,700 stores across America.

At this point, we do not know which Ol’ Roy formulas are affected. There is no information on Walmart’s recall page about the Ol’ Roy pet food withdrawal, nor has Walmart made a public announcement.

This latest discovery was made during an investigation by ABC7 News into pentobarbital-laced pet food following the Evanger’s debacle. This news follows days after the revelation that several other Big Heart Brand dog foods also tested positive for the drug. After ABC7 releasing the results of lab tests that identified the drug, the FDA launched an investigation.


Yesterday, we learned that in addition to today’s news about Walmart’s Ol’ Roy canned dog food, that Big Heart Pet Brand’s Kibbles n’ Bits, Gravy Train and Skippy brand canned dog foods also tested positive for the deadly drug – a drug commonly used to euthanize pets. The news prompted a notice for a nationwide withdrawal of the tainted pet food in which retailers were instructed to pull the tainted dog food from their stores and destroy the product.

The number of brands of dogs found to contain the deadly drug, since the investigation began, has risen steadily to include today’s count of nine varieties of Gravy Train canned dog foods, seven varieties of Kibbles n’ Bits canned dog foods, and one variety of Skippy canned dog food.


On Gravy Train’s website, there is a notice in regards the discovery of pentobarbital laced dog food, which they refer to as a “claim.” They claim that the products only contain what they describe as “extremely low levels of pentobarbital” and therefore “do not pose a threat to pet safety” admitting only that they are “disappointed that pentobarbital was introduced to our supply chain.”

Instead of taking responsibility for their failure to follow strict auditing practices, they point the blame on a “single supplier.” Curiously, they also claim that none of their foods contain “euthanized animals or pets” in their pet food, nor do their foods contain “3D or 4D meat such as dead, dying, disabled, or diseased animals.”


Big Heart Brands manufacturers an enormous amount of branded – and private label – dry and wet pet food, and pet snacks under the Meow Mix, Milk-Bone, Kibbles ‘n Bits, 9Lives, Natural Balance, Pup-Peroni, Gravy Train, Nature’s Recipe, Canine Carry Outs, Milo’s Kitchen, Reward, Pounce, Cycle, Morris, Jerky Treats, Amore, Meaty Bone, Alley Cat, Snausages, Tartar Check, Flavor Snacks, GravyBones, Super Supper, Ham & Cheesers, Steak & Cheesers, Surf n’ Turf, Farm Stand Selects, Growing Years, Snaw Somes!, Marosnacks, Wholesome Goodness, Plus Care, Bold Meaty Satisfaction!, Acatemy, Combo Bites, Let’s Play, Carribean Catch, Chew-lotta, Pawfections, Kitten Lil’ Nibbles, in addition to many, many other brand names.

Unfortunately, as Big Heart Pet Brands also produces and distributes a number of private label pet products we cannot know which private label brands may also be contaminated with pentobarbital.


Item Name UPC Item Code(s)
Gravy Train 13.2 oz. with T-Bone Flavor Chunks 7910052541
Gravy Train 13.2 oz. with Beef Strips 7910052542
Gravy Train 13.2 oz. with Lamb and Rice Chunks 7910052543
Gravy Train 22 oz. with Chicken Chunks 7910051645
Gravy Train 22 oz. with Beef Chunks 7910051647
Gravy Train 13.2 oz. with Beef Chunks 7910034417
Gravy Train 13.2 oz. with Chicken Chunks 7910034418
Gravy Train 13.2 oz. Chunks in Gravy Stew 7910051933
Gravy Train 13.2 oz. Chicken, Beef & Liver Medley 7910051934
Gravy Train 13.2 oz. Chunks in Gravy with Beef Chunks 7910034417


Item Name UPC Item Code(s)
Kibbles ‘N Bits 13.2 oz. Burger Bacon Cheese and Turkey Bacon Vegetable Variety 12-Pack 79100103777910010378
Kibbles ‘N Bits 13.2 oz. Beef, Chicken, Vegetable, Meatball Pasta and Turkey Bacon Vegetable Var. Pack 79100103827910048367
Kibbles ‘N Bits 13.2 oz. Beef, Chicken, Vegetable, Burger Bacon Cheese and Beef Vegetable Variety Pack 79100103807910010377
Kibbles ‘N Bits 13.2 oz. Wet Variety Pack 79100103757910048367
Kibbles ‘N Bits 13.2 oz. Chef’s Choice Bistro Tender Cuts with Real Beef & Vegetable in Gravy 79100103757910048367
Kibbles ‘N Bits Chef’s Choice Homestyle Tender Slices with Real Beef, Chicken & Vegetables in Gravy 7910010380
Kibbles ‘N Bits Chef’s Choice Bistro Tender Cuts with Real Turkey, Bacon & Vegetable in Gravy 7910010378




As more Big Heart Brands pet foods are discovered to contain the deadly drug, it is possible – and based on emerging information and the lack of quality control – that other Big Heart brands may also contain material from the same supplier that supplied them with the pentobarbital-laced meat. Therefore, it would wise to avoid feeding your pet any Big Heart pet food brands until an investigation into the matter is complete.


What consumers want to know is why did Smucker’s fail to have adequate safeguards in place to prevent this tragedy from occurring? How did one of the nations largest maker of pet food fail so utterly and miserably at auditing their suppliers and testing their ingredients that allowed a deadly drug (which can only come from euthanized animals) to slip into their pet foods?


For more information about all the affected pet foods, contact Big Heart Brand’s corporate website.

For additional information about the Kibbles ‘n Bits affected product go here. If you have questions, please call them at 800-828-9980 or email them here.

For more information contact Gravy Train at 800-828-9980 or via email here.

To find out how to report a problem with a pet food contact the FDA.


Deadly Drug Found in Dog Food; Smucker’s Gravy Train Contaminated with Pentobarbital, February 9, 2018

Lawsuit Filed Against Maker of Deadly Drug-Laced Dog Food; Big Heart Brand Gravy Train Dog Food Named in Suit, February 13, 2018

Big Heart Brands Recalls Multiple Brands of Dog Food For Pentobarbital; Gravy Train, Kibbles n’ Bits, and Skippy Dog Food Withdrawn, February 18, 2018


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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 (5) Write a comment

  1. i don’t think we should be feeding our pets their own brothers & sisters ( killed cats & dogs) anyway! that’s like saying all the homeless people be rendered into whatever you get my point! that maybe why peoples pets are sick all the time. not saying everyone should do it but i feed raw , there is a disease from eating people called prion or ( Kuru ) disease . maybe there is something similar for pets too! anyway i don’t feed the brains of any animal to my pets or me.


  2. Pingback: Smucker's Withdraws More Pet Food Amid Deadly Drug Dog Food Scandal; Additional Skippy Lots and Ol' Roy Dog Treats Named | Poisoned Pets | Pet Food Safety News

  3. Not condoning in any way but offering insight into how some of these things can happen. Smucker’s may have a decent audit program. They may have pentobarbital specifically spelled out on the raw material specifications. The raw material providers may provide COAs that say the material is tested and met the specification. Or, at any time, any one of the links in the chain can become weak. Industry likes to constantly become more efficient in order to continue to offer product at low prices while still making a profit. This results in things like less training. The supplier auditing program may have inexperienced people performing the routine visits. Or maybe the visits aren’t so routine anymore, and are just desk audits in which the reviewer/approver is really at the mercy of what is being told to them by the documentation. Efficiency efforts can lead to skip lot testing (raw material provider OR the purchasing company may decide to skip lot test). They RM provider may still provide a COA stating that the material meets specification for pentobarbital, but with a caveat that it’s based on statistical analysis of some portion of testing over the previous X number of lots or years, etc. Plus, how far in the chain does the expectation for supplier controls reach? The manufacturer certainly is expected to audit the raw material suppliers. But the RM supplier, the renderer’s…are they expected to audit the shelters? Are there any controls on the renderer’s at all – do they have rules that they cannot use, for instance, road kill? My point is, the purchaser is not always privy to all of the efficiency short cuts that are being taken at the RM provider’s facility. Likewise, the manufacturer of the pet food may be taking efficiency shortcuts. The fact that this was identified 29 years ago and is still happening says that there is a lack of commitment, follow through, and monitoring. Further, lack of oversight by the FDA may be a very large contributing factor. Whether or not that is due to political reasons and lack of funding is a different conversation.


  4. This is why we don’t feed commercial pet food anymore. I don’t trust the manufactures one iota. We were feeding a refrigerated high quality commercial food to our lab pups and after many months of feeding it, one began to throw up after each meal. It got to the point where he would even turn his nose away from his bowl and not eat. Who knows why one became sick and one didn’t. The smell of it had changed and it wasn’t appealing. And manufacturers can change the ingredients at any time without telling you. We now homemake the same food with quality human-grade ingredients and add the BalanceIT vitamins and minerals. The pups who are now almost two years old are thriving and are all solid muscle. Also, they are at a perfect weight. We also have our cats on BalanceIT. They no longer have health issues. They were allergic to many of the ingredients in commercial pet food. BalanceIT was designed by Board Certified Veterinarian nutritionists and you can get recipes on their website based on the weight of your pet(s). Cornell University said it’s the most hypoallergenic supplement on the market. And they’re right. With the cats, I was at my wits end. I could not find any canned commercial pet food that didn’t cause skin issues. Or, one that wouldn’t worsen my female’s asthma. Also, my female couldn’t handle a raw diet either. Nor human vitamins added to a home cooked diet. I tried everything. With trial and error and elimination diets, and patience like you wouldn’t believe, I know what works for them and what doesn’t. Thank God for BalanceIT —we will NEVER feed commercial food again. Also, we had extensive blood work done all the fur kids and their numbers came back with flying colors. No deficiencies whatsoever as some manufacturers would lead you to believe. “Oh don’t feed a homemade diet—it’s dangerous”. BLAH BLAH BLAH! Homemade diets work as long as they are done right. And after living with pets for almost 50 years, I can certainly see the difference it makes.

    And Mollie, thank God for you and all the hard work and sacrifice you do. And for exposing these manufacturers when they do wrong. It takes courage to do what you do. Please continue to be a voice for our beloved pets.


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