dog laying in the grass

Senator calls for action on dangerous dog bones, asks pet parents to contact her directly

Dog owners across the country say Dynamic’s ‘Real Ham Bones’ is making their dogs sick or even killing them. Now, the company that makes them is facing a class action lawsuit from pet parents who said the bone killed their dogs or made them sick.

Meanwhile, the Better Business Bureau is asking lawmakers to stop the company from selling the bones. The BBB sent the Real Ham Bone to 100 senators in congress along with a flyer detailing the complaints against it and why it wasn’t safe.

A VERY SPECIAL SENATOR

One special senator has made it her mission to get the bones off the market. Senator Claire McCaskill is sending a letter to the FDA asking what the agency has done to look in the safety of the Real Ham Bone.

“Their mandate is to look at whether a pet product is safe and we’ll hold their feet to the fire,” said McCaskill. “I don’t need to be convinced a product killing families pets’ needs to be looked into,” she said.

In addition, McCaskill is reaching out to pet parents, saying in a letter to the editor of the Joplin Missouri Independent, that she want Missourians to contact her directly if they, or anyone they know, have issues with the Real Ham Bone:

To the editor:

Dogs are more than just pets–they’re family members. That’s why when I first learned about a product reportedly harming our four-legged friends, i didn’t need to be convinced this issue needed to be looked into.

The “Real Ham Bone” is a product – sold nationwide – dog owners across the county say is making their dogs sick.

Despite the Better Business Bureau warning against the bones, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) telling pet owners not to buy them, the product remains on store shelves.

Now, it’s time to hold the FDA’s feet to the fire to get answers about what they’re doing to ensure pet safety. I’ve reached out to them demanding answers about what they’ve done since learning of the complaints to determine if the product should continue to be sold.

If you or someone you know has had issues with the “Real Ham Bone,” go here for my contact information.

I know what dogs mean to their owners, and I want to be sure I’m doing what I can to protect all four-legged family members.

Senator Claire McCaskill

FRICK DOESN’T GIVE A F*CK

The Better Business Bureau sent every complaint to the maker of the bone David Frick, owner of Frick’s Quality Meats, and his response has been that the bone is safe, stating flatly, “We don’t think we have a problem.” He likened the sale of the bones to the sales of toys “like bicycles, skateboards and Legos.” The bones, like the toys, are safe when used properly, he said.

They even asked Frick to stop making them, instead he told the BBB he is not willing to change anything.

He said the increased number of complaints is likely the result of social media campaigns against the product and an increasing number of bones sold. One Facebook campaign, Fight for Fred, started a petition which has garnered over 14,400 signatures to have the product be removed from the market.

Meanwhile, the company said its bones are the safest on the market and that each package is labeled with instructions on how best to use the product: “Our customer satisfaction rate is 99.9988 percent.”

THE BBB AIN’T BUYING IT

BBB is urging consumers to use extreme caution when purchasing Dynamic Pet Products Real Ham Bone and have issued an alert on their website. Since January 2015, BBB has received numerous complaints from consumers across the nation who reported that their dogs suddenly became ill or died after eating these bones.

“Some of these dogs have suffered horribly, some have died and they are family members,” said Tracy Hardgrove, the Vice President of the BBB in St. Louis, and worries that since only 5% of people ever report their complaints, she believes there could be more dead dogs.

The BBB also gave the complaints to the Food and Drug Administration and asked Walmart to pull the bones from the shelves.

“We want congress to take action to make this product not distributable,” said Hardgrove.

Hopefully, with Senator Claire McCaskill looking into the matter, something will be done at last about the bad bones.

WHAT YOU CAN DO RIGHT NOW

 

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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 (13) Write a comment

  1. This case will be unique, in that the litigants will confront the issue of the manufacturer attempting to unilaterally pre-empt liability through a (tiny and likely never seen by a consumer) disclaimer, which Frick added (changed the product label) in 2012, (clearly, after complaints were being tallied). This will have mammoth implications for all aspects of the consumer/merchant/manufacturer relationship. The stakes are almost incalculably high for all consumers. See: Reed v. Dynamic Pet Products et al: Case No. 3:15-cv-00987, CA S.D. Ct.

    Reply

    • As usual Peter, your observations are astute. That is exactly what I was thinking – that the added disclaimer was an attempt to preempt any liability. Unfortunately, in Frick’s case, the disclaimer is too small to noticed by most consumers, was incomplete, and wholly inadequate in terms of it’s expression and emphasis on the danger the bones pose to dogs. The disclaimer is cancelled out by the other terms used on the packaging: “it is safe for your pet” and “meant to be chewed.” In addition, the FDA came out and denounced all bones one month following the extensive list of complaints about Dynamic’s bones compiled by the BBB that the BBB sent to the FDA. I hope they hang this guy out to dry. Legos and skateboards, indeed.

      In the lawsuit it says: “The Real Ham Bone For Dogs’ dangers were not open or obvious to consumers, including Plaintiff and the Class, who could not have known about the nature of the risks associated with the Real Ham Bone For Dogs until after consumers gave the product to their dog.” I think that goes to the heart of the issue.

      Reply

  2. Consumers need to use extreme caution when purchasing ANY commercially produced, not just this product. They are taking a HUGE risk.
    What needs to happen is some educating. Educate people the risks they are taking. Educate them on what IS the best bone to give their pet, what IS the best diet.
    To put commercially pet food manufactures out of business we need to stop buying these horrible foods for our pets.

    I have a group on Facebook, we are a bunch of people like you and also some great professionals who want to share our knowledge on balanced raw diet. Even if your wondering how to start your dog or cat on an all natural raw nutritional diet, or your not sure about some things, like what’s safe and how much to give them… That and more!
    Follow this link to join my Facebook group.. and get a friend to tag along too….
    Cheers

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/324599134386758/

    Reply

    • I tried to go to your FB page but it said the ‘page could not be found.’ What is the name of your group?

      BTW – you do know that I’m a raw fooder, right? I only feed my cats raw (dehydrated and fresh), but that is a personal choice, one that I would be cautious of recommending for a number of reasons. Therefore, I think when people are educated on the subject (I don’t do that here – but there are plenty of resources out there to do that already), and they are aware of the risks and are willing to accept them – fine – go for it.

      It’s similar to handling raw meat and poultry for humans – just use common sense and clean the sh*t out of your kitchen afterwords. The USDA has some fantastic guides on handling raw meat – it’s pretty basic stuff. Personally, I don’t eat meat (raw or otherwise) myself, but that is another topic altogether…

      Thanks for your thoughtful comment Karen!

      Reply

      • Hi Mollie,
        I have a few Vegan members in the group. There are one or two who are having problems with handling raw meat for their pets (getting parter t do it) lol. Then there are the ones who, turn a blind eye and feed their pet raw.
        My Facebook group is named As Nature Intended

        Reply

        • That is weird. I followed that link to my group and I got the same response, and yet, if I go there, I get the same address??

          Reply

        • I wish I could feed vegan to my cats, but we all know they are obligate carnivores (as nature intended!). I feel so guilty about the animal welfare of farm animals, so I just make sure that I buy locally as much as possible (eggs, organs, meat, etc.), and get to know the farmers.

          Reply

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