pet food

Upscale pet food plant reeks of rotten fish, neighbors complain

Neighbors who live near the WellPet pet food factory in Mishawaka, Indiana may soon be able to breathe without fighting the urge to gag since the plant installed emission control units designed to control the stench that has plagued neighbors for years.

Meanwhile, nearby residents have been asked by the city to gauge whether the “deodorizing” units are doing their job by keeping track of certain days when people can “smell something that is really obnoxious” so that the city can report to WellPet.

According to residents unfortunate enough to live or work nearby the WellPet plant, the upscale, organic pet food company, has been emanating malodorous effusions in the neighborhood for several years. But, the city council finally took action to push for the air scrubbers at WellPet because of the overwhelming number complaints from disgusted neighbors about the stench.

Residents complain that depending on what the factory is making on that particular day, the odors range from rotting fish to rotting corpses.

“Sometimes it smells like rotten fish because they make cat food and dog food. It just depends on the ingredients they’re making, but cat food is the worst,” said Dale Emmons, a representative of the city council. “Depending on what they’re making, the odor varies; depends on the wind factor, depends on whether it’s a muggy day. And sometimes it’s very hard to breathe. When the wind comes from the west, it settles in this area, and you can’t have outside functions.”

According to its website, WellPet works to make nutrition “natural, healthy and above all, safe.” Currently, WellPet owns five brands: Wellness, Holistic Select, Old Mother Hubbard, Eagle Pack and Sojos.

It’s difficult to reconcile the reports of a putrid smelling pet food plant with WellPet’s boast that their plant exceeds even the “strictest requirements from the FDA,” and that they go a step further by “taking as many precautions with our pet food, as is taken with food for humans.” However, if that were a truthful statement, then their pet food should smell no different than a human food plant that makes products containing cooks meat, poultry, or fish.

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Mollie Morrissette

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


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