John Sturm, Petco's vice president of merchandising for food and treats, made an announcement today that the pet retailer will be pulling their entire stock of dog and cat treats that are made in China from their 1300-plus stores after the Food and Drug Association's report that 5,000 dogs and cats fell ill and 1,000 dogs died after consuming China-made treats, chicken jerky in particular.
John Sturm's statement read, "Petco will no longer sell dog and cat treats manufactured in China. This is something we’ve been working toward for some time, and feel it’s the right thing to do for pets and our customers.
This isn't a business decision.
Jerky has been one of our fastest-growing categories. Despite the publicity from the FDA, it has continued to grow, year over year."
This comes after the FDA issued multiple warnings to consumers about the potential danger of pet treats; however consumers continued to ignore and purchase them. Due to this decision by pet owners, the number of mysterious deaths and illnesses has continued to climb. Petco isn't the first or only pet retailer to pull these China-made treats from their shelves, however. Erin Gray, a PetSmart spokeswoman confirmed that PetSmart, another major pet retailer chain, has also decided to pull these potentially dangerous treats from their shelves.
Since the FDA's testing has not yielded conclusive results for what is causing pets to get sick from these treats, pulling them from shelves seems to be the only option. For concerned pet owners that may have pets with exposure to these treats, the FDA states that signs can occur anywhere from hours to days after feeding. Symptoms include decreased appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, increased thirst and in the worst cases, pancreatitis. Even though these retailers removed the contaminated products, they may still be found in other stores like the local grocery, pet owners should avoid treats with the "Made in China" label, especially jerky products.