Jerky treats linked to nearly 600 pet deaths

Jerky treats linked to nearly 600 pet deaths

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It's true, treats are not a necessary part of a pet's healthy diet...but we can't help it.

Sometimes they just deserve a treat.

"Animals are dying from this and no pet owner wants that for their pet," said Amy Bishop.

Amy and Trevor Bishop say they pay very close attention to the labels on their animal treats.

Trevor said, "These are our children. We enjoy our four-legged kids."

Federal Food and Drug Administration officials say nearly 600 dogs and cats have died, and 3,600 others have become sick after eating jerky treats. It's a problem the FDA has been trying to pinpoint since 2007.

"I went through my cupboards. I made sure I didn't have any cat treats that were made in China. I threw them out and I told my friends," Amy said.

The FDA has narrowed it down to a dangerous type of treat--anything jerky flavored, that are made in China.

Amy added, "It'll say made in the USA, but assembled in China, Taiwan, or another country."

"If you've got a dog who's having vomiting or diarrhea or drinking more and peeing more, yea I would go see a veterinarian," said Dr. Barrett Donop, with the Austin Veterinary Diagnostic Hospital.

He says they have worried pet owners who used to buy the jerky treats.

"I would have some blood work done and the urinalysis done, just to be safe," said Donop.

Trevor said, "Would you give your child or your significant other questionable food? Of course you wouldn't, so why would you do that to an animal?"

There has not been a formal recall, and while experts say most treats are safe for most pets, it would still be smart to buy local.

FOX 7 reached out to several retailers in our area. Wal-Mart reps say they require suppliers of pet food and treats to meet the highest level of food safety standards under the Global Food Safety Initiative.

Reps with PetSmart say they're monitoring information issued by the FDA and manufacturers of products they carry in stores and online. Petco reps say they are expanding their selection of jerky products manufactured in other locations.

We did not hear back from Randalls.

We did find some jerky treats, made in China, in an Austin HEB. But remember, the problems have not been linked to one specific brand. We also reached out to HEB for a comment, but they did not get back to us.

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