Fort Myers family blames dog treats for pet's death
Photo: Video by fox4now.com
FORT MYERS, Fla. - Josh and Rena Ortiz are still grieving the loss of their beloved pet Fizzoli.
"He was like a little human," said Rena Ortiz. "He had his own little personality."
On August 29th, Fizzoli began to bleed profusely, so they took him to the veterinarian were he later died.
Josh blames the animal treats he had been feeding his four year old yorkie for the last few years.
"All of these things that we're giving him that we're thinking that are good that are organic that are healthy," said Josh.
The treat he is talking about is Waggin Trail chicken jerky, which is made in China and imported into the United States.
The Food and Drug Administration's website has a list of hundreds of complaints from pet owners whose pets have either become severely sick or died after eating the popular treat.
An advisory on the FDA's website is "cautioning consumers that chicken jerky products for dogs (also sold as chicken tenders, strips or treats) may be associated with illness in dogs."
The notice goes on to say "FDA issued a cautionary warning regarding chicken jerky products to consumers in September 2007 and a Preliminary Animal Health Notification in December of 2008. After seeing the number of complaints received drop off during the latter part of 2009 and most of 2010, the FDA is once again seeing the number of complaints rise to the levels of concern that prompted release of our earlier warnings."
Even still, the organization still has not issued a recalled because its scientists have not been able to determine the specific cause of the illnesses despite the similarities. The advisory never mentions Waggin Trail by name, only saying they have looked into chicken jerky dog treats produced in China.
On its website, Waggin Train Brand defense itself against accusations that its product may harm pets.
"Both FDA notices include a reminder that dog treats should be fed as treats, not as a pet's sole source of nutrition."
Despite information provided by the FDA and Waggin Train Brands, numerous reports of pet illnesses and deaths continue to pop up around the country.
Josh and Rena Ortiz say they are not interested in suing the company, just getting them to pull the product from store shelves.