ATLANTA - Nestle Purina PetCare is taking
Waggin' Train brand dog treats off the market because the products may contain trace amounts of a poultry antibiotic that isn't approved in the U.S. The decision comes two months after a Channel 2 Action News investigation about pet owners waging a campaign to pull the product off the shelves.
Purina says the chicken jerky products may contain small amounts of antibiotic residue. The treats are made in China, and the antibiotic has been approved by regulators in that country as well as European Union nations, but not the U.S.
Milo's Kitchen also announced a voluntary recall of Chicken Jerky and Chicken Grillers home-style dog treats as well. The same antibiotic was found by inspectors in the Milo's Kitchen product, the company said in a release.
In November, Channel 2 consumer investigative reporter Jim Strickland interviewed Georgia pet owners who believed the treats were deadly after their dogs got seriously ill after eating the products.
Phyllis Darnell said her schnauzer, Kara, spent a year in pain while eating Waggin' Train treats.
"It hurt her so bad. She was throwing up all the time. She was getting weak," she told Strickland.
Kara eventually died of pancreatitis and hepatitis. Darnell said she has no doubt the treats are to blame, "none whatsoever," she said.
Owners Keith Roloson and Linda Thomas said their dog Baby suffered periodic severe vomiting and lethargy. Each time, she'd eaten the same Waggin' Train jerky treat. Their other dog, Coco, ate the treats, too.
"She had bladder stones and needed to have surgery, and she was a very sick dog," said Thomas.
The local pet owners were part of a growing social media groundswell demanding a recall of the treats.
An online petition garnered close to 70,000 signatures, and a Facebook page dedicated to the cause grew to about 6,000 members, in November.
Purina PetCare, a U.S. division of Switzerland's Nestle, says the treats are safe to feed to pets. Still, they are being taken off the market in the U.S. until further notice.
Consumers who purchased Milo's Kitchen products can call 1-877-228-6493 to receive a full refund.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.