Man claims dog food harmed pet

Published 10:43 am Friday, August 21, 2015

A Washington Parish dog owner is considering joining a class action lawsuit that alleges dogs were sickened and died after eating Purina Beneful dry “kibble pet food.

According to the lawsuit, some Purina Beneful pet foods contain harmful ingredients that are toxic and poisonous to dogs

Rickey Carroll, who lives between Varnado and Angie off Louisiana Highway 436, said his 10-year-old red Doberman pinscher, Ruby, went blind about a month ago as a result of eating the food for the last two months. He said the dog first experienced profuse sweating and uncontrolled shaking of a rear leg.

According to attorneys with Morgan & Morgan, which filed the suit on behalf of pet owners around the country, more than 3,000 pet owners reported their dogs became seriously ill after eating Purina and they incurred extensive veterinary bills for testing and treatment.

The lawsuit alleges a host of problems after dogs ate dry “kibble” Purina Beneful products. The problems include bladder stones, internal bleeding of the stomach and other organs, liver malfunction and failure and kidney failure.

In several cases, pet owners alleged their dogs showed a number of symptoms before these diagnoses: lethargy, diarrhea, vomiting, dehydration, weight loss, seizures and bloating.

“My dog was having those same symptoms,” Carroll said. “That just made me sick. She was a beautiful dog. Before she got sick she weighed 65-70 pounds, but now she weighs 45-50 pounds.”

As of Tuesday afternoon, there had not been a recall of Purina Beneful dry “kibble pet food. The Bogalusa Walmart was selling small bags of the product for $9.98, while larger bags sold for $13.98. When made aware of the lawsuit, the pet food clerk said she did not know about it.

The lawsuit alleges a number of Beneful dry “kibble” dog food products have harmed dogs. They include Purina Beneful Healthy Weight, Purina Beneful Original, Purina Beneful Incredibites, Purina Beneful Healthy Growth for Puppies, Purina Beneful Healthy Smile, Purina Beneful Healthy Fiesta, Purina Beneful Healthy Radiance and Purina Beneful Playful Life.

The lawsuit alleges the dog food products contain propylene glycol, an antifreeze component and known animal toxin that is poisonous to cats and dogs. It also alleges the food contains dangerous amounts mycotoxins, a group of toxins that are produced by fungus that occurs in grains.

“I’m going to keep her,” Carroll said. “She’s like family. All I know to do is love her and feed her.”

  “I don’t know what to do. My main thing is to stop people from using this dog food,” Carroll said. “The dog food needs to come off the shelves. It’s not about the money, but I have lost a good bit of money caring for this dog. She was doing real good then this happened to her quickly.

“I have to pick up her food bowl and touch her on the bottom of her jaw so she’ll know she has food. She can’t smell well now. She used to smell out those moles in the ground, but she can’t do that any more.”

Bill Salzman, director of corporate communications for Nestle Purina PetCare, issued a statement in February denying the allegations in the lawsuit.

“We believe the lawsuit is baseless, and we intend to vigorously defend ourselves and our brand,” the statement noted. “Beneful had two previous class action suits filed in recent years with similar baseless allegations, and both were dismissed by the courts.

“Like other pet foods, Beneful is occasionally the subject of social media-driven misinformation. Online postings often contain false, unsupported and misleading allegations that cause undue concern and confusion for our Beneful customers.

“Bottom line: Consumers can continue to feed Beneful with total confidence.”