PetSmart next year will stop selling treats made in China - KCTV5

PetSmart next year will stop selling treats made in China

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KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV/AP) -

PetSmart is the latest major pet food retailer to say it will stop selling dog and cat treats made in China because of ongoing fears that they are making pets sick.

The company plans to have the treats off all of its store shelves by next spring.

"By March 2015, PetSmart 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," company spokeswoman Erin Gray said in an email to KCTV5.

Investigators at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration haven't been able to prove that treats made in China are making pets ill. But since 2007, it has received more than 4,800 complaints of pet illnesses and more than 1,000 reports of dog deaths after eating Chinese-made chicken, duck or sweet potato jerky treats. Vomiting, diarrhea, lost of appetite, lethargy and kidney failure were among the problems that dogs experienced.

In an update of its investigation last week, the FDA said it found that antiviral drug amantadine in some samples of imported chicken jerky treats sold a year or more ago, but doesn't think it caused the illnesses. The FDA said it will continue to investigate.

Rival Petco announced on Tuesday that it would remove all Chinese-made treats from its 1,300 stores by the end of this year after shoppers pushed them to do so. The San Diego company said it has been cutting the number of those treats it sells over the past three years.

"We've been actively reducing our China-made assortment," said Jim Myers, chief executive officer for Petco. "Very simple, we feel this decision is in the best interest of the pets we all love."

Local pet owners applaud the move.

"I'm really concerned about it," said Melissa Englehardt, who has a 3-year-old rat terrier mix named Cash-ew. "I usually go to organic and we try to get him snacks that are made in the USA."

"I think that's a great idea. I wouldn't buy them if I knew they were making my pet sick," said Susan Smith. "I also think that China had better improve its quality control."

PetSmart Inc., which is based in Phoenix, owns more than 1,300 stores in North America.

If your dog is sick for more than 24 hours, take your furry friend to see a vet.

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