Golden Rewards, is Walmart’s private label brand and has only been on the shelves since last year.
Dog owner Dylan Goldman told Channel 2’s investigator Jim Strickland about his 8-month-old Chihuahua
-Dachshund mix, Lilly, “I thought she was going to die. It’s heartbreaking,” he said.
Two months after eating Golden Rewards treats daily, Lilly stopped eating and drinking.
The pup is recovering, but Goldman’s vets bills from two vet hospitals amount to $5000.
“We are pending tests right now. We’ve sent tests out to the FDA, and once those urine tests come back we should have confirmation,” said Dr. Jennifer Pittman, of Blue Peal Georgia Veterinary Specialists.
Pittman diagnosed a kidney disease called Fanconi-like syndrome.
The FDA calls this the “hallmark” disease among dogs who have been made ill by jerky made in China.
The FDA reports that “made in China” treats are suspected in 4,800 pet illnesses and 1,000 dog deaths.
Complaints received by The FDA about Golden Rewards treats involved 23 sick dogs including
three deaths. As yet, there is no confirmed evidence the treats are to blame.
“It’s important to have the FDA involved so we can document all the known cases and so we can work with FDA and the manufacturers to get these jerky treats pulled from the shelves,” said Pittman.
Goldman says he’s considering his legal options and wonders why Walmart would jump in with its own brand of a product steeped in questions and controversy.
“I think it’s a risk.
I think it’s a huge risk to take,” said Goldman.
A Walmart spokesman said in a statement, “Exhaustive FDA tests have been performed with no conclusive connection linking specific brands or types of chicken jerky treats with claims of illness or injury.”
Pittman expects test results from the FDA within two weeks.
“We require our pet food and treat suppliers to meet the highest of food safety standards and remain committed to providing our customers and their pets with safe and affordable foods. If consumers have questions about these products, we encourage them to reach out to the FDA or the manufacturers of these products,” said the Walmart spokeman.