Euthanasia Drug in Pet Food?

So the FIRST time we know it happened…

A pet parent fed her 5 dogs Evanger’s canned dog food. All 5 became seriously ill and were rushed to the vet, where they were admitted into intensive care. One dog died. The other 4 lived, but one must take anti-seizure meds.

A necropsy on the deceased dog found the drug pentobarbital in its system. The culprit? Evanger’s dog food. The FDA, working with the company, figured out that apparently the horses whose meat was used to make the food had been euthanized with pentobarbital. Now horsemeat ain’t supposed to be in dog food! And yet, it is.

Just what the hell are y’all feeding us???

Folks, this ain’t no Fake News! You can read all about it in this article posted at the Tufts University Veterinary School web site.

But, you’re thinking to yourself, this happened a year ago? Why are you telling me about it NOW?

Because news station WJLA in Washington DC recently tested some dog foods on the market NOW and found a nonlethal dose of pentobarbital in 60% of the Gravy Train canned food tested. This is significant because it’s not allowed in ANY amount. You can read the story they published Thursday at the link above.

We are PISSED!!!

Gravy Train is manufactured by Big Heart Pet Foods, which is owned by Smucker’s. Big Heart also manufactures Meow Mix, Milk Bone, Kibbles’n Bits, 9 Lives, Natural Balance, Pup-Peroni, Gravy Train, Nature’s Recipe, Canine Carry Outs, Milo’s Kitchen, Alley Cat, Jerky Treats, Meaty Bone, Pounce and Snausages.

I’m not going to tell you what to do. But I AM going to strongly encourage you to do some research and choose your furbabies’ food wisely.

57 thoughts on “Euthanasia Drug in Pet Food?

  1. Wow. I am trying to wean MasterB off the food by Royal Canin that the vet recommended for his urinary problems. I don’t like Real Canin, it’s a company that boasts of the way animals are killed humanely, but there is nothing – and I have emailed them many times – about humanely raised animals. My preference is for companies that PETA has endorsed, specifically Applaws. I have supplements to add to his food to make sure it contains everything he needs and also to prevent the urinary problems. At the moment I alternate the food, one day Royal Canin, one day Applaws. He’s fine. I am going to move to two days Applaws, one day Royal Canin, and monitor how it goes. Knowing he’s getting proper food from animals that have been looked after during their lives is important to me. What you describe is a nightmare. we need to know the sources of food, whether it’s for humans or animals.

      1. It might have a different name on your side of the pond, but PETA should have a list of ethically produced and approved pet food.

      2. One of the things I appreciate about is that when you open a tin it doesn’t stink like most pet food does. It looks like real food! But it isn’t a ‘complete food’, so you must add a supplement or give other food that has all the nutrients cats need. I buy Felini. Research has shown that even pet foods that are supposed to be ‘complete’ vary wildly from batch to batch as to the contents.

      1. Biscuits are good for their teeth though. So the majority of his food is wet, I add filtered water to it as he hardly touches the water in his bowl, and he has a small number of biscuits every day. My friend’s cat won’t touch biscuits, and although she’s still very young, she’s had to have her teeth cleaned twice.

      2. I hate to tell you this but biscuits are so bad for them. Bones are much better. Mine never touch dried food for very good reason. I suggest you do a little research it will change the way you feel about dried food forever.

  2. It’s especially discouraging in light of the FDA’s new list of acceptable language and what the administration now feels is suitable information for the general public. Many of the watchdog agencies have been declawed. It’s especially sad in light of the millions of pet owners who aren’t in a position to opt for the purest of the pure–buying pet food can mean using spare change. And while it might seem unimaginable, there are people who purchase canned pet food, not for a pet but for themselves. Many of them are seniors. In the worst of times, it’s all they can afford and it requires no fuel to cook. When I lived in Chicago, there was a proposition pending that would allow pet food companies to add birth control to their products, but the measure never passed because too many humans consumed canned dog and cat food.

    1. These are some less expensive brands, but not all are. And who’s to say the others aren’t doing things on the cheap also? As for the current administration they’d roll back regulations on people food also so we may all be eating euthanized horses for all we know.

  3. Frightening situations for the owners and their fur babies. Fortunately, I make Bailey’s treats from scratch and she has never had canned dog food. I have researched dry dog foods and found one that is best suited to her breed. The vet suggested one was not the best for her. Just wish we had better government control on the pet food industry until then buyer beware.

    1. Far as vets recommending food goes, they get about 3 weeks of nutritional training which is sponsored by hills or purina usually. They (sad to say unless they are certified nutritionists as well) may not be the best at recommending any diet for your fur-babies. If you get a chance, watch “Pet Fooled” a documentary about the pet food industry. Very eye opening.

  4. Holy cow. Maggie has dried food, and when she had a reaction to it wrote to the company and asked if they’d changed the recipe. They were very helpful to a degree and Maggie still has it. Tinned food has never been good for her, even in tiny scrapings.

      1. Oh I don’t. We are very careful with Maggie’s food as so much can upset her now. She eats when she’s hungry (and scrounges very well, so we have to be wary of what others might give her) and we have always given her the same food, chicken, as she likes it. Changes in ingredients in our familiar foods upset us, so she is no different.

  5. There is a sad reality in our culture that, although there are many laws to protect us from unethical business practices, there is little (if any) monitoring. Having worked for government for many years, I realized that laws are generally to protect the government i.e. they cannot be held accountable because “it is against the law”. Equally sadly, we have to take some responsibility because to enforce all those laws proactively, would dictate significant tax increases to cover the additional staff etc., and we generally complain about tax increases. The end result is that so many laws are only enforced after an infraction has been noted. i.e. our enforcement of laws is more often reactive and not proactive and, in the food business, that is not good!

    1. Yeah. It’s only when somebody dies that we react. Reminds me how we hear, “at least they didn’t die,” even though they’re now physically disabled and unable to work as before. So thoughtless and uncaring but that’s how we are.

  6. WTF?! This pisses me off to no end … these companies are all about profit, so they cut corners and skirt regulations (which are getting more lax by the day).

  7. This happened a year ago. I don’t think anything has been done about it. Evanger’s is still in business. The issue with contaminated pet food is so bad that the FDA warns not to handle it, use any containers humans might use to serve it or let it mingle with human food and be sure to wash your hands afterward because salmonella is found in dry pet food. In order for anyone to take note and take action like this it has to be pretty often. Nothing has changed about the way the foods are made or packaged. Personally, I’m trusting the raw food I make from a local meat market way more than commercial foods. And it’s less expensive than most canned.

  8. I read a report that was written some years ago about the drug being in dried pet food. So it is not really something new or something not known about. Did you know that they also pick up roadkill and dead animals from farms [some that have been laying around for days]? Then they toss it all in to render it down and make dried pet food taste yummy.

    I have for years not touched any sort of pet food that is tinned or dried. It was actually only because of WWII that dried pet food came into existence. Factories were unable to tin foods, the metal was needed in the war, so they set about finding a method of making food for pets that had a long shelf life.

    Bet you didn’t know that many samples of dried pet food actually has a shelf life of 25 years plus these days. No way I am feeding that crap to my animals. Dried food made one of my cats so sick. Never again.

      1. I can’t say how it is there, but for me it works out cheaper just because of the savings in medical bills. Shopping around can also help bring the cost down here. And I have to say I can’t totally agree with you about deserving a pet. Pets are costly. No doubt about it. And [and it is just my opinion] if you can’t afford decent food, medical expenses, and the cost of housing them etc. Then you should not have them. Find another way. Volunteer at a shelter. But to take on an animal you can’t afford is to me [again just my opinion] the height of selfishness. I would love more animals, but I don’t have them because of the cost. I can’t afford to pay for their needs.

  9. Thanks so much for sharing.
    This is awful and I can’t believe that we don’t make a bigger issue with these companies. I recently blogged about this as well and I now make my own dog food and treats. I’m also not eating anymore products from Smuckers….

  10. This is alarming!
    I use Newman’s Own Organic Wet Food and I use Rachael Ray’s Nurish mix for dry food for my little cat. Glad not to see them on the list.

  11. Wow I’m going to not give my pet that food! I’m now going to be more careful! I’m glad I’ve never given him that food! I give him Bluefin i think that’s the name. 👍🏼

  12. What! That’s terrible. Poor horse, too (although better way to go than being slaughtered). I feed my cat mince, not canned food – but I guess that doesn’t make a difference. You’ve opened my eyes!

  13. Hi. Thank you for sharing and I’ve tried already the PET EUTHANASIA to my beloved Shammy because of too much pain from cancer, even we still want her to stay we still did that because we want her to at peace and she will not feel the pain anymore. But putting the drug on the pet food is very awful. I will not buy dog food anymore. By the way, for those interested in PET EUTHANASIA, you can inquire at their site: They did a great service to my beloved Shammy.

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