Words cannot properly express this story. Cannot properly convey the pain this particular pet owner suffers. A nightmare.
I received an email from a very concerned pet owner. Her five year old Golden Retriever was just euthanized – he ate Beneful Dog Food (Original – dry – Barcode 17800-13476, best by october 2013, 22966001 1224L06). Scooby was having bloody diarrhea, lethargic, excessive thirst. Within a few days his gums turned white. He was euthanized when there was no treatment for him.
This dog – Scooby – had supported his family for a year and a half through the worst nightmare that could ever happen. In the summer of 2011, this pet owner’s family was attacked – her six year old daughter was murdered, stabbed multiple times while her twin sister witnessed the entire event. Scooby always slept in the hallway – between the twin girls bedroom and their brothers bedroom. The murderer locked Scooby in the garage prior to this attack. The Mom (who contacted me about the dog’s death) had to burst through a barricaded bedroom door trying to save her children. Lauren – the six year old child – was stabbed 24 times in front of her twin sister. She died.
For anyone that has ever been blessed with a dog or cat, you know how intuitive they are to our pain. Our animals know when we need them – and they know exactly how to support us when we are hurting. I would have to imagine the entire family depended on this dog so much, probably more than they are even aware of. Scooby was a Golden Retriever – who are one of the most loving, caring breeds. I would bet that Scooby took on the role of care taker for his family in need without hesitation. He loved them and he knew they needed extra-special love.
Fast forward 15 months from the murder of Lauren. Now, this family has suffered another death; their furry protector and guardian has died. The pet owner told me she believes his death is linked to Beneful dog food. As this woman fights for justice for her daughter, she also has to fight for an investigation and justice for her dog too. Her New York State Department of Agriculture is picking up the pet food for testing; she is personally taking Scooby’s body to Cornell University for necropsy tomorrow. The pet owner told me Purina stated to her “they have not received any complaints regarding Beneful”. But Purina did immediately offer to pay for vet bills (which would also probably mean a signature on a non-disclosure statement and no option for law suit).
I cannot even imagine the pain this family is enduring. To have a child murdered – a sibling murdered right in front of you…I cannot imagine the pain. Then to lose your furry best friend – someone that has been by your side through the worst nightmare possible…words cannot describe what you must be going through. The Mom told me “I know he (Scooby) loved Lauren and must have felt so helpless to not be able to protect her. I hope they are together now.”
Scooby, you were a hero. And if you have any influence with higher powers where you are, please nudge investigators to properly test the pet food you consumed. We will be praying for the same.
To this family, you have the support and concern of uncounted thousands. Your beautiful daughter/sister and your loving companion will never be forgotten. By any of us. Please know – this is not your fault. You trusted the pet food – as you should be able to do. No food, human or pet food, should kill. The industry claims pet food is the most regulated of all food industries, but the truth is just the opposite.
Our hearts are with you.
We can only hope (and pray) that Scooby’s case will be closely investigated by NY authorities and that if anything is found they will take swift appropriate action. New York Department of Agriculture, you were our hero with the Chinese jerky treats (finding the illegal drug residues when FDA did not). If there is a toxin or contaminant in Beneful dog food, please find it quickly.
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
Pet Food Safety Advocate
Author, Buyer Beware
Co-Author Dinner PAWsible
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