Pet food company Purina Beneful is at the center of a $5 million lawsuit as a result of thousands of dog owners who claimed online that their dogs suffered kidney failure, seizures and even death from consuming the food.
Dog owners from the United States and Canada came forward online and shared details of horrific incidents of their dogs suffering from internal bleeding, vomiting, kidney failure, liver failure and dehydration after eating Purina Beneful food. Some owners spoke with the Daily Mail about their experience with the food, though it is not known whether these particular individuals participated in the suit.
Jean-Francois Menicucci, of Montreal, told the Daily Mail that his dog Rex experienced seizures just minutes after eating Purina Beneful food.
"My other dog, Tally, refused to eat it," Menicucci said, "but Rex devoured it."
Forty minutes later, Meniccuci said, Rex began having seizures that lasted for hours.
"Suddenly he died in front of my eyes," he recounted. "He stopped breathing and he was gone."
After Rex's death, Menicucci contacted the company and filed a complaint. In response, Purina apologized and sent him a $19 refund.
"At the time, my mother came out from a seven-month coma in the ICU," he said. "She woke up with her legs partially paralyzed, she was working hard to regain mobility, because her dream was to walk Rex again. Imagine when I told her he had died. I just want justice for Rex."
Other Purina customers came forward to share their stories, including dog owner Mike Garnett-Zero. Zero posted a video to Facebook of he and a friend comforting his dog, who was seemingly unable to move after eating the food.
"Beneful's line of pet food and treats has poisoned our beautiful pets for the last time," Zero wrote in the video's description. Zero called for dog owners to boycott the brand and "never feed it to your loved ones."
Illinois woman Julie Hyde, 39, said her pit bull Bossy was "healthy as a horse" before first eating Purina Beneful, but the food soon began causing extreme weight loss.
"You could see her spine and ribs," Hyde said. "For her to lose that much weight dramatically there was something definitely wrong."
Bossy was later diagnosed with diabetes, with a vet telling Hyde that her sugar levels were "sky-high."
Purina Beneful denied the allegations in a statement issued after the news broke.
"Beneful is a high-quality, nutritious food enjoyed by millions of dogs everyday. However, you may have heard that a class action lawsuit was recently filed in Northern California,” the company said on the Q&A page of their website. “As pet owners ourselves, our priority is the health and well-being of the millions of dogs who enjoy Beneful.We take these allegations very seriously and stand by our product, which is backed by Purina's strict quality controls and comprehensive food safety program.
"Unfortunately, class action suits are common these days. They are not indicative of a product issue. In fact, we've faced two such suits in the past with similar allegations. Both were found to be baseless and were subsequently dismissed by the courts. Adding to the confusion, social media outlets can be a source of false or incomplete information, as many other pet food brands have experienced themselves. We at Beneful want you, our valued customers, to know that this lawsuit is baseless; you can continue to feel confident feeding your dogs our food. We stand committed to our Brand, our products and your pets.”
Source: Daily Mail / Photo Credit: dailymail.co.uk