Tigard woman says one bag of jerky treats sickened three dogs

A woman in Tigard is sounding the alarm to other pet owners about the dog treats she believes made her dog severely sick but are still on store shelves.

"I was horrified, I was really scared," said Jean-Marie Chapman about the moment she realized her dog was sick. "You don't want to see any blood associated with your dog."

Chapman rushed her poodle, Annie, to the veterinarian, who gave her antibiotics. Annie recovered but Chapman wanted to find the source. She realized Annie and two other dogs all got sick after eating chicken jerky while at her daughter's house.

"I said check the package, and if they're from China I think we have a problem," Chapman said. The bag of treats was from China.

The FDA has been investigating and testing jerky treats from China since 2007 and has received 4,800 complaints. The agency hasn't found the cause or a direct link but was concerned enough to update its warning to consumers in May.

PetCo has responded to concerns by saying it will remove all dog and cat treats made in China by the end of the year, and PetSmart has said it will remove them by March 2015.

KATU confirmed China-made jerky treats are still on store shelves at PetCo, Fred Meyer and Wal-Mart. Some jerky treat brands have what could be considered tricky marketing methods. For example, one brand has a sticker that says "Lab-tested in the U.S.A." on the front even though it says "Product of China" on the back of the packaging.

Chapman doesn't plan to allow her dog to have jerky again but worries other pet owners may not know better.

The FDA is telling consumers to give their pets jerky sparingly and to look out for the following symptoms:

  • Decreased appetite
  • Decreased activity
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea, sometimes with blood
  • Increased water consumption; and/or increased urination

If those symptoms are severe or last for more than 24 hours, call your veterinarian.

If you believe your pet got sick from jerky treats, you can report it to the FDA.