A Mesa couple who suspects their pet Boston terrier was poisoned by tainted dog food expressed gratitude Friday that 10-year-old Penny is alive and getting better.
The Meserolls considered putting Penny to sleep when she became sick after eating dog food included in a nationwide recall of pet food. Officials announced Friday that the tainted food contained rat poison.
“She seems to be feeling much better and more perky,” Jim Meseroll said.
The Meserolls fed Penny Iams Select Bites, one of 95 brands recalled on March 16 by Menu Foods. More than 60 million containers of wet “cuts and gravy” pet food was included in the recall.
Officials from the New York Department of Agriculture announced Friday that the recalled food contained aminopterin, a toxic chemical used to poison rodents. The chemical also is used to treat cancer in humans, according to the National Cancer Institute.
Aminopterin causes kidney failure in dogs and cats, which a veterinarian diagnosed Penny with on Monday. At least 16 dogs and cats linked to the pet food have died of similar complications, the Food and Drug Administration said.
The East Valley veterinarian first told the Meserolls that Penny would need several treatments to flush out the toxins, a bill nearing $4,000 — and one they couldn’t afford. However, other treatment is working for Penny, which includes feeding her antacids and plenty of water.
Officials from Menu Foods said on Friday that they are investigating the contamination.
“It’s scary and it’s absolutely terrifying that this happened,” Jim Meseroll said. “I don’t understand how and why. Aren’t they testing for these things?”
Meseroll has called both Menu Foods and Iams. He wants to know how the situation is being handled, and what people should do.
“It’s like a slap in the face,” he said. “People’s pets are sick because of their food.”
People can contact Menu Foods at (800) 551-7392.
A list of recalled products is available at www.menufoods. com/recall.