The complaint alleges that Party Animal Inc. and Evanger’s Dog and Cat Food Company are responsible for selling cans of Party Animal dog food that contained pentobarbital, according to CBS News.
Phenobarbital made its way into the dog food when the manufacturers used animals that had been euthanized, according to the lawsuit.
“The dog food definitely tested positive for pentobarbital,” says attorney Jane Braugh from the firm of Sico, Hoelscher, Harris & Braugh. “From our research it shows that Evanger’s was buying dead carcasses that had likely been put to sleep by vets and mixed in with that would supposedly be organic meats and vegetables.”
The class action, filed in Los Angeles County Court, alleges that Party Animal Inc., in collaboration with Evanger’s, “sold canned pet food that contains substances that are toxic to animals and have resulted in the serious illnesses or deaths of animal around the United States,” and that “Party Animal is mislabeled as organic and mislabeled as to its healthy ingredients such as fruits and vegetables and simply does not contain the wholesome substances it purports to contain.”
Braugh says that FDA regulations specify what can and can’t be included in dog food and the labelling it is distributed in. She believes the products’ labelling is inappropriate and inaccurate, and that Party Animal Inc. and Evanger’s marketed the dog food as healthy when in actuality it is making animals sick.
In December 2016, lead plaintiff Wendy Black agreed to foster a Schnauzer named Bianca. Black had Bianca groomed and took her to the vet for a checkup. She had some tumours removed and had some dental work done, but was otherwise healthy. Her blood sugar levels were normal and she had no symptoms of diabetes.
Black purchased 6 cans of “Cocolicious” Party Animal organic dog food – 3 cans of Chicken/Beef and 3 cans Beef/Turkey. Less than 2 months later, the dog became lethargic, sleeping all day and could barely even stand up.
On February 3, Black took Bianca back to the vet. She was shivering, throwing up, defecating, sweating, panting, dizzy, weak and refusing to eat. There was concern she might die.
The vet administered IV fluids and by the end of the day Bianca managed to eat some Royal Canine canned dog food. She had another round of fluids and improved significantly.
Over the next month, Bianca’s condition fluctuated depending on the type of food she ate. She would get sick for a few days, then Black would switch the food and she would improve.
By March 2, Bianca’s condition had again worsened. Her vomit smelled foul and she defecated constantly. The dog’s blood sugar levels were high and considered to be diabetic. Black had racked up more than $1,500 in vet bills, according to the lawsuit.
Black began to suspect that Party Animal dog food was to blame for Bianca’s health problems. So she stopped feeding it to her and contacted the pet store to have the dog food tested.
Fortunately, Bianca’s health has since returned to normal. However, Black alleges the dog’s diabetic issues are due to internal damage suffered as a result of eating Party Animal.
The lawsuit has 8 causes of action including Breach of Express Warranty, Breach of Implied Warranty, Negligence, Negligent Misrepresentation, Strict Product Liability, Violation of the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act, Violation of Unfair Competition Law and violation of False Advertising Law.
All persons in the U.S. who purchased Party Animal food between April 2013 and April 2017 are eligible to participate in the class action. The lawsuit seeks compensatory and punitive damages for all persons who suffered out of pocket costs related to the injury, illness or death of an animal who ate Party Animal dog food.
Source: Lawyers and Settlements