According to a new federal class action lawsuit, Nestle Purina's Waggin' Train Yam Good dog treats are responsible for the death of a 9-year-old Pomeranian named Cleopatra. The furry canine reportedly ingested one chicken jerky treat a day for three days before becoming ill and eventually dying of kidney failure.
The Waggin' Train lawsuit, filed by Cleopatra's owner Dennis Adkins, claims Nestle Purina Petcare Co. and Walmart knew that the treats posed a substantial risk of illness to pets, yet still manufactured and sold them.
This is not the first time chicken jerky dog treats have come under fire. In 2007, the Food and Drug Administration urged pet owners to use caution when feeding dogs chicken jerky treats from China. In November, the agency announced that it had seen a recent increase in related complaints, reports Reuters.
Adkins himself claims Nestle Purina knew of more than 500 cases involving chicken jerky treats imported from China. Nestle maintains the treats have always been "safe to feed as directed."
The biggest challenge to Adkins' Waggin' Train lawsuit will be proving that the treats resulted in Cleopatra's death. He claims that, other than feeding her the treats, her diet remained the same. Moreover, he did not feed the Yam Good treats to Pharaoh, his other Pomeranian. He remained in good health.
Though this evidence does not bode well for Nestle Purina, it doesn't mean the treats are responsible for Cleopatra's death. As all pet owners know, dogs have a tendency to eat things from the trash and the floor. If Adkins can't prove that Cleopatra did not do this, his Waggin' Train lawsuit may fail.