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When a BarkBox customer blamed a chew treat included in her Super Chewer subscription box for the death of her beloved dog, both BarkBox and Loving Pets, the treat manufacturer, halted distribution of the chew while further investigation is completed.
On May 26, BarkBox customer, Sarah Elizabeth posted her heartbreaking story to Facebook. According to her post, her otherwise healthy dog, Sugar, became gravely ill and died within 24 hours of consuming the duck flavored Lucky Chew Sticks dog treat included in her Super Chewer BarkBox. The treat was manufactured by Loving Pets and distributed exclusively to BarkBox customers.
Warning: Images posted to Facebook below may be difficult for some readers to view.
According to Sarah, Sugar had eaten the chew treat at about 9:00pm on Sunday and began vomiting blood at about 2:00-3:00am Monday morning. Sarah says Sugar had been kenneled before and after eating the treat and had not eaten anything out of the ordinary. Sugar was seen by her veterinarian on Monday and was dead by Monday night.
In response, BarkBox immediately stopped shipping the treats to customers and contacted those who had received the treats offering a replacement item.
In another Facebook post, Loving Pets said, “Our loving companions deserve nothing less than the best. Our team of pet parents is heartbroken over the unexpected loss of Sugar and is working diligently to understand what happened. Our promise is, and always has been, to serve your pet with the highest quality products and ingredients. We pledge transparency and honesty in how our products are made, tested, manufactured, and delivered to your furry ones. Our furry friends deserve nothing less. It’s important we share with you our safety processes and actions taken in light of this week’s news. The Duck Lucky Chew Stick was distributed exclusively through one company and never available for purchase at any retail location. At this time, all distribution of this product has been halted. While this product underwent rigorous quality testing, we have sent retained samples from the specific lot mentioned to a third-party laboratory for additional testing. Of course, we will keep you informed.
Loving Pets continued, “We are fully committed to exceeding the strictest health, quality, and testing standards. Our facility is FDA approved and our manufacturing practices, procedures, and protocols have achieved SQF certification. Our processes are regularly audited by third parties. We implement a variety of safety, quality assurance, and testing standards such as allergen preventive controls, sanitation preventive controls, water activity testing, supply chain management, inbound/outbound testing, traceability systems, and more.”
Both companies say they are in contact with Sugar’s veterinarian and are investigating whether the treat was responsible for Sugar’s death.
“We hope to understand what happened so that if the issue was with our product, it cannot effect any other loved one,” Loving Pets said.
“We’d never send anything we wouldn’t share with our own pups, so we’re handling the situation with the gravity, urgency, and care that it deserves,” Hernan Giraldo, BarkBox’s vice president of customer experience operations, said in an email to customers.