SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. -- As the Food and Drug Administration tries to find out why jerky treats have sickened and killed dogs and cats over the past six years, a local woman said the treats killed her beloved pet this week.
Ruth Rynen’s dog, Dusty, was part of her family for ten years. After she recently started feeding him chicken jerky dog treats, she said she noticed something was not right with the animal.
“Then last Thursday when I came home, he wouldn't even come out,” Rynen said. “He usually comes out and greets you and [he] didn't.”
Dusty could barely walk, would not eat, and was getting sicker by the minute, so Rynen took him to the vet. She had to euthanize Dusty just days later.
“It's been hard.”
Dusty died from kidney failure. Rynen's vet told her it may have been from the jerky treats the dog had eaten.
“I was angry. I was really angry,” said Rynen.
The FDA has linked nearly 600 deaths and more than 3,600 dog and cat illnesses to jerky treats dating back to 2007, but there has been no official recall. FDA investigators have not been able to determine what in the products is causing the deaths. Most of the treats were made in China.
Rynen said she fed her dog Kingdom Pets chicken jerky from Costco in Spokane Valley. She said she was disappointed when she saw the product still on the shelves this week.
“I said, ‘why are you still selling these dog treats made in China?’ He didn't know anything about it,” Rynen added.
Rynen said she can never replace Dusty, but she hoped her story would help save someone else's pet before it's too late.
“That's the only reason I’m doing this,” she said. “It's not right and no dog should have to suffer what he went through.”