Pentobarbital is the drug many animal shelters use to kill animals, so what in the heck is it doing in dog food? Well, those dead homeless or abandoned family “pets” are often scooped up by companies who grind them up, and turn them into “pet” food.
Los Angeles alone sends out about 200 tons of dead “pets” to be sold out of state for “pet” food processing. You’ll likely find it labeled as “meat” or “bone meal.”
It’s something that isn’t talked about much, but something that everyone should know. While headlines warn animal lovers to steer clear of particular lots of dog or cat food, they rarely mention the seedy business that happens behind the scenes:
Companion animals are being fed other dead companion animals, many of whom are loaded with lethal drugs.
Back in April of 2017 – nearly a year ago – I wrote about the recall of toxic dog food posted on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s website. At the time, it was a recall of Cocolicious Beef & Turkey dog food and Cocolicious Chicken & Beef dog food by Party Animal; products manufactured by Evanger’s Dog & Cat Food Co., based in California.
The toxic dog food was discovered after a dog became ill, prompting testing at Texas A&M University. The results showed the food contained Pentobarbital. The company became aware of the problem on April 13th, 2017; the recall began 10 days later.
Sadly, despite the recall , the FDA still didn’t do an in depth investigation to figure out why dog food is continually contaminated.
Dogs being injured and killed by euthanasia drugs in their food is nothing new; clearly recalls are not enough!
Once AGAIN, a recent testing of Gravy Train canned dog food (made by Big Heart Brands) revealed a whopping 60% contained pentobarbital.
Now, FINALLY – nearly a year later, and after the needless death of MORE dogs – the FDA has agreed to “investigate the matter and take appropriate enforcement action.” I’m hoping they’ll see, and STOP the widespread, heart-wrenching problem.
I’m not sure what’s more depressing.
As I mention in my book, The Vegan Way, roughly 2.7 million healthy, adoptable cats and dogs are killed in U.S. shelters every year; that’s about one every 11 seconds.
Or is it more vile that we feed dogs and cats, dead dogs and cats?
I think it’s all horrible. ALL OF IT.
I’m not a veterinarian, so I can’t give any medical advice here, but I know it’s common for dogs to thrive on a vegetarian diet.
And cats, who may need to eat animal products for taurine, well, there’s just got to be a better option than grinding up their fellow companions who were just injected with deadly drugs.
I don’t know the exact source of the Pentobarbital found in dog food, and I don’t have all the answers, but I can offer a few good steps in the right direction.
1. Adopt, don’t shop.
2. Spay and neuter your companion animals. Low cost and/or free options are available. And…
3. Let’s get “rendered” animals from shelters OFF of the list that companies can collect to grind up into food! Here’s the EPA report which discusses the crazy, yet legal process – if you can stomach it. You’ll find all the sneaky little names they use for this “ingredient,” too. Companion animals deserve better!
Here’s additional information regarding the recall of dog food.
Jackie Day, vegan for 30+ years and author of the bestseller The Vegan Way: 21 Days to a Happier, Healthier Plant-Based Lifestyle That Will Transform Your Home, Your Diet, and You (St. Martin’s Press / Macmillan).