Dogs are dying from the food they are eating, according to a class action lawsuit filed against Nestle Purina. The lawsuit filed by Frank Lucido claims he began feeding his three dogs – an 8-year-old English Bulldog, 11-year-old Labrador, and 4-year-old German Shepherd – Purina Beneful only. The lawsuit was filed in California federal court.
The lawsuit states that Dozer, the English Bulldog, became lethargic and was found dead in the backyard. A post-mortem exam by a veterinarian showed signs of lesions on his liver and internal bleeding, according to the lawsuit. They are waiting on the toxicology reports. Lucido’s German Shepherd, Nella, began “losing large amounts of hair and producing an unusual and unpleasant odor,” stated in the lawsuit. Nella became very ill a few days later, and a trip to the veterinarian revealed the same symptoms as Dozer had. Remo, the Labrador, is undergoing veterinary care and medical testing as well.
The three dogs, during this time, were being housed all at different locations because Lucido was renovating his house. The lawsuit states, the only thing that was reproducible in all three locations was the Purina Beneful.
Lucido filed the class action lawsuit against Purina on behalf of himself and other Beneful customers because the dogs were getting sick or dying. In the lawsuit it states that the dogs that ate Beneful in the last four years showed duplicative symptoms of weight loss, dehydration, kidney and liver failure, vomiting, internal bleeding, and seizures. Online complaints, totally more than 3000, have been documented by consumers whose dogs became ill, seriously ill or died, after eating Beneful.
Beneful is cited in the lawsuit as the reason for these illnesses due to the mycotoxins and propylene glycol in the food. These ingredients might be harmful to dogs, as mycotoxins are toxins produced by a fungus and propylene glycol is a component of antifreeze. These two ingredients are known to be harmful to dogs. Purina maintains the type of glycol it uses is perfectly safe for consumption, further stating on its website that the glycol is an FDA-approved food additive and found in human foods like cake mix and salad dressing.
Purina stands behind its Beneful product. Purina has had to defend Beneful against other complaints in the past that are similar to this lawsuit filed by Lucido. A spokesman for Purina’s Beneful stated that Purina is confident that there are no quality or safety issues with Beneful after talking to the consumers with the complaints. The spokesman further stated that the products are formulated by master pet vets and nutritionists, and the product quality control are very strict.
The lawsuit covers pet owners who have fed their dogs and cats Beneful brands between 2011 and 2015. The suit asks for an award of $5 million in damages and a jury to hear the case. Morgan & Morgan Law firm is representing the pet owners. Any consumer who feels their pets may have been stricken should contact Morgan & Morgan. Attorney James Young is the pet owners representative.
The class action lawsuit against Purina that Lucido filed because the three dogs that he had all became ill around the same time and one died. Lucido maintains that the only common factor with all three of the dogs getting sick is the Purina dog food.
By Michele Enli
Photo by Alex Balan – License