Rat poision has been identified as the deadly ingredient in pet food that has killed at least 16 cats and dogs. This information was released by the New York State State Department of Agriculture and Markets Friday morning, but no additional information was given as to the source of the chemicals or how it entered the food itself.
Initial investigations had focused on wheat gluten in the pet products, but sources now believe that such a common source is not the culprit for the numerous pet deaths. The scare prompted Menu Foods to recall more than 60 million cans and pouches of wet pet food, which has been sold under at least 95 brand names in North America. Most veterinarian reports show that kidney failure is the source of death thus far for the animals.
Initally, Menu Foods delayed announcing the recall until it could confirm that the animals had eaten its product before dying. Company executives have said that two prior complaints from pet owners whose animals had died, were situations where the pet had either lived outside or in garages and possibly had access to poision or other contaminated food sources.
A complete list of the recalled products along with product codes, descriptions and production dates was posted online by Menu Foods. The company also designated two phone numbers that pet owners could call for information: (866) 463-6738 and (866) 895-2708.