Description: Viral Facebook posting
Circulating since: Aug. 2013
Status: Unconfirmed (see details below)
As posted on Facebook, Aug. 7, 2013:
FOOD WARNING! This is HUGE - a post I saw that exposes a deadly threat if you use Pedigree dry food... and I sincerely hope you don't. Please read & heed!!!
This comment made by Phyllis Crosby:
IF THERE IS A CHEMIST WHO CAN HELP, I HAVE THIS BAG OF PEDIGREE DOG FOOD THAT KILLED MY DOGS, AND NEED TO KNOW WHAT POISON WAS IN THERE. OH YES, I AM ANGRY. PEDIGREE DRY DOG FOOD WOULD BE MY ANSWER.. 271 COMPLAINTS 2013 ONLINE.. SYMPTOMS SIMILAR TO PARVO. VOMIT YELLOW BILE, LETHARGIC, THEN JUST BEFORE DEATH, BLOOD FROM ANAL. JUST LOST MY PRECIOUS DOGS... HAPPENED SO FAST, WITHIN 48 HOURS. TAINTED BAG OF PEDIGREE DRY SMALL BREED FORMULA IN MY CASE. EPIDEMIC. BUYER BEWARE. NO RECALL. IF THIS HAPPENED IN YOUR FAMILY, GET WORD OUT AS THERE IS NO RECALL. I AM HIRING AN ATTORNEY.
Analysis: This rumor went viral after one Facebook member's comments were reposted by another with an unrelated photo attached. This resulted in no small amount of confusion, not to mention accusations that the person who posted the photo had perpetrated a "hoax."
She explained her actions as follows:
This post went so viral I haven't been able to keep up with the comments & shares, so again it was NOT my dogs who died, I was sharing a FB post from a woman named Phyllis Crosby in Tampa, FL. I used a Google image for the photo on this post, it is NOT one of Phyllis' dogs. I have NO proof that Pedigree was the culprit in her dogs' deaths (and have posted many times here to that effect) but felt that 275 similar online complaints (link is on this thread several times) was a good enough reason to get the word out.
While it's true that the photo was added under false pretenses, that doesn't prove the original message was a hoax. As of this writing, we don't have enough information to confirm OR disprove any of the claims, though in the absence of necropsy and/or toxicology results the assumption that the deaths were caused by contaminated dog food is questionable. Some of the stated symptoms are consistent with HGE and parvo, two relatively common canine diseases, as well as poisoning.
Greg Creasey, a spokesperson for the manufacturer, Mars Petcare U.S., says the company is investigating the incident and told me that according to their production records the product purchased by the consumer met all quality standards. "So we have no reason to believe our products played any role in this unfortunate situation," he said in an email. A full statement is available on the Pedigree website.
I've attempted to contact the original poster via Facebook to find out if she has additional information or test results to share, but have yet to receive a reply.
Note: The August 14, 2013 announcement of a voluntary recall of Eukanuba and Iams brand dry dog foods by Procter & Gamble due to suspected salmonella contamination is entirely unrelated to this incident. (See also: List of 2013 Dog Product Recalls)
Last updated 08/16/13