06/28/2014 08:19 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Target: Take the Poisonous Dog Treats Out of Your Stores

It just so happens that I was all out of dog treats yesterday (we have a wonderful new puppy in a puppy class) when this story popped into my inbox. It was a petition asking me to join thousands of other pet owners who want Target to stop selling poisonous dog treats from China.

I have stopped buying just about anything that says "made in China," but it never occurred to me to be on the lookout for tainted dog treats on the pet store shelves. 
Thankfully, a woman named Tracey Bagatta, from Center Moriches, New York -- whose own two dogs got sick this way -- 
    1. has launched a petition campaign to make sure that nobody's pet joins all the others who've gotten sick or died eating jerky chicken pet treats. According to the FDA - a total of 5,600 dogs, 24 cats and three humans have gotten sick from the contaminated food (why three humans I'm not sure.)
    More than 1,000 dogs suffered "horrifying" illnesses before succumbing. Those who survived will have lasting health problems.
  • Tracey's dog Ginger was so sick with bloody diarrhea and vomiting that she made two trips with her to the vets' ICU. Tracey's second dog, Sophie, was tested, and her liver enzymes "were off the charts!"
    Even though they survived, both dogs -- like all the rest of the pets affected -- will have lifelong liver problems and will require daily medication just to stay alive.
    The FDA is now actively investigating the problem and has issued warnings and cautions to consumers. Meanwhile, a class action lawsuit is in the works, to set up a fund to compensate pet owners who have suffered this tragedy. 
    What is the poison? So far, nobody knows. But it doesn't matter. It's time we sign Tracey's petition and spread the word as far and wide as possible. Make sure you know where you are buying your treats!
    So far Petco and PetSmart have removed all China-made treats. But Target has refused to do the same? Why?
    Please sign the petition right away. It reads:


    Dustee Jenkins, VP of Public Relations, Target

    Jeff Jones, EVP, Target 

    Petco and PetSmart just took the lead to remove all treats from China to protect our dogs and cats from future tragedies. Why won't Target do the same? PROVE that you care about pets - and that we can trust you! Stop selling pet treats made in China!
    [Your name]
    Spread the word. Tell all your friends. And while you're at it, call Target corporate headquarters yourself and tell them to get their butts in gear and throw out this disgusting pet food.
    (P.S. Pictured here are (top) my pupster, Poco, and my daughter Lindsay's adorable Milo.)