Euthanasia Drug Fears: Evanger’s Recalls Batches of “Hunk of Beef” Dog Food

Evanger's Dog & Cat Food Co. has willingly recalled several batches of Hunk of Beef dog food after several dogs were sickened by the product and one died in Washington State on New Year's Eve. The owner of the dead dog, Nikki Mael, owned three other dogs which all ate the food, but these recovered after emergency veterinary treatment.

A toxicology report of the dead dog revealed that pentobarbital, a sedative used to euthanize animals, had been found in the dead dog's stomach and in sample of Evanger's Hunk of Beef eaten by the dogs. According to the toxicology, "if this sample came directly from a can, [then] this is urgent matter."

Evanger's makes an apologetic video and cuts ties with supplier

Evanger's Dog & Cat Food Co. is a 82-year-old family-owned business based in Wheeling. The company instantly asked for batches of Hunk of Beef products already distributed to retail stores and those sold on the internet to be recalled immediately to forestall potential harms to other dogs and cats that might consume the products, the Spokesman-Review wrote.

Nikki Mael is distraught that one of her four pugs died from consuming Evanger's Hunk of Beef dog and cat food, and the company is equally distraught that the euthanasia agent pentobarbital could only have slipped into the animal foods from their careless meat supplier.

Evanger's in an apologetic 5-minute video said they have cut ties with the meat supplier even though they had been doing business together for 40 years, and also analyzed other issues involving ingredients regulations in the dog food business.

According to Evanger's investigations and supported a 1998 FDA report, pentobarbital is commonly used to euthanize animals, with some of the euthanized animals then rendered and their tissues used to produce animal feed and ingredients. The dog and cat food company is certain that this is the only way the sedative could have entered into the processed Hunk of Beef and other dog foods produced by other companies, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Evanger's donates $5,800 to Mael to cover for vet bills

Meanwhile, pentobarbital is also sometimes used in executing prisoners and administered via lethal injections. Mael had created a $5,800 fundraising goal on a crowdfunding site cover the veterinary bills of her remaining three dogs - Tito, Tank and Tinkerbell. Talula had been the fourth dead dog. "I lost my dog. It shouldn't have to be this way," she'd said crying. Evanger's has offered to donate the whole $5,800 she raised as a fundraising goal, and also offered to make a donation to an animal shelter as a way of honoring Talula.

In a related story, doctors extracted a 5-inch metal rod that seared through the eyes of a dog into its brain; and the dog is now okay and recovering fast.

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