A popular monthly pet products subscription service that delivers to an estimated one million pet owners has halted deliveries of a dog chew stick after one customer claimed it killed her healthy dog.
A service called BarkBox delivered a chew stick manufactured by a third party to a woman named Sarah who said her pup Sugar went from being a “healthy, happy dog to dead in 24 hours” after consuming the product.
Fox Business reported the company has reacted quickly by pulling the product and by advising any other customers who might have received one to be careful.
BarkBox vice president of customer experience operations Hernan Giraldo described the product as a duck-flavored Lucky Chew Stick which was made by a company called Loving Pets.
“We’d never send anything we wouldn’t share with our own pups, so we’re handling the situation with the gravity, urgency, and care that it deserves,” the company official stated.
BarkBox warned customers about the chew stick in a Facebook post, saying the company was “heartbroken” by the death and wanted to be transparent.
“We were recently made aware of a tragedy, in which a member of our pack named Sugar passed away unexpectedly. As fellow dog parents, we are absolutely heartbroken. We’ve talked with Sarah (Sugar’s mom) directly to share how devastated we are by Sugar’s passing, and how much our hearts hurt for her family. It’s also important we share what we know with everyone in order to address your concerns, which we share for our own dogs,” the company said.
“Our first priority was hearing from Sarah and her vet about what happened with Sugar. Our vets are working closely with Sarah’s vet to better understand what happened,” added BarkBox.
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The company didn’t throw Loving Pets under the bus, but did urge customers to be mindful of potential dangers with their dogs.
“At this point, we don’t know what role the chew may have played in this tragedy. However, when it comes to our dogs, we must act with great care and caution,” the company said.
“Last night we emailed everyone who received this chew and have halted future shipments. We will replace this for any customer who would like that. We’re attaching the email to this post for transparency,” the company said.
“We have established a dedicated helpline with our Happy team for anyone who has questions about this chew, or importantly, any dog who may be experiencing issues.”
Loving Pets also commented on the death of the animal, expressing sadness after initially posting that it had not been officially made aware of the situation prior to a comment being made on social media.
“Loving Pets expresses our extreme condolences for the loss of Sugar. We care deeply for pets and are extremely sympathetic to one’s loss of a loving companion,” the company said in a Facebook post.
“We are a small family run company made up of people who absolutely love and care for animals wholeheartedly.”
“Many of the people with us have dedicated nearly 20 years to serving the amazing community of pets and pet parents. We are doing everything in our power to understand and, where needed, correct the matter. We hope to communicate with Sugar’s owners and anyone with health and safety concerns,” Loving Pets added.
Loving Pets had originally responded: “We were tagged today in a private page’s post making an unfounded accusation against one of our products: Prior to the post that was sent to us today, we have not been made aware of any issues regarding our products.”
The company concluded it would report back when it gathered more facts about the animal that died after consuming the chew stick.