Greenies Dog Treat Maker Settles Class Action Lawsuit

GreeniesThe makers of Greenies dog treats have settled a class-action lawsuit claiming the treat injured or killed close to a dozen dogs.

Beginning in 2005, pet owners claimed that their dogs either choked on pieces of Greenies or were injured when undigested pieces became trapped in their intestines. The media outlets picked up on the story, and a CNN report from last year estimated at least 13 dogs had died of problems related to eating Greenies.

In the lawsuit, pet owners claimed S&M NuTec, the company that invented Greenies, knew of the dangerous risks from dogs eating Greenies, but they didn’t adequately warn consumers or pull them from shelves.

The company said the dental chew treats were safe when used as directed and when the correct size of Greenies was given to a dog.

The attorney, who represented 10 dog owners against the Kansas city manufacturer, said the case was settled but would not go into specific terms.

Last year, S&M NuTec was acquired by Mars.

As a result of the complaints, the company changed the packaging of the products to make warnings more visible. They also came out with a formula that is said to be more digestible and designed to break down into smaller pieces during chewing.

Source: Kansas City Star

Photo: Petvetcare

9 Responses to “Greenies Dog Treat Maker Settles Class Action Lawsuit”

  1. Nell Liquorman says:

    Well, these treats would seem to be a problem if there has been a successful lawsuit. I am surprised that I see them being sold by veterinarians. Wonder if any vets were included in the lawsuit?

  2. nora says:

    And the packaging is so misleading. “Greenies” all natural and healthy, such Bullsht. I almost bought some in early 2006 looking for healthy alternatives, but then thought they looked like something the dogs could choke on, not to mention the ingrediants. (More garbage and chemicals)

  3. shibadiva says:

    Gelatin, Wheat Protein Isolate, Glycerin, Soy Protein Isolate, Sodium Caseinate, Natural Poultry Flavor, Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysate, Vegetable Oil (Preserved with Propyl Gallate), Sodium Tripolyphospate, Lecithin, Ground Flaxseed, Calcium Carbonate, Magnesium Monostearate, Monoglycerides of Edible Fatty Acids, Choline Chloride, Potassium Sorbate (A Preservative), Minerals (Magnesium Oxide, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Maganese Sulfate, Potassium Iodide), Vitamins (dl-Alpha Tocopherol Acetate [source of vitamin E], Vitamin B12 Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Niacin Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride [Vitamin B6], Thiamine Mononitrate [Vitamin B1], Folic Acid), Chlorophyll.

    Why would anyone object?

  4. Gloria O says:

    My dog just about choked to death on a greenie………My husband quick thinging pulled him up and shook him upside down down……little poperanian quit choking,,,thank godness

  5. Bamm says:

    My dog ate one for the first time.
    within 15 minutes began vomitting and lasted 4 days.
    It was horrible.
    He is gone.

  6. Kurt Tedesco says:

    My Havanese had major abdominal surgery today as a result of eating Greenies treats that became lodged in her intestine and caused an obstruction. I thought these treats were reformulated and were safe but my dog almost died today because of these poorly engineered treats. What should I do? Is there any recourse for me?

  7. Steve says:

    I must begin by saying I work in the pet industry, and have been an animal owner and advocate for 40 years. I have been feeding my current four dogs one Greenie per night for the past 5 years on the recommendation of my veterinarian. At the time this story broke, I obviously inquired about their safety and continuing their use. At the time of the “class-action” lawsuit of 10 claimants, I was told that over 650 million Greenies treats had been sold in the US alone. To me a gut-wrenching outcome for 10/650,000,000, while devastating for those 10 people and their dogs, seemed a fairly safe risk. This is not to say that people’s dogs have may not have been harmed by these products, and my heart goes out to the owners’ and their families. It does bear pointing out that the three most common items which require surgical removal from canines are sticks, rocks, and fabric such as old socks, towels, blankets. Dogs by their nature, chew on things, and they can choke on anything. Proper owner observation obviously saved Gloria O’s Pomeranian (thank God!). I almost feel like 10 out of 650,000,000 reeks a bit of the old, “McDonald’s served me hot coffee and I spilled it on myself, so I am owed millions of dollars in damages.”

    When the emotional pain hits home as hard as it does with the loss of a beloved family pet, I think looking for someone to blame is comforting, but accidents happen. People trip and fall down stairs everyday, break limbs, tear ligaments, but do they turn to their shoe company and say, “Your products didn’t provide me the traction you implied it would?” People drown in 1/2″ of water in their tubs every year, but is anyone suing Kohler for improper drainage of their tubs? People choke on a bite of steak everyday in this country, but is the U.S. Cattleman’s Association on notice? Just a question.

    Additionally, unlike the pet food manufacturers who delayed and obfuscated their recall of melamine-tainted products, S&M NuTec followed the case-model for product recall, Tylenol. Back in the 80’s during the Tylenol scare, the CEO went on television and recalled every single product they produced to ensure their customers that they took the issue seriously and wanted to continue to be a trusted brand. Their recall included tablets, gelcaps, etc., even though the issue was only with their capsulated products, and if I recall correctly, they had been tainted by a private individual. They actually invented the “Tamper-Proof Seal” which we all fight through to get into just about any bottled package today. S&M took the same approach, recalled every single Greenie which had been issued through distribution all the way down to the retailer and consumer level. I can tell you that my place of employment returned over 500 lbs. of Greenies and were refunded full-retail value, were provided pre-paid postage, and the matter was one of the most efficient recalls I have been part of in this industry.

    I have seen product recalls that never reach the public’s awareness, as some companies simply send out reps to remove their products from the shelf with no explaination,other than to say they will replace any product they remove. It’s hard to be mad at a company who tries to do the right thing, whether you like their product or not. Anyone on this message board write letters to Ford regarding the Pinto they sold knowing it could explode from rear-impact collisions? There was a clear case of knowing their would be collateral damage, but the amount that could be made vs. settling the lawsuits was too good to pass up. That to me is corporate evil. Greenies was a mom and pop start up business of pet owners just like ourselves, who actually made the products for their own dogs and began to market them to anyone else looking for a better solution that what was currently availabe on the market at that time. Not your typical “evil-corporate mentality”. Something lacking in America is the willingness to be accountable when you do something wrong. AIG? Auto-industry? Wall Street execs? Bernie Made-off-with your money? At least give some credit to them for halting a multi-million dollar enterprise over the concerns of an extreme minority percentage of its customers.

  8. Elite Dog Academy says:

    Any object can be harmful to dogs if not watched. I never give a bully stick or a toy or a kong to any of my dogs.. or my clients dogs without watching them. I have seen my dobie literally reduce a bully stick to a nub in a matter of minutes.. certainly that object has the potential for getting swallowed. While these stories are very sad.. I feel they are still avoidable.

  9. Emily Teske says:

    Yes, accidents happen. But when you intentionally feed your pet something that is supposed to be good for them and help fight tarter, no one expects an “accident” such as DEATH of their loved one. My Lhasa Apso, Rascal, has been sick for quite a long time now. The vet bills have been piling up and as everyone knows with this economy, it’s not easy to pay for such expenses. My husband has recently injured his back and work is slow. I have MS..Multiple Sclerosis, and struggle just to live life on a daily basis. Rascal brings me joy and happiness. He relieves stress and makes me smile…It kills me to see him so ill. He vomits often throughout the day. He looks at me with his large brown eyes and severe underbite and all I can here him say is, “help me feel better…what’s wrong with me?”

    The lastest step has been a gastroscopy which was on Friday 11/13/09. The vets discovered several pieces of green man-made substance in his stomach which was severely inflammed. His esophogus has incurred damage from all of the vomiting too. I was asked, “What has he been eating? Do you know what this could be?” Well, his diet has consisted of i/d canned dog food for months; however, a few months ago, my husband and I gave Rascal a greenie dental chew….hmmmmm…but that was months ago we thought. But, that is exactly what it looked like to the vet when I mentioned it. Rascal is now scheduled for SURGERY this Friday 11/20/09. I pray to God that my dear friend, my companion makes it through the procedure.

    Tell me, is it an accident that he needs surgery? Are these deaths accidents? Being hit by a car is an accident. This, in my opinion, is negligence on the part of the manufacturer. For those whom have lost their loved ones, my sympathies.


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