California Company Caught Using Recycled Pets In Dog Food

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A California-based pet food company has been caught using recycled pets as cheap protein in its popular dog food.

A California-based pet food company has been caught using recycled pets as cheap protein in its popular dog food.

Party Animals is recalling two lots from its line of Cocolicious dog foods after cans in Texas tested positive for pentobarbital — a chemical that’s used by veterinarians to euthanize pets.

In a statement on its website, Party Animal said a customer in Texas had given Cocolicious samples to a lab and the dog food tested positive for pentobarbital.

It’s not the first time a pet food company has been exposed using recycled pets in their product. Back in February Evanger, a pet food company based in Illinois, recalled its dog foods after cans tainted with pentobarbital were making dogs sick.

How did it get in the food?

Pentobarbital is a barbiturate that’s commonly used by veterinarians for euthanasia. So how is it getting in the food?

The pet food industry is almost completely unregulated and in the quest for the cheapest possible protein, companies are using euthanized cats and dogs as ingredients under the “animal byproduct meal” name.

It’s an industry secret that generic “meats” and “meals” can contain euthanized domestic animals. The disturbing fact is commercial pet food companies are feeding dog meat to dogs and cat meat to cats.

If a pet food contains “animal byproduct meal” then pretty much any animal that’s not a bird can be in the food, including animals that were euthanized.

Dog eat dog

It has became so bad that cats and dogs that regularly eat certain brains of commercial pet food have built a tolerance to the drugs.

Veterinarian Dr Patricia Jordan says: “I was around and saw all the foods that contained pentobarbital 20 years ago. At that time the vet community was unable to sedate animals with serital like they had been previously for short term anesthesia … the reason? The animals were getting the drug in the food and getting resistent to the drug!

The disturbing trade in domestic dog and cat bodies often begins at the veterinary clinic. After euthanizing old and ill animals, some vets will offer to “take care” of the bodies.

A friend of mine who worked in an Animal Hospital chastised me when I had to have my dog “put down”; not for having her euthanized, but for leaving the body with the Vet.

She said they put the euthanized animals in a freezer and sold them to be “recycled” into pet food.

“It seemed strange that the Vet encouraged me to leave her body with them, that “they would take care of her”.

Do you know what your dog is eating?

The next phase of the disturbing trade takes place in rendering plants.

These enormous facilities, operating 24 a day, recycle dead animals, slaughterhouse wastes, and supermarket rejects into various products known as recycled meat, bone meal, and animal fat. These products are sold as a source of protein and other nutrients in the diets of dairy animals, poultry, swine, cattle feed, and domestic cats and dogs.

One estimate states that some 40 billion pounds of slaughterhouse wastes like blood, bone, and viscera, as well as the remains of millions of euthanised cats and dogs passed along by veterinarians and animal shelters, are rendered annually into “animal byproduct meal.”

Rendering plants recycle material including:

  • Slaughterhouse waste such as heads and hooves from cattle, sheep, pigs and horses, blood, bones, etc.
  • Thousands of euthanised cats and dogs from veterinarians and animal shelters
  • Dead animals such as skunks, rats, and raccoons
  • Carcasses of pets, livestock, poultry waste
  • Supermarket rejects

Because rendering plants operate as cheaply as possible, they unavoidably process toxic wastes.

As well as euthanasia drugs given to pets, flea collars and pet ID tags, surgical pins and needles, cattle ID tags and green plastic bags containing dead pets from veterinarians get churned in the mix that becomes “animal byproduct meal.”

Cats being shipped to a rendering plant.

Skyrocketing labor costs are one of the economic factors forcing the corporate flesh-peddlers to cheat.  It is far too costly for plant personnel to take the time to cut off flea collars or take spoiled T-bone steaks out of their plastic packaging.

Since these foods are exclusively used to feed animals, most state agency spot checks test for truth in labeling such as: does the percentage of protein, phosphorous and calcium match the rendering plant’s claims; do the percentages meet state requirements? However, testing for pesticides and other toxins in animal feeds is not done or is done incomplete.

So what can you do?

If you buy processed pet food, read the ingredients on pet food labels carefully and educate yourself about what terms like “animal byproduct meal” actually mean.

Ideally, pets should eat unprocessed whole foods – just like humans.

If your pet is euthanized by a veterinarian, insist on burying the body yourself. Out of respect for the animal’s life, and out of concern for the health other animals, do not allow the veterinarian to “take care” of the body.

Baxter Dmitry

Baxter Dmitry

Baxter Dmitry is a writer at The People's Voice. He covers politics, business and entertainment. Speaking truth to power since he learned to talk, Baxter has travelled in over 80 countries and won arguments in every single one. Live without fear.
Baxter Dmitry


  1. Having your pet cremated is another option, with the ashes returned to you. Hopefully these transactions are honest – but you’ll never really know.

      • In Japan, there is a local funeral home/crematorium. This was started by a man who lost his beloved dog to old age. When he asked what to do with the remains, they told him to throw them out in the trash. So he built Pet Angel. This is where I go. A brief service is held for the pet and then the body is placed in the cremation “oven”. Family is invited in for tea, etc. and to pick out an urn with silk covering. When the cremation is complete, by custom (same as with human family) the family places the ash and bone remains in the urn, using ohashi (chop sticks). It is a very sad time, but gives a lot of closure.

    • I always bring my pet to the crematorium and wait for their cremains. That way I know I am getting my pet back.

    • I have had both of my dogs cremated but now this makes me wonder if just random ashes were returned to me and I paid money for them to sell….. well you know. It’s a horrible thought but it’s unfortunate that the standards are so low and that there is actually a profitable business out there that vets can actually sell your deceased pet. Even with a “reputable” company it makes you wonder.

    • Some pet cremation places allow you to view the cremation. As difficult as it was, I wanted to make sure I got my girl back.

  2. It is man’s craze to use things without knowing where it comes from.
    The ‘Matrix’ taught cattle to ‘trust’ instead of investigating.

  3. Neither of the companies in this recall use byproduct meal.
    Let me repeat. Neither of the companies in this recall use byproducts of any kind. You can not write this article like you have done research on how the drug got into the foods of you have not at least read the labels yourself.

    Is there a posibility that it was an already euthanized animal, of course. But it’s much more likely that they revived a euthanized cow or several euthanized chickens without knowledge of the drugs.

    Unfortunately the pet food industry is not as regulated as it should be. At all. The companies that sell the pet food manufacturers the animals they use might not be transparent with how they aquired everything. The manufacturers themselves might not be transparent. But we can’t jump to conclusions as consumers. You are right to recommend reasearch, but sometimes recalls still happen.

    • Cows and chickens are never “euthanized” with pentobarbitol.

      “Evanger’s knowingly purchased “inedible beef” and told consumers and retailers (through marketing materials) the pet food was made with “Human Grade” meat.
      What about that lie? Will Evanger’s be held accountable for lying to consumers?”
      Since the FDA has already written to TAPF to decline enforcing the laws we pay them to enforce, nothing will be done unless consumers and pet food sellers bring a lawsuit.
      We might also make a complaint to:

      Meat and poultry Labeling:

      Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS)

      U.S. Department of Agriculture

      1400 Independence Ave., S.W.

      Washington, D.C. 20250-3700

      Phone: (888) MPHotline (674-6854)


      Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

      Consumer Response Center

      600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

      Washington, D.C. 20580

      Phone: (877) FTC-HELP (382-4357)

      • I can agree that evangers needs to be held accountable. I’m not saying evangers is a good company. I have never and will never feed evangers because of their history with strange, weird, and bad behavior.

        All I am saying is why did this person write this article stating things they are assuming are true when they didn’t even read the labels.

        This is just an article to scare consumers instead of informing. And in the world of basically unregulated pet feed, that’s not at all helpful.

  4. If you only knew.. as a chemical supplier to the poultry industry, it’s common for the one million or so gallons of wastewater per day ( typical poultry processing plant) to be treated with numerous chemicals to separate the contaminates from the water. These solids represent everything coming down the drains including blood, fat, scalder water with feces and sanitizer chemicals from the antimicrobial programs and nightly clean up. Guess where the 20-30,000 pounds of this sludge goes everyday… your local rendering plant for protein meal. Ann up the 15 or so facilities in the southeast and your talking millions of pounds of wastewater sludge loaded with chemicals making its way back into the feed supply. The FDA knows and doesn’t care a bit. Protest meat and poultry products that aren’t organic/ free range or eat wastewater sludge fed animals.

    • We believe we are buying food…pet food. But is it made from feed grade ingredients? There IS a significant difference between feed and food – even acknowledged by FDA. What’s feed and what’s food – and why pet food consumers need to know the difference.

      Compliance Policy “CPG Sec. 675.200 Diversion of Adulterated Food to Acceptable Animal Feed Use”states “The *Center* will consider the requests for diversion of food considered adulterated for human use in all situations where the diverted food will be acceptable for its intended animal food use. Such situations may include:

      a. Pesticide contamination in excess of the permitted tolerance or action level.

      b. Pesticide contamination where the pesticide involved is unapproved for use on a food or feed commodity.

      c. Contamination by industrial chemicals.

      d. Contamination by natural toxicants.

      e. Contamination by filth.

      f. Microbiological contamination.

      g. Over tolerance or unpermitted drug residues.

      One more, Compliance Policy “CPG Sec. 690.300 Canned Pet Food” states “Pet food consisting of material from diseased animals or animals which have died otherwise than by slaughter, which is in violation of 402(a)(5) will not ordinarily be actionable, if it is not otherwise in violation of the law. It will be considered fit for animal consumption.”

      Feed can include “material from diseased animals” or “contamination by filth” or “contamination by industrial chemicals”. Food can not.

      Now here is the worst part…some pet food manufacturers do use food ingredients and others use feed grade ingredients – but they all look the same (or similar) on the shelf. Pet food companies can imply they are using ‘food grade’ ingredients on the labels while actually using feed grade ingredients inside the bag or can.

      It boils down to regulatory bodies (in the U.S.) look at feed as what animals eat (including pets) and food as what humans eat. And the two are as different as daylight and dark with regards to safety, quality, and standards. The numerous FDA Compliance Policies that allow diseased animals or pesticide laden foods to become animal feed ingredients – all reference ‘feed’ – “suitable for use in animal feed.” These same Compliance Policies are not allowed for ‘food’.

  5. Why try and cleanse the act by referring to dead dogs as “recycled pets”. Disgusting act by the company and your “journalist”

  6. Doesn’t anyone proofread his article?
    ” dogs that regularly eat certain brains of commercial pet food”

    • I see a totally unfortunate, to say the least, practice in “news articles” that lead to articles so desperately in need of being proofread, spell-checked, edited, WHATEVER it takes to make them correct. My God, they are in the “business” of using words, grammar, etc., & they don’t even begin to care, obviously, about what they put out there. They should truly be ashamed of their shoddy workmanship!!! Where has taking pride in what you do gone???

  7. If it’s on the internet it must be true! Do your research people…companies slander other companies because you morons believe it! Took me 2 minutes to investigate this article to be bullshit!

    • These rendering plants take animals that are not fit for human consumption and turn them into kibble for your dog. Why are they not fit for human consumption? because they contain toxic waste such as: Pesticides, flea collars, styrofoam, antibiotics and pentobarbital. Sounds healthy to me!

      They also put rice and other fillers in the kibble which your dog doesn’t digest properly which makes them have massive smelly dumps and has minimal nutritional value!

      These corporation couldn’t care less about the animals, they only care about their profits and have a number of ways of misleading the consumer on the packaging. Such as they don’t have to declare about added additives if they haven’t added them themselves.

      My advice to anyone is go RAW for your pet and bring back white dog poo!

  8. “Certain ‘brains’ of pet food”??? I don’t disagree with this article in general, but why are things like ‘blood, bone, and viscera’, as well as ‘heads’ considered so horrible? Watch a few nature shows- the wild predators go for the viscera right away…

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