Aventura woman finds worms in boxes of dog treats

Patricia Von Johnson found worms while feeding treats to 6-year-old Yorkie

By Jacey Birch - Anchor/Animal Advocate

AVENTURA, Fla. - A South Florida dog owner spoke with Local 10 News after making a surprise discovery inside a box of dog treats.

"Every day I was giving QiQi the snacks, I would just stick my hand in, just like any other thing, you just stick your hand in and grab a snack and give it to her," Patricia Von Johnson said.

But one day she actually took a look inside the box and was disgusted by the sight of wiggling worms.

"I was devastated because I had been feeding her this product," Von Johnson said. "I had been giving her something with worms."

Von Johnson said she fed her 6-year-old Yorkie Wellness Wellbars that made her feel anything but well.

"Who wants worms in their pantry, their kitchen cabinet or wherever they keep their dog supplies?" she asked. "It's not right. It needs to be recalled, period."

Von Johnson took QiQi to the veterinarian for an examination and to make sure the worms weren't making her sick. She also went to PetSmart in Aventura, where she bought the product.

She and the manager opened other packages of the Wellness dog treats and they all had worms, Von Johnson said.

"Her arms full of boxes with worms in them," Von Johnson said. "She cleared her shelf immediately."

Even though PetSmart removed the worm-infested boxes, Von Johnson was still battling the business.

Patricia Von Johnson says she took QiQi to a veterinarian after discovering worms in her dog treats.

"My biggest concern now is getting this product off of the pet store shelves and getting this product out of the homes of pet owners," she said.

"The quality and safety of our products are of the utmost importance to us," WellPet said in a statement. "All of our manufacturing facilities and warehouses have robust insect control programs in place to further ensure the quality of our products. Insects can come from many places along the distribution channel."

Qiqi received a clean bill of health from the vet, but Von Johnson isn't buying that the treats make dogs happy.

"They're saying other dogs aren't harmed by it and they're saying that it's non-parasitic, but I don't know if I believe them," she said.

Local 10 went to the PetSmart and found the Wellness bar boxes clean.

WellPet said even if a dog eats one of the bones filled with worms, they are nontoxic and non-parasitic.

Von Johnson got her money back for the creepy-crawly treats and for QiQi's vet bill. 

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