“IT was one of the worst days of my life,” insists British expat Dee Murray recalling the heartbreaking moment she had to put down her beloved pet Aly.
The 10-year-old German Shepherd needed a lethal injection after suffering serious kidney failure linked to Mercadona dog food.
One of thousands of victims of the supermarket petfood scandal, broken by the Olive Press 10 days ago, the dog, which she had raised since she was a five-week-old puppy, had been left in a crippling state due to an excess of vitamin D in the own-brand pet food Compy.
“I am so angry that Mercadona ended her life and that I put her through all that pain by feeding it to her,” continues Murray, who lives in Murcia.
Shockingly, Murray is one of thousands of pet owners across Spain who have seen their dogs become sick after eating the pet food which was contaminated due to ‘human error.’
Now a group of owners are joining together to take legal action against Mercadona and the manufacturer.
“My fear is that although they may reimburse individuals for their vets bills – what about any ongoing costs?
“Some animals may now have to be on special food for the rest of their life,” claims bar owner John Beachcomber, in Mojacar, who launched a Facebook page to warn owners of the scandal.
It came after his friend’s beloved Labrador-cross Goldie had to be put on a drip five hours a day.
“And what about those people who have lost their beloved pets – surely some compensation is due?” he added.
It has been a harrowing fortnight since the Olive Press brought the issue to the country’s attention via its website a week ago last Friday.
We revealed the supermarket’s Compy wet dog food was linked with kidney failure in dogs, an allegation that was confirmed in the following days.
The food has since been removed from the shelves in 190 stores in Albacete, Alicante, Murcia and Almeria and Mercadona has now agreed to pay vets bills in several cases.
A spokesman from the manufacturer Tunaliment was also forced to make a public apology.
But questions have been raised as to why it took so long for the problem to come to light.
It is also apparent that the problem was not just confined to a small corner of Andalucia, Murcia and Alicante as claimed by the manufacturer. The Olive Press has spoken to nearly a dozen victims from around the Costa del Sol and even in Madrid.
“I find it unbelievable that pet food can go to the mass market and cause this degree of problem – surely they test it on a regular basis?” questioned Carol Cook, on the Costa Calida, who is waiting for the results of a blood test to know if her Jack Russell Tosh will have any long term effects.
Meanwhile the apologies come too late for those who have already lost their pets.
“I am devastated that I killed my dog because of feeding him this food,” said Nicola Lambert who had to put down her puppy Rick.
Meanwhile Adolfo Munoz, in Madrid, whose dogl Duna had to be put down added: “It’s all too late for my dog.”