PETCO short on some pet food brands after FDA seizure

Monday, June 30, 2008 | 5:28 p.m. CDT; updated 2:20 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

COLUMBIA — Several shelves might be empty for a while at PETCO. The store, located at 2101 W. Broadway, is out of certain brand-name pet foods including Purina, Hill’s Science Diet and Natural Choice after the FDA ordered the seizure of stock at a distribution center.

U.S. Marshals seized various animal food products stored in unsanitary conditions at the PETCO Animal Supplies Distribution Center in Joliet, Ill., according to an FDA release. The seizure, which later caused the shortage in pet food at the Columbia PETCO, was carried out on June 19, according to the release.

“During an FDA inspection of a PETCO distribution center in April 2008, widespread and active rodent and bird infestation was found,” the release said. “Another FDA inspection in May found continuing and widespread infestation.”

In a letter, PETCO CEO Jim Myers said the company has raised the standards of cleanliness in the Joliet facility since the initial inspection.

“According to the FDA, there is no indication that any pet food that has passed through our Joliet facility is unsafe,” Myers said in the letter.

The Joliet center distributes products to 16 states in the Midwest, including Missouri, Kansas and Illinois.

Most local veterinary clinics get pet food supplies directly from the brand distributor. Those clinics, as well as other pet food stores, will not be affected by the PETCO shortage.

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