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September 21, 2009

Dog chokes on chewy; owner wants others to be careful

A woman named Bobbie Spiegel of Plantation, whose 6-year-old Shih Tzi, Nikko, died on Aug. 16 after choking on a chewy, has asked me to alert others to the danger that these treats present. In her case, the chewy was the Windee (a/k/a Moo tubes & Beef Trachea) made by Jones Natural Chews. But let me hasten to add that choking can happen with ANY brand of chew, and they should NEVER be given when someone isn't closely monitoring the situation.

I tried to reach the Jones company by email and phone, without success. I have not independently confirmed any of Ms. Spiegel's assertions. It's tragic that a beloved pet's life ended in this way.

This is Ms. Spiegel's initial e-mail. I have edited out potentially libelous language.

"On Saturday night, (8/16/09) my 6 year old Shih Tzu, Nikko, was eating a dog chewie named Windee (a/k/a Moo tubes & Beef Trachea). He began choking and I tried but could not get the Windee chew from him. I thought the choking stopped before I went to bed but the next day I woke up and Nikko was dead.

The necropsy performed that morning revealed approximately 2 inchesof the chew lodged in the trachea leading to death by asphyxiation. The 6" Windee chew is manufactured by Jones Natural Chews Company (the label says Jones Gourmet Chews Company) located in Rockford Illinois. I purchased the Windee from SitStay.com. The chew is advertised as "good chewing for all size dogs". There are absolutely no warnings that choking can occur and cause death...

I contacted Jones Natural Chews company and spoke to Dean Jones, one of the owners. I told him what happened and he said he would send me a letter advising as to what would be done. When I didn't receive the letter I called him back and he said the letter was sent. I still have not received any letter. I requested they take this product off the market so that it would not happen to another dog. He said they would NOT take the Windee chew off the market. I then requested a warning label on the product that choking can occur and lead to death. He said he spoke to their Attorneys and they may put some type of warning that "Choking could be hazardous" That is not sufficient. It minimizes the reality, death can occur.

I know our dogs love bones and chewies and we all love to see our dogs happy BUT the consequences are not worth it....I can't tell you how much I loved Nikko, I bred him and thus had him

since the day he was born. IF you have had a dog die because of choking [on a chewy] please notify me at fortheloveofnikko@gmail.com.

Thank you.

Bobbie Spiegel''

Ms. Spiegel also fowarded lengthy correspondence between herself and the Jones company. Here is the company's final e-mail to her, after she told the company she hadn't gotten a reply to her inquiry. I have obscured her address.

      I checked on the letter we sent and it was written on the 28th of August ( the Friday after our original discussion ). The office informs me it may have hit the post office on the 1st or 2nd of September.
     The letter was sent to: Bobbie Spiegel
                                    XXXX N University Dr
                                     Suite XXX   #XXX
                                     Plantation  Fl  33322
     Because I am over production my days tend to be earlier . I am usually here around 6 am and try to leave around 3pm whenever possible. I was not pretending anything I simply was gone for the day.
     I am very sorry for your loss but I do think any further communication would not be productive.
 Thank you,
Dean Jones
Jones Natural Chews Co
815/874-9500 ext 206''


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