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Animal Rights Activists Warn Public About Toxic Pet Treats Made In China

LOS ANGELES (   —  Animal rights activists on Wednesday urged the public to avoid pet treats made in China following more reports locally of death and ilness.

The Food and Drug Administration recently said more than 1,000 deaths nationwide are believed to be linked to the toxic treats since 2007.

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles said its stores -- the "spcaLA Marketplace" in Long Beach and the "spcaLA Minimart" in Hawthorne -- do not sell pet treats or pet foods made in China.

Both locations only sell premium pet foods, with the focus on American made products, said spcaLA President Madeline Bernstein..

"SpcaLA's commitment to selling premium pet food and treats, helps your pet, shelter pets, and our economy," she said.

Profits from sales by the agency go to help fund the organization's animal cruelty investigations, violence-prevention programs and a variety of shelter services for abandoned and abused animals, she said.

On Wednesday, Petco also announced they were removing the jerky treats from their shelves.

According to the Food and Drug Administration, in addition to the 1,000 reported deaths there are more than 4,800 complaints of illness linked to the products from China since 2007.

The FDA has been unable to establish what was causing the pets to die and develop kidney-related problems.

Pet owners who believe their animals have been sickened by the treats are urged to contact the FDA.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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