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PLANO (CBS11) – A Plano family almost lost their beloved pooch after he ate part of a chewable dog toy ― a Hartz Chew N’Clean Tuff Bone.

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Hartz told the family they are reviewing the incident, but for pet owner Hannah Pirasteh, that’s just not enough.

She bought their Maltese Yorkie mix named Cesar three years ago.

“I’m like… this one, I have to have you,” said Hannah Pirasteh, when she first saw him.

But Hannah’s father, Russ Pirasteh, said it was the other way around.

“Actually, I think he was the one who chose you Hannah,” he said.

Now, the Plano family can’t imagine life without their furry family member.

“He is our family,” said Russ Pirasteh.

But last month, the Pirasteh family had a big scare when Cesar stopped eating and couldn’t drink or walk.

“We thought he was going to die,” said Russ Pirasteh.

The family rushed Cesar to his veterinarian at the East Plano Animal Clinic who performed an emergency surgery.

The operation cost $2,200 but the family said they would have paid anything to save him.

“They opened him up from here to here, they took the piece out,” said Russ Pirasteh.

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Hartz Chew N'Clean Tuff Bone (credit: Hartz)

Hartz Chew N’Clean Tuff Bone (credit: Hartz)

The vet removed the chew toy from Cesar’s stomach and gave it the Pirastehs.

“We did sort of reverse engineering to figure it out,” said Russ Pirasteh about the realization that a Hartz Chew N’Clean Tuff Bone was what had caused Cesar so much pain. “I took the pieces to the vet. They agreed that this was the same as this,” said Russ pointing to the toy.

He immediately called the Hartz consumer hotline to report what happened.

“They were extremely rude, they didn’t even want to hear it,” said Pirasteh.

Pirasteh said he then complained to the Better Business Bureau in New Jersey where the company is located. Turns out the Pirasteh family isn’t alone. Hartz has a D- rating on the BBB website with 14 other complaints about several issues on file.

“We did a search and we found the exact similar thing happened to other folks,” said Pirasteh.

CBS11 found eight people with similar stories about the Clean N’ Chew Tuff Bone on Hartzvictims.org, a site where people complain about various Hartz products.

On the actual Hartz website, an unanswered question is posted by a pet owner under the Hartz Chew N’Clean Tuff Bone asking, “My dog is eating this, is this okay?”

Russ Pirasteh said the company responded to the BBB about their complaint but refused any liability.

While the Hartz Chew N’Clean Tuff Bone package says to “remove or replace if excessive wear or damage occurs,” Pirasteh’s biggest concern is that it doesn’t say anything on the label or website about the toy being inedible or the dangers of a dog ingesting the product.

“It says chewable, bacon flavored. We would have never bought it if that was the case,” said Pirasteh.

Hartz released the following statement in an email to CBS11:

 

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