Update: Willett posted an update after leaving the complaint. PetSmart contacted Willett by sending her a compassionate letter of sympathy and informing her that they have begun an investigation into the safety of the product with the product manufacturer. Willett says she will be discussing the safety of the product further with a PetSmart representative on Monday.
Original Story: When behavioral therapist and animal rescuer Kari Willett purchased Top Paw’s Airtight Pet Food Storage Containers from PetSmart about a month ago, she was impressed by how well they stacked. Willett is an animal lover who has rescued and trained both dogs and cats for the last eight years, so she thought she found a tidy, convenient way to store her animal companions’ food.
Wednesday, Willett returned home from work to a devastating scene. Her beloved cat of five years, Mowgli, had died inside of the airtight container.
Willett said that though the Top Paw Airtight Pet Food Storage Container’s lid had been closed and locked, Mowgli managed to get himself inside the bin, and was accidentally trapped inside the airtight container. Willett said the lid can’t be opened from the inside, and that Mowgli suffocated after being trapped inside the pet food container. Now, Willett worries that the same thing could happen to another animal.
Willett says she returned the container, puffy-eyed from grief, to her local PetSmart where the manager, she said, was very sympathetic and seemed very concerned. The manager of the PetSmart gave Willett a full refund on the containers and gave her a toll-free number to call to report the incident. In the meantime, Kari has taken to social media to alert others of the possibility of danger from using Top Paw’s Airtight Pet Food Storage Containers in a place where animals could access the bins.
“As many of you know, my sleeping companion, my caretaker from five hospital visits just this past calendar year died tragically yesterday. I do not post for sympathy but in hope of protecting others from what I experienced yesterday. About a month ago I bought two “top paw” food storage bins from petsmart. I loved how sleek and stackable they were. Unfortunately, my cat of five years was able to open the lock, climb in (granted to steal extra rations), however after climbing in the bin, he was trapped when the lock fell back down on him. He was unable to get back out. Mowgli died when he ran out of oxygen while I was gone from home. When I came home to feed my family, I found him in his food bin. It is one of the more tragic experiences in my life. I would do anything to hold him. I feel incredible guilt not being there for him. I hate the last image I have of him is from this accident. If any of you have these bins, I beg you to take them back. You may tell them about mowgli and let them know you want to protect your family from this same fate. Please feel free to share.”
Mowgli’s litter-mate, a kitty she calls “Blu” or sometimes “Booboo,” is heartbroken, Willett says.
“I used to find them sleeping in a pile… Blu has been crying all night long saddest thing in the world.”
Knowing she might have to offer evidence in order to prove that her cat died, she did provide a photograph. She shared it with some hesitation, she said, because she really wants people to be aware of the reality of what happened to her feline companion. The image has been posted at the end of this article, and may be upsetting to some Inquisitr readers. Discretion is advised.
Not long after posting her tragic story of what could seem like a fluke accident, another animal lover shared her story about the same airtight pet food storage bins on Willett’s Facebook post.
“I have tossed mine already,” Adeia Strong wrote. “Rory got stuck in it a few weeks ago and luckily we got to him before something worse happened. I am so sorry about your loss!”
The number the manager at PetSmart gave Willett to call to report the tragic incident involving the Top Paw’s Airtight Pet Food Storage Container was 1-888-839-9638.
[Photos via Kari Willett, PetSmart]