Euthanasia Drug Discovered in Some Evanger’s Canned Dog Food



Evanger’s Dog & Cat Food is expanding its recall of Hunk of Beef Au Jus dog food and is now also recalling Evanger’s Braised Beef due to “potential adulteration with pentobarbital.”

The latest recall includes these 12-ounce cans of these products (the numbers are the second half of the barcode, found on the back of the product label):

  • Evanger’s: Hunk of Beef — 20109
  • Evanger’s: Braised Beef — 20107

The products have expiration dates of December 2019 through January 2021. They were distributed online and through independent boutique pet stores nationwide. According to Evanger’s, this voluntary recall affects only Hand Packed Beef Products, in which the meat is placed in the can by hand, not machine.


Another brand of dog food, Against the Grain Pulled Beef with Gravy Dinner for Dogs, has also been voluntarily recalled because it may contain traces of pentobarbital.

How the heck did a euthanasia drug end up in dog food?!


Evanger's Dog Food recalled for euthansia drugs March 2017

If you or anyone you know feeds dogs Evanger’s Hunk of Beef Au Jus canned food, be aware that traces of pentobarbital, a drug used to euthanize dogs, was discovered in one lot of these products.

In late December, a Pug named Talula died after eating the food. Five other dogs were sickened. On Feb. 3, Evanger’s announced a voluntary recall, the first in the company’s 82-year history.

When ingested, pentobarbital can cause side effects like “drowsiness, dizziness, excitement, loss of balance, nausea, or in extreme cases, possibly death,” according to the announcement.

The recalled 12-ounce cans were sold online and distributed to retail locations in Washington, California, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, Maryland, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. They were manufactured the week of June 6 to 13, 2016.

As a precaution, Evanger’s is voluntarily recalling four additional lots of the dog food. These are the lot numbers:

  • 1816E03HB
  • 1816E04HB
  • 1816E06HB
  • 1816E07HB
  • 1816E13HB

The second half of the barcode, found on the back of the product label, is 20109.

All the recalled products have an expiration date of June 2020.

Evanger’s is currently testing its Hunk of Beef product and investigating how Pentobarbital got into the food. Its meat product suppliers are all USDA approved.

“We feel that we have been let down by our supplier, and in reference to the possible presence of pentobarbital, we have let down our customers,” the company stated in a press release. “Despite having a relationship for 40 years with the supplier of this specific beef, who also services many other pet food companies, we have terminated our relationship with them.”

The supplier’s meat isn’t used in other Evanger’s products — but it would sure be helpful to know what other pet food companies use this same supplier.

Evanger’s paid for the veterinary bills of the sickened dogs and made a donation to an animal shelter in memory of Talula.

If you bought one of the recalled products, return it to the place of purchase for a full refund. For more information, call Evanger’s at 847-537-0102 weekdays between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Central Time.

Photo credit: U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Laura Goldman

I am a freelance writer and lifelong dog lover. For five years, I was a staff writer for i Love Dogs. When that site shut down, I started this blog...because I STILL Love Dogs!