State Capitol News
3:58 pm
Tue August 28, 2012

Pet Stores Facing State Inspections

State workers have been out inspecting pet food stores to ensure that Fido gets the same consumer protections as his masters.

The Department of Weights and Measures regularly goes to grocery stores and other retailers to ensure that customers get what they expect. But the agency's Shawn Marquez said the work does not stop there.

"The pet food stores are nothing more than the grocery stores for animals," Marquez said. "And if anyone has a dog or a cat, there's no one who gets to escape not going to one of these places."

The inspectors found that the prices showing up at register scanners were different at nearly half of the 22 pet food stores chosen at random, though he said the error more often than not benefitted the consumer. They also found situations where bags of dog and cat food, even from national companies, did not weigh what was advertised on the front. But Marquez said there may be a legitimate explanation.

"It has a tendency, because of what it's made of, to lose moisture," Marquez said. "And it tends to lose weight. So the older the product is, chances are that it may have lost some moisture."

But whatever the reason, Marquez said if a bag is short-weighted, it cannot be sold.