HONOLULU (KHNL) - For the first time, Hawaii residents are taking legal action against one of the companies involved in a nationwide pet food recall.
They've filed two lawsuits against Menu Foods.
The first is filed on behalf on thousands who bought the tainted pet foods. And the second suit is for 8 local residents who suffered the death or illness of their pets.
Andrew Garcia is one of the plaintiffs. He wanted to treat his dog to a new type of food. So he purchased a Menu Foods product. But within weeks, his beloved pet changed.
"Later on he couldn't walk, his two legs in the back couldn't walk. I would have to carry him, take him outside," said Garcia.
In March, his dog passed away.
"You could just see it in his eyes. Help me, help me Dad," said Garcia.
The Wahiawa man is one of 8 Hawaii residents involved in a multi-party personal injury suit against Menu Foods.
"They hold the health and the hearts of millions of people in America, in their hands, and they let us down," said David Pang, plaintiff.
Pang is also suing. His dog, Kuma, died in February.
"He was turning down his food, started losing weight, then he couldn't drink water, then he couldn't stand up," said Pang.
The recalled products contained ingredients from China that were contaminated. Attorney Emily Gardner says these lawsuits could've been avoided if Menu Foods took a precautionary step.
"And that step was to test or check the ingredients that are put in its pet foods prior to doing so," she said.
Since the recall began in March, more than 130 cat and dog food products have been pulled off store shelves. The local attorney says she's aware of more than 50 lawsuits that have been filed across the country.
"We're doing a lawsuit, you know? And people are talking about money. I'm retired, I got my pension, I got the money, I don't have my dog," said Pang.