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Settlement funds in pet food recall may be delayed

BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Modified: December 31, 2008 at 6:51 am •  Published: December 31, 2008

/> Most of the food contained Chinese-made wheat gluten laced with melamine, an industrial chemical used to make plastics and fertilizers.

Menu Foods’ other companies involved in making, distributing and selling the food agreed to pay pet owners up to $24 million in a deal approved by a judge in October.

The settlement also includes Canadian pet owners, who have until Jan. 27 to file claims.

While the settlement does not compensate owners for pain and suffering associated with the death or illness of their pets, it was structured to pay up to 100 percent for a variety of other costs — from vet bills to replacing carpet ruined by sick pets.

Pet owners can get up to $900 for undocumented claims — for example, if they didn’t save receipts that showed they bought the pet food contaminated with melamine.