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Petco slapped with lawsuit after child was killed by pet rat he bought at their store

By Mason White 10:25 AM February 27, 2014
Pet rat illustration 

By: Hydar Tomar
(Scroll down for video) A family filed a lawsuit against Petco, after their 10-year-old son died from a pet rat they bought at the Petco store.

The family of San Diego, California, was devastated when their son died of rat bite fever he contracted from a pet that was bought at the Petco store.

Aidan Pankey died a few hours after coming down with flu-like symptoms, just two weeks after purchasing a mate for his rat at the Carmel Mountain Petco. Medical examiners in San Diego County, ruled that his death was caused by streptobacillus moniliformis, or rat-bite fever, and now, his family wants unspecified damages from Petco, for failing to prevent his tragic death.

Aidan’s grandmother Sharon Pankey, took the child to the Carmel Mountain Petco to buy him a second rat after he wanted his rat to mate and have babies, but that opportunity never came. Aidan Pankey went from an energetic young boy to his death bed in one day.

When he was feeling ill his family took him to the doctor, who said that he had the flu. Sadly, he died less than 48 hours later. The rat was sent for testing and it was confirmed to have the disease.

Carmel Mountain Petco reportedly buys its rodents from Barney’s Pet Supply, a large wholesaler in Chino, California, and they expect that company to test the rats before selling them.