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I just received an e-mail from my friend about this. What a horrible experience for a dog and it's owners to have to go through. Kudos to the pet store for pulling them off the shelf - shame on the manufacturer for ignoring the issue!
I received this letter today from the manufacturer of one kind of pimple ball:
"From: Haley Birk
Sent: Thursday, August 21, 2008 10:32 AM
Subject: RE: Pimple ball with bell
Thank you for your recent note expressing concern over the Four Paws® Pimple Ball with Bell. We were equally alarmed to learn that a dog may have injured himself while playing with this toy.
Dogs have been enjoying the Pimple Ball with Bell for more than a decade with over 500,000 units sold. In all the years this product has been on the market, this is the first injury of this nature that we are aware of. Unfortunately, accidents sometimes happen. That’s why we recommend that dogs always be supervised when they are playing with any toy. We take great care in developing safe products for pets and their owners.
At this point we have identified the problem and are not shipping any more Pimple Balls. We have contacted customers that carry this product and have asked them to immediately return their inventory.
Thank you for your concern and feedback. Please know that we are in direct communication with the pet owner whose dog was injured. At Four Paws, happy pets and satisfied pet owners are our number one priority. Rest assured we will continue to work hard to deliver on our priority.
Oh my God is this horrifying. And of course I started thinking about the toys my dog has. She loves Kongs, and at first I was thinking, same concept, but no, Kongs have a hole at both ends, which would prevent the vacuum from being created.
These poor people who have lost their pets or have suffered with their pets. I don't even know what to say.