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LOS ANGELES - Petco says it removed Chinese-made dog and cat treats from store shelves because of concerns they have sickened thousands of pets and killed 1,000 dogs in the U.S. since 2007.

The company's Monday announcement makes it the first national pet retailer to pull the treats. Rival PetSmart said Monday that it plans to have them off shelves by March.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says initial tests haven't connected the Chinese jerky and rawhide treats to the illnesses, but both retailers vowed in May to ban them.

The FDA targeted the treats after receiving more than 4,800 complaints of illnesses, including the deaths, after pets ate jerky treats from China.

Petco Vice President John Sturm says all treats are now made in the U.S. or places such as the Netherlands, New Zealand, Australia and South America.

Copyright 2015 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Petco pulls Chinese treats amid fears they sickened pets

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