A puppy owner was left 'physically sick' when she discovered mould and live maggots crawling inside two separate pouches of dog food.
Jade Cropper from Ellesmere Port had purchased a number of Pedigree food pouches for her nine-week-old chihuahua Loki because the family she bought him off had used the brand to feed him.
Loki had been experiencing tummy troubles all week but Jade assumed this was to do with moving to a new home and continued to feed him the pouches.
But when she opened a fresh pouch to feed Loki this morning she was overwhelmed by a foul smell coming from inside it and, on closer inspection, saw the food was covered in green mould.
Disgusted, she opened another pouch and was horrified to find that this one was crawling with live maggots.
When she contacted Pedigree to complain, the company said the incidents would have been caused by a small fault in the packaging that would be 'unnoticeable' to the naked eye, and offered her vouchers towards a new box of puppy food.
"The smell was so foul I was physically sick," said Jade. "I phoned Pedigree and and they said it will be damaged packaging but I couldn't see any damage.
"I don't feel like they are being sympathetic at all - all they have offered me is vouchers towards a new box. They are expecting me to go out of my way and buy packaging to send them the remaining pouches back in the post.
"They also advised me to take him to the vets but I assume they expect me to pay for it and I can't afford to go this month."
Jade added: "I've used Pedigree treats before with my other dog but not the food. He was being fed it from the previous family he was with so I just bought it so it didn't upset his stomach.
"I've been feeding my puppy these pouches all week and he has been having tummy troubles which I put down to moving house and the occasional treat. He could have ended up seriously ill if I had not noticed."
A Mars Petcare spokesperson said: “We are sorry to hear about the issue. The quality of Mars Petcare products is our absolute priority. We have been in touch with Jade throughout the course of today and have asked her to return the product so we can get to the bottom of this.”
The spokesperson added that they have asked Jade to return the items to their free post address so that she doesn’t have to pay.