Gaines Pet Food Corp. has agreed to pay $44,000, and stop running a misleading consumer offer, to settle a lawsuit brought by the Los Angeles County district attorney's office, officials said Wednesday.
A consumer had complained to the district attorney's office that she had received a promotional offer in a bag of Gaines dog food that said she could get a $5 rebate on a veterinary bill by filling out a questionnaire about the care of her pet dog.
"Instead of getting $5 back, what she got was a catalogue of other Gaines products she could buy," Deputy Dist. Atty. Patricia Horikawa said. "To get the $5 rebate form, she had to fill out an order form and include her dog's veterinary bill for $20 or more, plus she had to send in proof of purchase markers from four boxes of Gaines dried dog food or 24 labels from Gaines Cycle canned dog food."
Ron Bottrell, a spokesman for Quaker Oats Co., which acquired Gaines in October, 1986, said the pet food company had ended the promotion before Quaker took over.