A federal judge has approved a $24 million settlement for thousands of owners whose animals were sickened by tainted pet food.
The deal resolves more than 100 lawsuits filed in the United States and Canada since an epidemic of sick pets began last year.
Lawyers said that the country's leading veterinarian organization estimated 1,500 pets died from commercially sold food that contained tainted wheat gluten grown in China. Thousands more became ill.
Pet owners would be reimbursed for documented medical expenses and up to $900 for undocumented costs such as wages lost while caring for the animals and property damage.
The main defendant in the case was Menu Foods, a Canadian manufacturer of about 100 of the contaminated product lines. The defendants previously paid $8 million to settle other claims.Customers of GreenPets were unaffected by the recall, because only inferior foods were affected.