My husband had to have open heart surgery the 26th Of November 2012. We are from Glade spring Va and his surgery was in Asheville NC. My brother and his wife took care of our dogs while we were gone. I was on my way home on the 30th of November to stay at home for the weekend while my husbands daughter was spending the weekend in Asheville. My sister in law sent me a picture of my dogs earlier in the day and Maddie was the center of them. About 20 minutes before I picked them up Maddie got a rawhide treat and immediately fell dead in my brother and sister in laws kitchen. I was about 3 minutes away from their house I called to say I would be there in a few. My sister in law screamed and said don’t come home Maddies dead. I felt like my heart would stop. She was born in our home and I have her mother and her grandparents on her mothers side. Maddie was my husbands baby and he had just had open heart surgery and gottern out of surgical ICU just that afternoon I went in their house and they had Maddie laid out on a towel in a chair.I picked up her lifeless body and sat down and all I could do was rock her and cry how am I going to tell Roger.I brought her home and my other dogs and made that call to my husband. He just couldn’t understand why . I called my vet on the 1st of December and asked him to perform an autopsy on her to see the cause of death. He had me bring her to his office that Saturday morning so they could preserve her until Monday. He did the autopsy on Monday and called me and said she had choked to death on a raw hide bone.All her organs were fine. He found the bone still in her prescious little throat. He said no one could have helped her it was so deep in her throat. On the bag of the rawhides stated it was for small dogs up to 20 pounds. Maddie weighed 5 pounds. I had anothe Shih Tzu that weighed 18 pounds. How can something be safe for her little body and for the 18 pound one the same.I contacted Hartz and they had me to send in the bag along with a statement from me and from my vet saying how she died and her medical history which was perfect. She had never been sick.I did research on the internet trying to find one as small as she was and I didn’t find anything under $2500.00 up to $5000.00. All I asked for was for them to pay for another small Shih Tzu to present my husband with. I knew it could never replace maddie but I thought it may offer a little comfort. I sent documentation of pictures showing him on life support after the surgery and many pictures of her on his lap and shoulders. And the final picture was of me holding her lifeless body before I burried her. They said it would take 4-6 weeks to investigate. During that 7 weeks it took them they had pulled off all the denta shield rawhide treats that had the up to 20 pounds on them from our area and changed the bag to just say small dogs. On the back of the new package it reads As with all chewing products supervise your dog while chewing. She was being supervised but my vet said NO ONE COULD HAVE HELPED MADDIE. Then they went on to say in their letter to us they were sorry for our loss but had deermined Hartz wasn’t responsible and it is almost impossible for a dog of any size to choke to death on them. Hartz is a very wicked company. They know their product killed our dog. My husband and I are going to open up a class action lawsuit. Anyone out their if they lose a pet that isn’t old or sick I would highly reccomend an autopsy. We have the documentation from our vet and we have the bone he gave us that he took from her throat. It’s time these big company answer to what they have done to our pets. I’m sure as all of you pet owners you feel the same way . They are our children.