Customers of Walmart.com, Sears.com and Amazon.com have taken up social media arms today over an item sold by third-party resellers on each of the three respective sites, resulting in the “Dead Dog Prop” vanishing quickly from listings.
The product description reads: “Foam filled latex prop of a skinned dog with a large tire track squished through its mid torso. Chain attached for dragging purposes. You have seen bloody road kill, this is bloody road kill.”
As of this writing, the three companies above each had a number of customer complaints on their Facebook pages as well as expressions of outrage and disgust directed at them via Twitter as well.
From Sears’ Facebook page: “Halloween or not this is reprehensible. It only encourages the sick individuals that abuse animals. There has been a rash of pet dogs being stolen and skinned alive recently. Shame on you for this horrible item.”
On Walmart’s Facebook account: “I own and operate a large pet hotel and spend literally a thousand dollars with your store on a monthly basis. That will stop the very instant. Your company has long been known as callous but this is the proverbial icing on the cake, as it were. You will NEVER, EVER see another “bloody” red cent of my hard earned money. You are the lowest of life. I am beginning a petition of my clients and posting this in my lobby as well. I thought I had seen it all.”
It’s a similar scene at Amazon’s Facebook: “You can delete comments from your customers (which isn’t very wise), but the word is out that you are selling that dead dog prop and that is sick and promoting violence in this country. We will continue to protest until you take it down.”
Those comments are just a few of many since the controversy erupted yesterday and continued on through today. It’s worth noting that this product has been available elsewhere on the Internet since at least July 2012.
All three retailers have pulled the item from their listings, as of early this afternoon.
But only Sears has offered any kind of public comment on the issue thus far. And it’s the only retailer of the three that allows customers to post comments directly on its Facebook page, while customers have taken to commenting on unrelated posts on Amazon’s and Walmart’s pages), responding to various people with: “We appreciate your feedback. This item is a 3rd party Sears Marketplace product that does not abide with our guidelines and is being removed.”
A Sears spokesman echoed that statement when Consumerist reached out to the company, writing: “The item is a third-party Sears Marketplace product that does not abide with our guidelines and has been removed.”
I was able to dig up one reply to a customer’s complaint on Walmart’s Facebook page, but not without a lot of searching: “Thank you, Sue! We hear your concerns. This item is no longer sold by Walmart.”
Consumerist has also reached out to Amazon and Walmart regarding the Dead Dog controversy and will update if we hear anything back.
UPDATE: An Amazon spokesman tells Consumerist: “We do not sell that item on Amazon.” We’ve asked for clarification over whether the previously-listed item was pulled by Amazon or the third-party seller.
UPDATE TWO: Walmart gave Consumerist the following statement: “We were very unhappy to see that this item got onto our site through one of our Marketplace retailers. We quickly began the process of removing it from the site and it is no longer available. We are following up with the Marketplace retailer to ensure this doesn’t happen again, and we apologize that the item ever appeared.”
*Thanks to Consumerist readers Samantha and John for the heads up.