MOUNT LAUREL, N.J. (AP) - Thousands of pet owners whose dogs and
cats died last year after eating contaminated pet food traced to
China could be close to a $32 million settlement.
A federal judge in New Jersey is scheduled hear oral arguments on the final proposal today.
The settlement allows pet owners to apply for expenses associated with deaths and illnesses.
It doesn't include any money for humans' pain and suffering, which has angered some pet owners.
In addition to the $8 million they have already agreed to pay owners of sickened pets, the pet food companies would put up $24 million for the settlement.
More than 9,500 people in the U.S. and Canada had filed claims as of the end of September.
Others are reserving the right to sue separately.
Few have filed objections to the settlement.