Family of Boy Killed by Rat-Bite Fever Sues Petco Over Sale of Pet Rat

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The San Diego County family of a 10-year-old boy who was killed by rat-bite fever has sued Petco, alleging the company sold them a pet rat infected with the disease.

Aidan Pankey died last June after contracting rat-bite fever about two weeks after his grandmother bought him a pet rat from a Petco location in San Diego, according to a lawsuit filed Monday against the pet-store chain.

The boy named the pet rat “Alex” and played with him, according to the lawsuit.

On the night of June 11, 2013, the boy woke up in pain, with a fever and stomach problems, according to the complaint.

Wendy Burch reports for the KTLA 5 Morning News on Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014.