A judge in Camden granted initial approval to a settlement in which companies that manufactured or sold contaminated pet food would compensate pet owners for all costs related to the death or illness of their dogs and cats.
Under the deal, pet owners in the United States and Canada would be notified of the settlement by June 16 and would have until early December to submit claims. A final hearing on the $24-million settlement is scheduled for Oct. 14.
The settlement doesn't pay pet owners for pain and suffering from injuries to their pets.
Plaintiffs say more than 1,500 animals died after eating the food, which was contaminated with melamine, a chemical used to make plastic.