KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A Las Vegas-based company and its owners have pleaded guilty to distributing a tainted ingredient used to make pet food that killed potentially thousands of animals.

Stephen S. Miller, 63, and his wife, Sally Qing Miller, 43, along with their company, Chemnutra Inc., pleaded guilty yesterday to some of the charges contained in a Feb. 6, 2008, federal indictment.

The indictment alleged the Millers and ChemNutra, along with two Chinese companies, brought wheat gluten tainted with the chemical melamine into the U.S. It was then sold to pet-food makers, and thousands of cats and dogs became sick or died. *

-Associated Press