Veterinarians are claiming opioid drug users are stealing their pet's medications to create drugs. Some people are injuring their pets on purpose in order to get prescription drugs.
Dr. Lisa Ciucci, the owner of Gardens Animal Hospital in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, said, "To think about an animal in pain because the owner is abusing it is the last thing I want to think about."
Addicts are desperate for the high, so they go after their animal's medication. Dr. Ciucci explains to WCVB that some of her patient's owners are blacklisted. Vets in the area tell her not to work with them.
In 2014, a woman in Kentucky was arrested for cutting her dog with a razor so she could take its prescriptions for herself. Dr. Ciucci fears she will see similar cases.
People most commonly request the painkiller Tramadol and the anxiety medication Xanax. They also request Valium, a medication that treats muscle spasms, anxiety, and seizures. Dr. Ciucci explains that people will fabricate stories to obtain their pet's medication.
"Usually it's that the dog jumped on them and they spilled everywhere and they just can't find them or pick them up--that seems to be the most common excuse."
In order to make sure someone is telling the truth, she will give the animal a physical exam. If the symptoms of the animal do not match the owner's story, she does not prescribe pet medication.