Dog found with opioids, cocaine, amphetamines won’t be returned to its owner: panel

The B.C. Farm Industry Review Board has rejected an appeal by a Vancouver man whose dog was seized after reports it had overdosed on drugs.

According to a board decision posted online, an appellant referred to as K.R. sought the return of Bailey, a dog seized by the B.C. SPCA that later tested positive for opioids, cocaine and amphetamines.

A hearing panel with the B.C. Farm Industry Review Board — an independent administrative tribunal whose responsibilities include hearing appeals related to animal custody decisions — sided with the rescue agency, saying it is not in Bailey’s interest to return to K.R.

It said the dog should remain with the SPCA and, if possible, be put up for adoption.

The panel heard the rescue agency visited the harm-reduction building where K.R. lives three times before seizing Bailey in December. Harm reduction refers to an approach that focuses on minimizing harm and potential danger associated with substance use and addictive behaviours. 

An SPCA special constable said K.R. “took no responsibility for Bailey having repeatedly overdosed on drugs,” according to the decision.

‘A totally different dog’

The decision says the rescue agency received a complaint last summer from staff at the property, who said Bailey regularly showed signs of heroin intoxication.

Bailey was “a totally different dog” before and after exposure to drugs in the K.R.’s room, the staff member said.

The staff member told the SPCA that there were often as many as 10 people in the room doing drugs and that it had been going on for months. 

“After one hour being inside the room, Bailey’s eyes would be dilated, her tail would be between her legs, her ears would be down, and she would be woozy, coughing and vomiting,” the decision reads. 

The staffer also said a colleague took Bailey to a veterinarian who found fentanyl in the dog’s system. 

Earlier warnings against owner

When an SPCA special constable visited K.R., the dog appeared “happy and healthy,” according to the decision. K.R. denied smoking drugs in front of Bailey.

The constable issued a notice and warned that any failure to protect Bailey could result in legal action. 

On Dec. 11, SPCA returned to the property after a report that Bailey “was lethargic, unable to stand and yelped when moved.”

Powdered cocaine is arranged into lines on reflective surface
Cocaine powder is pictured. According to staff at a Vancouver-based harm-reduction building, Bailey was ‘a totally different dog’ before and after exposure to drugs in its owner’s room. (photopixel / Shutterstock)

K.R. suggested Bailey must have ingested drugs after finding them in the hallways of the property. The constable gave K.R. another warning. 

Two days later, SPCA received another call that “Bailey was lethargic, whimpering, shaking and unable to get up off the ground.”

The property manager later told the SPCA constable that she had given Bailey NARCAN, the nasal spray form of naloxone, which can reverse an opioid overdose. She believed Bailey had overdosed as a result of being in K.R.’s unit.

The SPCA constable and Vancouver police officers executed a search warrant on Dec. 14 and seized Bailey.

Dog placed in foster care

A veterinarian later confirmed Bailey tested positive for opioids, cocaine and amphetamines, “but was clinically OK and did not require further treatment or medical intervention.”

Bailey was then placed in foster care.

According to the decision, K.R. acknowledged using fentanyl and heroin as painkillers, some of which he may have crushed into a powder. He also confirmed that other people in his room used the same drugs and possibly used cocaine and amphetamines.

The panel said it was satisfied that the source of Bailey’s exposure to toxic drugs was K.R.’s unit. It also found that he did “little if anything” to fix the situation prior to the dog being seized.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.