Agents warn of owners abusing their pets for painkillers


KOAT HAS PLEDGED TO SPOTLIGHT THE OPIOID CRISIS HERE IN OUR COMMUNITY. ACTION 7 NEWS REPORTER MEGAN CRUZ HAS TONIGHT’S STATE OF ADDICTION. MEGAN: SUSAN WHITELEY HAS BEEN A LOYAL CLIENT AT GOOD SHEPHERD ANIMAL CLINIC FOR YEARS.>>THEY KNOW MY DOGS AND ARE GREAT WITH THEM. MEGAN: TODAY, SHE’S HERE WITH ROWDY >>HE IS ACTUALLY PRETTY HEALTHY. MEGAN: BUT ANOTHER ONE OF HER DOGS –>>SHE HAS SOME LIVER ISSUES. MEGAN: GOOD SHEPHERD’S OWNER DR. JULIA SKAINS SAYS SOMETIMES, OUR PETS NEED MEDICINE. SHE SAYS SOME OF WHAT SHE PRESCRIBES, ARE PAINKILLERS USED FOR PEOPLE TOO. SHE SAYS THEY HAVE SEVERAL DIFFERENT OPIOID MEDICATIONS HERE, SOME ARE PILLS BUT OTHERS YOU HAVE TO INJECT. POTENT DRUGS THEY LOCK UP IN SAFES. HOW MANY CAMERAS DO HAVE?>>NINE OR 10. THE ROOMS THAT HAVE THOSE SAFES, I HAVE A CAMERA IN THE ROOM. MEGAN: SO HOPEFULLY, THIS DOESN’T HAPPEN TO THEM. ALBUQUERQUE POLICE SAY THIS IS SURVEILLANCE VIDEO OF A MAN STEALING $10,000 WORTH OF MEDICINES FROM ANOTHER ANIMAL CLINIC. DRUG ENFORCEMENT ADMINISTRATION AGENTS SAY SEVERAL CLINICS HAVE BEEN ROBBED OVER THE LAST FEW MONTHS.>>POSSIBLY THEY FEEL THEY CAN GET AWAY WITH IT IN AN ANIMAL CLINIC. IT IS PROBABLY EQUALLY SPLIT BETWEEN PEOPLE LOOKING FOR DRUGS TO TAKE AND SELL. MEGAN: THE FBI SAYS THE STREET VALUE OF CERTAIN PILLS RIGHT NOW ABOUT A DOLLAR A MILLIGRAM. EVEN MORE SHOCKING, SOME WANTING THAT PAY OFF OR THEIR NEXT FIX SO BAD THEY ARE WILLING TO ABUSE THEIR OWN PETS TO GET THOSE MEDS.>>I’VE SEEN SOME REPORTING ON THAT NATIONALLY, AS FAR AS I’M AWARE, WE HAVEN’T SEEN THAT LOCALLY. MEGAN: SHE SAYS THAT IS A PAINFUL PILL TO SWALLOW.>>THESE ARE MY BABIES. TO KNOW SOMEONE WOULD HURT THEIR DOGS TO GET MEDS, THAT IS SO WRONG. MEGAN: HOW VIGILANT TO VETERINARIANS NEED TO BE NOW?>>VERY. VERY.

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