NORTH RIDGEVILLE, OH (WOIO) - A dog in North Ridgeville is recovering after overdosing on heroin. Police said it happened on May 23 at a home on Manning Circle.
Officers responded to the home for a welfare check. Police said investigators smelled raw marijuana. The officers went back to the station and got a search warrant.
Authorities said, as they were waiting for the search warrant, a veterinarian with Animal Clinic Northview called and said they were treating a Yorkie that overdosed on heroin.
Veterinarians at the animal clinic gave the small dog Narcan, which saved the dog's life.
"If we think there's any chance this dog is having a toxic overdose of any kind of opioid, naloxone or Narcan is our first line of defense to reverse that drug and to potentially revive them," said Animal Clinic Northview Dr. Abby Taylor.
Animal Clinic Northview isn't commenting on the recent overdose case, but veterinarians want people to know how dangerous and deadly drugs are for pets.
Taylor said the clinic has always had naloxone on hand for surgeries, but recently they began using it for pet overdose emergencies.
"Obviously, with the uptick in heroin use in the last year or so, we've seen a couple cases," said Taylor.
Cleveland Animal Protective League Director of Operations Ayse Dunlap said the APL hasn't seen any cases of dogs overdosing on drugs, but she's upset the epidemic is now impacting animals as well.
"If our community is being impacted so much, it was only a matter of time until our animals get into stuff and this is one of the worst things they can get into," said Dunlap. "I'm actually shocked to hear that the dog made it. I think that's wonderful that they were able to at least get him immediate medical care and save the dog's life"
Taylor said pets react to drugs pretty much the same way people do.
"They'll come in comatose, so not very responsive, probably having a hard time breathing, maybe with a shallow heart rate. Sometimes they've vomited," she said.
For pets, time is of the essence. They have a better chance of surviving if they're treated right away. That's why it's important vets know exactly what happened.
"We can do a lot more for your dog if we know why it's not responsive than if we have to try to figure that out. Those few minutes could be the difference between life and death," Taylor said.
North Ridgeville police said the Yorkie made a full recovery and was returned home to its owners.
While searching the home, officers found a large indoor marijuana grow operation with about 40 plants, dried marijuana and drug paraphernalia.
Cleveland 19 News stopped by the owner's home, but they didn't answer.
Police said the investigation is ongoing. No changes have been filed yet.