The junkie nation has sunk to a whole new low of degenerate, criminal behavior in its never-ending mission to score dope. Veterinarians all over the United States are reportedly seeing a nasty influx of drug addicts who are abusing animals just to get their hands on opioid medications.
It seems that addicts have discovered that they can fly under the radar of prescription drug-monitoring programs, which are active in most states across the nation, by taking an injured pet to a local veterinary hospital and scamming the staff out of a medication known a Tramadol.
The drug is typically used as a mild painkiller for cancer patients, but veterinarians have found it to be an excellent treatment for dogs suffering from arthritis and other conditions that challenge their quality of life.
And it’s super cheap.
In comparison to other, more commonly abused pain medications, such as Oxycontin, which can run at least $10 per pill, a bottle of 1,000 Tramadol capsules wholesales for only around $25.
“They’ve gotten very sophisticated in how they obtain drugs and go about their activities,” Jim Arnold, chief of policy and liaison for the diversion control division at the DEA, told the New York Post.
However, the real problem is that before someone can bamboozle a vet into giving them a prescription for this drug, these scoundrels must first beat, cut or inflict other savage bodily harms to an animal—most of the time, it’s their own pet.
In Kentucky, a woman by the name of Heather D. Pereira, was charged for slicing her 4-year-old Golden Retriever on the leg with a disposable razor—all just to get some Tramadol. Reports show that Pereira cut her dog on at least two separate occasions to get the drug. Fortunately, the vet eventually noticed that the cuts were too clean to be an accident.
Pereira was convicted and sentenced to prison for trying to obtain a controlled substance by fraud. But she was never convicted of torturing an animal.
In Oregon last year, law enforcement seized over 100,000 Tramadol pills and rescued more than a dozen dogs during a raid. The whole rotten scene, which included abusing dogs to get vets to hand over pills, was said to be a racket to sell the painkiller on the black market.
Many other incidents involving animals being abused by drug seekers have surfaced all over the country. The scam usually begins with a new client walking into a vet’s office with a seriously injured animal. Sometimes the pet owner will even ask for Tramadol by name. According to some reports, the owner of the treated animal will then call the vet back in a couple of days and make up an excuse, like “the kids dropped the pills in the toilet,” just to get a refill.
But while no vet wants to believe that people would intentionally hurt an animal for a handful of pills, especially a family pet, this scam has been going on long enough that the warning signs are now clear.
“We’re really looking for things that don’t match up,” Atlanta veterinarian Dr. Duffy Jones told CBS News. “As we start to question the owner, we look at the owner’s response.”
Unfortunately, ever since the concept of people harming animals for painkillers has become a reality, a growing number of veterinary offices have refused to carry Tramadol. Instead, some of them are opting to try other approaches to treating pet pain before considering medication—something that is undoubtedly forcing many animals to suffer unnecessarily.
“If a dog’s in pain, they really need them,” Jones said.