For anyone who has ever toyed with such a lunatic notion as feeding an animal high-powered drugs like cocaine, the latest tale out of the United Kingdom should be considered a warning. Speed has the power to turn man’s best friend into a blood thirsty fiend.
A report from the Guardian indicates that a Staffordshire Bull Terrier named Major fatally crushed its owner’s larynx in front of a BBC documentary crew after consuming large amounts of crack cocaine and morphine.
Animal experts say the attack, which resulted in injuries that led to the untimely demise of the dog’s owner, 41-year-old Mario Perivoitos, was brought on, at least in part, by the temporary agitation caused by ingesting the drugs.
Veterinary toxicologist Nicholas Carmichael determined that the dog had substantial levels of both intoxicating substances in its system at the time of the attack.
“It is very likely that this dog had consumed drugs, probably eaten them,” he told The Daily Mail. “It is almost impossible to say whether that will make the dog attack, but it does make them respond abnormally.”
Carmichael added: “They become very excited and agitated. It is more likely that this attack happened because this dog had taken cocaine.”
The whole rotten scene unfolded after Perivoitos invited the film crew back to his home in North London to film a segment for a documentary called Drugs: Map of Britain.
It was there that Perivoitos, who is also said to have been under the influence of intoxicating levels of cocaine, began having a drug-induced seizure in front of the crew. The dog attacked the man on his bed during this episode, reports The Independent.
Although there were cameras in the room, the film crew did not capture any footage of the attack.
An investigation into the incident reveals that the show’s producer, Joshua Haddow, pulled the dog off of Perivoitos. But by that time his injuries, which included a crushed larynx and bites to the neck and face, were too severe and he passed away.
Senior coroner Andrew Walker said he believes the dog’s cocaine consumption, which a toxicology report shows was eight times the drugged driving limit, contributed to the attack.
“It is likely that the dog had consumed cocaine by eating it and it is likely that this was an additional factor in the dog’s behavior,” he said. “Mr. Perivoitos suffered serious injuries and was taken to a major trauma hospital, and died shortly after midnight.”
Major is scheduled to be put down.
It should be noted that Staffordshire Bull Terriers are not banned as part of the UK’s Dangerous Dogs Act of 1991.
And while the breed can be trained to be aggressive, they are mostly known for being quiet and calm animals. “They are generally very keen to please people, non-aggressive and easy going,” according to Pets4Homes.