breaking news

Body discovered in Bethel Twp. prompts death investigation

Drug abusers may be injuring pets to get pain killers

Ohio Attorney General’s office has heard complaints, state lawmakers take step to crack down on abusers.


Ohio’s war on prescription drug abuse has a new frontline: The veterinarian’s office.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is working with the Ohio Veterinary Medical Association and state licensing boards to educate veterinarians about possible abuse by people who seek medications for dogs, cats and other pets.

Jill Del Greco, a spokeswoman for the attorney general, said they have heard from police officers and community leaders that people are either abusing drugs rightfully prescribed to pets or intentionally injuring animals to obtain the drugs.

Lawmakers took a first step to deal with the issue Wednesday through language inserted in a bill toughening penalties for cruelty to “companion animals” such as dogs and cats and animals that live indoors. The Ohio House approved House Bill 274 on Wednesday in a 90-1 vote. Similar legislation addressing animal cruelty has passed the House in the past but not the Senate.

Jack Advent of the Ohio Veterinary Medical Association said veterinarians haven’t seen evidence of the problem, but they’re happy to proactively work with the attorney general on prevention efforts. Advent said opioids are usually prescribed for animals post-surgery and suffering from arthritis and other long-term illnesses, so it would be hard to fake an illness for drugs.

“If someone would abuse their animal, I’d like to think a lot of our members would recognize it wasn’t an accident, it was abuse to begin with,” Advent said.

Education materials for veterinarians will include tips for identifying abuse as well as suggestions to patients for how to dispose of excess medication. Del Greco said the pet owner might not be abusing the medication, but a family member might take it or try to sell it.

“Doctors might have a preconceived notion of who might be a prescription drug abuser but this is the type of problem that could affect any family,” Del Greco said.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Ohio

Discovery of body in Bethel Twp., Clark County, prompts death investigation
Discovery of body in Bethel Twp., Clark County, prompts death investigation

The discovery of a body in a residence in the 800 block of Edgewick Road in Bethel Twp., Clark County, has prompted a death investigation by the sheriff's office.  Sheriff's detectives were at the residence at midnight, awaiting the arrival of a county coroner's investigator. Crime scene tape has been installed around the home and the property...
At least 8 dead in duck boat accident on Table Rock Lake in Branson, Missouri, sheriff says
At least 8 dead in duck boat accident on Table Rock Lake in Branson, Missouri, sheriff says

At least eight people have been confirmed dead in a duck boat accident on Table Rock Lake in Branson, Missouri, Thursday just before 7 p.m. Thursday (CT), according to Stone County Sheriff Doug Radar. >> Read more trending news  Local media reported as many as 13 people were injured and transported to local hospitals. Radar said the...
CDC: Salmonella outbreak linked to raw turkey products
CDC: Salmonella outbreak linked to raw turkey products

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, public health and regulatory officials announced Thursday afternoon they are currently investigating a Salmonella outbreak linked to raw turkey products. Ninety people in 26 states have been affected, with two cases reported in Ohio. Forty people have been hospitalized.  According to the CDC, raw...
Clark County Fair opens Friday with ‘something for everyone’
Clark County Fair opens Friday with ‘something for everyone’

The 71st annual Clark County Fair opens Friday with plenty of activities for agricultural enthusiasts, carnival goers, and returning guests alike. The fair runs through July 27. Gates open each day at 8 a.m. TRENDING ONLINE: Missing Springfield man found alive after search General admission is $6. Admission is free for children five and under. Parking...
Photo: Florida Burger King customer appears to prepare food
Photo: Florida Burger King customer appears to prepare food

Two Jacksonville, Florida, Burger King employees were terminated after customers said a woman got out of line and began preparing food behind the counter. Jeffrey and Marcelita Jones told WJAX-TV that they were at the Burger King at 937 Dunn Ave. when a woman stepped out of the slow-moving line. They said the woman -- who was in plain clothing -- walked...
More Stories