PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — The opioid crisis continues to claim thousands of lives, and local animal advocates are sounding the alarm as pets are affected too.
“What we’ve seen is an increase in the number of animals going to emergency clinics who are overdosing,” said Elizabeth Accomando, the rescue’s founder. “I never would have received these calls before.”
Accomando said that at least twice a week, pet owners report their pet overdosing after consuming drugs or edibles.
“If you make it to yourself, you make that choice, your pet doesn’t make that choice,” Accomando said. ” They do not know. They say, “Oh, can I eat that? “A lot of dogs will just swallow anything that falls on the floor.”
On Thursday, the rescue partnered with USA Opioid Crisis Mortality Reduction INC. to train staff and community members in the use of the medication reversal tool.
“Thank you for being a good human and for coming here to save the life of a human or animal,” said Luis Garcia, founder of USA Opioid Crisis Mortality Reduction Inc.
Garcia said his non-profit organization has been around for 5 years and has distributed over 7,000 Narcan sprays, saving over 300 lives as well as a puppy.
“A puppy was rescued about two years ago by the vet at the Northlake Veterinary Clinic in Okeechobee County. The vet had read in the local paper that the sheriff had me train my Narcan,” Garcia said. . “She called 911 and said ‘can you help me? I have a dog, a puppy that could overdose. I don’t have Narcan.’ And they sent a deputy on code 3 and the deputy saved the pup’s life.”
If your pet gets into your medication and you see him having a bad reaction, you can spray Narcan in his nose. If his nose is too small, you can spray it in his mouth.
“What’s going to be difficult for me is the diagnosis, getting someone to admit to me that’s what happened or what drug an animal got into,” the woman said. veterinarian Crystal Ramsey.
Ramsey said she lost her brother to an overdose and the best way to help your pet is to be honest with your vet.
“We are not your parents, we are not policemen, just tell us how to help your pet. If you bring your pet who needs help from me, just tell me the truth. This will get you the fastest possible help,” Ramsey said.
If you use Narcan on any of your pets, you should contact your veterinarian immediately.
A GoFundMe account was created to help Garcia distribute free Narcan during training classes.