Victoria councillors say dogs are being resuscitated with naloxone after ingesting opioids

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Two Victoria councillors are seeking amendments to the city’s animal control bylaw after reports that dogs have required repeated naloxone intervention after ingesting opioids.

Councillors Stephen Andrew and Charlayne Thornton-Joe say animal control officers recently seized a dog that workers at a temporary housing facility had resuscitated seven times with the powerful anti-overdose drug.

“I will not stand by and allow animals to ingest opioids to the point they need Naloxone to bring them back to life,” Andrew said in a statement. “It makes me sick to think an animal must cruelly go through this life-saving measure once, but repeatedly is horrendous.”

Andrew and Thornton-Joe are expected to propose the changes at Thursday’s committee of the whole meeting.

As part of their submission to the committee, the councillors say staff at a supportive housing facility on Johnson Street recently told animal control officers that they had to administer three doses of naloxone to a small dog owned by a resident.

The staff members said it was the seventh time they had to administer the powerful anti-overdose drug to the animal, according to the councillors.

Animal control officers also seized a dog in the 900-block of Pandora Avenue. A vet later found cocaine and amphetamines in the dog’s urine, the councillors said.

Andrew and Thornton-Joe say animal control officers have reported an increase in cases of drug-related animal neglect “over the past 18 to 24 months.”

The councillors are calling for amendments to the animal control bylaw that would specifically prohibit owners from allowing animals to ingest drugs not prescribed by a veterinarian.

The changes would also allow officers to seize animals suspected of ingesting drugs and to take them to a veterinarian for evaluation.

The councillors are also asking that council request a report from animal control with recommendations on the bylaw.