A dog that tested positive for methamphetamines and heroin proves not all victims in drug cases are human. Sometimes innocent animals do pay the price for bad decisions made by their owners.
According to reports by CBS Los Angeles, CNN, and CBS News, 40-year-old Joshua West was arrested on March 22 in his motel room at Key Inn & Suites on El Camino Real. Authorities tracked down West over an outstanding warrant.
When police found heroin, meth, and other drug paraphernalia in his room, it only added to the list of criminal charges against him.
However, one discovery baffled even the more experienced police officers: a little dog named “Bubba.”
Animal control officers responding to the scene noticed the terrier mix was unusually lethargic. There was immediate concern that the dog was under the influence of drugs. Tests were sent out to determine if that was the case. It turns out the instincts of the animal control officers were entirely correct, as Bubba tested positive for both meth and heroin.
Despite this shockingly sad revelation, police say they still aren’t quite sure how it happened. It’s entirely possible that West injected his pet with one of the needles discovered in the motel room. It’s also possible the little dog ingested meth and heroin out of curiosity, or due to hunger.
In either case, Joshua West would still be ultimately responsible for the animal’s access to something that could have killed him. That’s exactly why he was slapped with an animal cruelty charge in addition to the lengthy list of drug charges against him.
With his owner in jail, the now-homeless pet was turned over to Orange County Animal Care (OCAC). It was after the dog was transported to their facility that staff members used urine testing to determine if drugs were in his system.
Officers suspected the day of the incident that Bubba was drugged, but it would take awhile for confirmation to reach them. Even with the evidence now in hand, police remain stunned that such a thing could ever happen to an innocent little dog.
Tustin Police Lt. Robert Wright reacted to the case, saying the dog’s abuse struck him as “pretty horrible.” He added, “This is the first time we’ve ever heard of someone reporting that an animal has been under the influence.”
That a dog would find himself in an environment with meth and heroin isn’t even the saddest part of this case. Reports are saying that little Bubba is still detoxing. It’s a scary process for a human who understands the effects of drugs on their mind and body.
Here’s one description of what heroin withdrawal symptoms are really like.
“You’re ill and you’re in pain, your joints ache. You lie down, and then you get up, but you can’t get comfortable. In the beginning, there’s a lot of nausea. But mainly the worst thing is the joint pain and restlessness combined with weakness and sleeplessness.”
One can only imagine how strange and frightening the process of detoxing from meth and heroin might be for Bubba. After all, this dog has no idea why he felt the way he did. He’ll also never comprehend what his former owner put him through — either willfully or due to negligent behavior.
Despite the heartbreaking nature of this bizarre situation, there might be a silver lining for the terrier mix. Multiple reports claim that once the dog has completed his detox process, he’ll be put up for adoption.
Since this case is now international news, interested parties from all over the world are currently following Bubba’s recovery. That means the probability of the little dog finding a loving home — one free of drugs and associated dangers — is the right kind of high.
[Photo by AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews]