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VIDEO: Narcan given to puppy after accidental fentanyl OD in California

Police say the woman told officers it was the second time the dog had overdosed.

IRVINE, Calif. — A pit bull puppy that California police believe got into its owners' fentanyl stash was administered an overdose-reversing drug and is recovering, officials said.

The dog's owners, a man and a woman, were arrested and could face charges including drug possession and animal cruelty, according to the Irvine Police Department.

The incident began with a “consensual” encounter between the couple and police on Wednesday outside a Walmart, department spokesman Kyle Oldoerp said. After officers discovered fentanyl in their car, the two were arrested, he said.

“Then the female said, ‘Oh, I think my dog is overdosing,’ ” Oldoerp told the Los Angeles Times on Saturday. “She knew the symptoms because it was the second time the dog had overdosed.”

He said it wasn’t immediately clear how the dog would have been exposed to the drug, which is up to 50 times more powerful than heroin. A dose as small as 2 milligrams can be fatal to a human, though dogs are less sensitive to the drug, according to the Times.


Yesterday, two people were arrested at Walmart for narcotics possession. Their puppy inside the car was exposed to fentanyl and began to show signs of an overdose. Officers gave the dog a dose of Narcan, and she immediately began to recover. An IPD officer quickly transported the dog to an emergency veterinarian for treatment. We are happy to report the dog is recovering fully, and our Animal Services Unit will take possession of her. Caleb Aaron Gibson, 29, of San Juan Capistrano, and Katherine Marylou Menke, 27, of Santa Ana, were arrested. We have asked the DA to charge the pair with felony animal cruelty and possession of narcotics. We thank the officers for their swift actions. #irvine #irvinepolice #police #irvinepd #cityofirvine #orangecounty #animalservices #animalcontrol Song: Children by Robert Miles.

Posted by Irvine Police Department on Thursday, September 7, 2023

“If they’re using drugs in their car, we can only speculate," Oldoerp said.

At the station, officers administered overdose-reversing naloxone to the dog, which made a “pretty quick” turnaround, Oldoerp said.

The man and woman were not identified. Authorities will hold on to the puppy until there is a hearing to determine whether to give the dog back to its owners, the Times reported.

Narcan is a medicine designed to stop and reverse opioid overdoses. It has risen to a household name and is now sold over the counter as fentanyl deaths in the U.S. continue to rise. 

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