LOS ANGELES - Lumi, the chihuahua was allegedly dropped off at a Long Beach animal shelter after being given methamphetamine – on purpose. Saving Imperial Rescue's Traci Schuver said the one-and-a-half-year-old pup's family brought her in after a teenager in the home intentionally gave her the illegal drug.
"The poor dog was literally tortured," Traci said. "We understand that addiction is a major problem and it's a disease… we can be empathetic towards the person struggling with that addiction, but the minute they turn it over, and they start torturing an innocent animal, that's when all bets are off and my empathy goes out the window."
Traci and her rescue partner at Open Arms Rescue jumped into action after hearing about Lumi, who will likely suffer lifelong side effects because of the overdose. They took her to Fix Long Beach Pets, a low-cost spay, neuter and parvo clinic that's seeing a disturbing increase in the number of dogs high on drugs.
"A lot of times these little dogs get into the drugs and it's just instant death for them," said the nonprofit's owner Sherri Stankewitz.
With the help of registered Veterinary Technician Sarah Jane Montano, they were able to track down the hard-to-find drug Methocarbamol in Garden Grove, and immediately administered it to Lumi. She is now feeling much better but still suffers from tremors and sensitivity to light and sound.
Sarah Jane said that vets all over the southland are seeing an increase in animals overdosing on various drugs - both legal and illegal. Some cases occur accidentally in the home; other pets are exposed while out on walks, and unfortunately, some cases are intentional.
When Lumi has regained some strength, she'll likely be taken to Open Arms Rescue, unless a loving adoptive family comes forward.
"She'll probably have to take the medication for the rest of her life, however long that is," Traci said. "Maybe somebody will see this story and want to give her a good home. Ultimately, that's the goal, because we as rescuers can't keep all the dogs that we fall in love with."
Saving Imperial Rescue, Open Arms Rescue, and Fix Long Beach all accept and appreciate donations to help animals like Lumi.