New Va. bill targets addicts using pets to score painkillers
RICHMOND, Va. (WSET) -- A local senator has introduced legislation targeting drug addicts using pets to score painkillers.
"I’ve seen it in Virginia," Sen. Bill Stanley (R-Moneta) told WRIC in Richmond. "Veterinarians have come to me and told me this is an issue."
Sen. Stanley said that veterinarians are seeing people harming dogs and cats so they can get opioids prescribed to them, not for the dog or cat who are in pain, but to feed their own addiction.
Vets sometimes prescribe medicine like morphine or fentanyl patches for pets with cancer, benzos for separation or travel anxiety, valium for dogs with fears of storms, or tramadol for osteoarthritis, according to WRIC.
SB 226 would require any opiate prescribed by a veterinarian for longer than seven days to be picked up off site, so instead of being filled by the veterinarian at the clinic, the animal owner will have to pick up the prescriptions at a pharmacy.
At that time, the pet owner's information will be put through something called the Prescription Monitoring Program, which allows physicians and other practitioners to check a patient's medication history.
Supports said it would not interfere with treating minor injuries, emergencies, or standard post-surgical pain.
The bill cleared the Senate in an unanimous vote.
It now heads to the House for consideration.