Warning: This story discusses distressing details.
A five-year-old dog named “Bailey” is now in foster care, after the B.C. SPCA found she was being regularly exposed to hard drugs at a Vancouver property.
The animal protection society attended the harm reduction building where Bailey was living three times in 2022, before seizing her in December.
Staff members at the property called the SPCA on two occasions and a resident called once to complain about Bailey’s well being, and possible negligence by her owner – identified as K.R. in a February appeal decision on the issue.
Each of the complainants described a similar list of concerning traits Bailey was displaying, which they believed were a result of her being in her owner’s unit while he was smoking crystal meth and fentanyl.
“…after one hour being inside the room, Bailey’s eyes would be dilated, her tail would be between her legs, her ears would be down, and she would be woozy, coughing and vomiting.”
On one occasion, when a B.C. SPCA special provincial constable called the building to speak with a staff member, he said he could hear Bailey crying in the background of the call. The staff member said Bailey was lethargic and whimpering and shaking. They gave Bailey NARCAN, believing she had overdosed.
On another occasion, staff said they took Bailey to the vet who found fentanyl in her system. Staff also said Bailey was kept in her owner K.R.’s unit for long periods without exercise and was exposed to urine and feces left in the bathroom.
The special provincial constable said the first time he attended the building in July he found Bailey looking happy and healthy and K.R.’s unit looking clean. Still, he issued K.R. a verbal and written warning.
K.R. claimed he never smoked drugs with Bailey in the room and said she must be getting exposed to other people’s drugs while walking in the hallways.
The special provincial constable gave K.R. another warning in December, before filing for a warrant. On Dec. 14, Bailey was seized and taken to a vet who confirmed she had opioids, cocaine and amphetamines in her system. The vet said Bailey was clinically okay, though, and she was placed with a foster family.
K.R. twice appealed the seizure, each time claiming he took good care of Bailey and that she wasn’t being exposed to drugs in his unit. He said he used an air purifier in his unit, was extremely careful when he crushed his drugs not to let any fall onto the floor, and had bought a steam mop to make sure things were kept as clean as possible.
He didn’t, however, provide a plan for how Bailey would be kept from future drug exposure that K.R. claimed was coming from the hallways. And a confidential witness told the SPCA numerous other pets lived in the building and weren’t ingesting drugs, despite also walking through the hallways.
The B.C. Farm Industry Review Board issued the final decision Feb. 10, saying “The evidence suggests Bailey’s distress would continue if returned, with potentially fatal consequences.”
K.R. lost custody of Bailey and was ordered to pay $331.67 in costs to the B.C. SPCA.